Health Equity

Our Position Statement:

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Health Equity Description:

Health equity asserts that all people have the opportunity to reach their full health potential and should not be disadvantaged from attaining it because of their social and economic status, social class, racism, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or other socially determined circumstance.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) recognizes that:

  • Large health gaps exist in Winnipeg due to unfair, unjust and modifiable social circumstances
  • Winnipeg’s health gaps are larger than many other Canadian cities
  • Some health differences or “inequalities” are not modifiable such as those due to genetic or biological factors, whereas “inequitable” health gaps can be significantly reduced or eliminated
  • Remediable gaps in health due to modifiable social circumstances should not be tolerated
  • Health is affected by the influences of social and economic advantage and disadvantage
  • Colonization has had an ongoing negative and tragic impact on all aspect of Indigenous peoples’ health and wellbeing
  • Culture is a determinant of health and is related to health behaviours, perceptions of illness, social supports and the extent to which people use health care services.  However, culture or ethnicity alone do not cause health inequalities; rather, ethnic groups and others who experience current or historical marginalization or oppression are disproportionately affected by economic and social disadvantage which leads to health gaps
  • A more equal society is healthier for everyone across the social and economic gradient including those at the top
  • Since everyone’s health is affected, we are all in this together

The WRHA Commitment

The WRHA is committed to changing health equity outcomes through an increased health equity focus in the services we provide, the way we conduct our planning and operations, in providing knowledge and decision-making support to others, and in real partnerships and committed relationships outside the health care sector. Specifically, we commit to:

Ensure health equity considerations and actions are embedded in the provision of all health care services

  • Health care planning and service delivery designed to eliminate inequities in health outcomes and create opportunities for individuals to reach their health potential
  • Dignity in all health care service encounters
  • Cultural proficiency and diversity
  • Collaborative practice and interprofessional education
  • Create, implement and evaluate a WRHA health equity action plan that includes clear health outcome targets

Produce and translate health equity knowledge

  • Describe, translate and communicate health equity status in the WRHA
  • Use and promote the use of best and promising practices
  • Develop and disseminate research to inform action promoting health equity
  • Set health equity targets, monitor progress towards targets and evaluate efforts

 Promote health equity in decision-making (governance)

  • At the WRHA, health equity is a required consideration at the leadership level and in all WRHA organizational decision making (e.g., planning, resource allocation, human resources practices, procurement)
  • The WRHA engages with all levels of government on policies, funding and practices to influence health equity
  • The WRHA advocates with decision makers in key sectors to influence health equity

Facilitate participation and partnerships to amplify health equity action within and beyond the health sector

  • Engage with partners having similar goals to improve health equity and reduce poverty
  • Support and facilitate coordinated or complementary action
  • Amplify and support successful and promising community initiatives
  • Support community development activities and facilitate authentic public engagement   
  • Listen to and involve those with lived experience

Background:

WRHA’s Health Equity Vision, Mission, Values

WRHA Health Equity Mission:

  • To coordinate and provide equitable health services that promote optimum health and well-being for everyone, recognizing that achieving the provision of universal health care requires proportionally more effort and resources to reach out to those in most need 
  • To portray and call attention to the impact of social disadvantage on health
  • To facilitate sustainable contributions and collaborations from many sectors
  • To close the health equity gap in a generation

WRHA Health Equity Vision:

“Health for all”

Everyone reaches their full health potential without barriers due to socially determined and modifiable circumstances.

 WRHA Health Equity Values (“principles”)

  • Availability
  • Accessibility
  • Affordability
  • Appropriateness
  • Accountability
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Equity
  • Participation
  • Social Justice
  • Sustainability
  • Universality

WRHA's Organizational Vision, Mission, Values

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