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And What Difference Does a Definition Make?

May 2017

Paula Braveman, Elaine Arkin, Tracy Orleans, Dwayne Proctor, Alonzo Plough

Introduction

Health equity is a cornerstone of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Culture of Health Action Framework, which aims to achieve a society in which everyone has an equal opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.1 Equity surrounds and underpins all of the Culture of Health Action Areas, as depicted in the diagram on this page. A recent report (The Road to Achieving Equity) commissioned by RWJF concluded, however, that although the term health equity is now used widely, a common understanding of what it means is lacking.


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