The Role of Communities in Eliminating Healthcare Disparities

Getting Down to the Grass Roots
  • Judy Ann Bigby


Racial disparities in health status and healthcare have been documented for decades, yet the exact causes of these disparities are unknown. It is known that an array of factors including personal risk, interaction with the physical and social environment in communities, and interaction with the healthcare system influence health status. Efforts to eliminate health disparities will not succeed unless they include multiprong approaches focusing on the multiple levels of causation. Much attention has been paid to causes of healthcare disparities that operate primarily at the level of the individual and emphasize personal behaviors and individuals’ access to and experience in the healthcare system. In addition, the role of individual healthcare providers’ biased attitudes, stereotyping, and discrimination toward people of color, is often offered as an explanation of healthcare disparities. Barriers to accessing care and poorer quality of healthcare for minority populations have also received significant attention.


Health Disparity Social Connectedness Fast Food Restaurant Community Coalition Healthcare Disparity 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judy Ann Bigby
    • 1
  1. 1.Executive Office of Health and Human ServicesCommonwealth of MassachusettsBoston

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