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Do you know the difference between health equity and equality? What’s a “food desert?” What are health disparities – and why do they matter? What’s the difference between “culturally sensitive” and “culturally competent?”

Public health educator Xavier Vaughn, a member of the CLAIM team at the Primaris Foundation, offers his keen insight on the topics of health literacy, disparities, and the social determinants of health. Listen in for an explanation of the terms and questions that lead this post.

The disparities – stark differences in health outcomes and disease prevalence along racial and socioeconomic lines – often go hand-in-hand with poverty rates. The gap in health disparities seems to be widening even as policymakers and public health officials are tackling the problem.

Here are some other takeaways from Episode 29, “Health disparities and food deserts,” include:

  • Social determinants illustrate the new reality that our ZIP code affects our health as much or even more than our genetic code and, in fact, our environment can even affect our genetic code.
  • Although a greater percentage of African-Americans live in poverty, the white population represents a higher number of individuals and families living in poverty.
  • Healthy People 2020 - healthypeople.gov/2020 - is a federal initiative to address disparities, health access and outcomes, poverty, and related issues.

This is Xavier’s fourth Quality Talk appearance. Listen to his insights and knowledge in previous episodes:

Episode 11 - Family Health History Day

Episode 9 - The Social Determinants of Health

Episode 8 - How to be a Good Patient?

Also, you can follow the Quality Talk podcast on Twitter @TalkingQuality and our blog, Quality Today, @primaris_health. Remember, Primaris is your partner in healthcare quality.


More About CLAIM and The Primaris Foundation

CLAIM has been the Missouri State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) since 1993, providing free and unbiased advocacy, education, and assistance for Medicare beneficiaries through the work of over 300 trained certified counselors and 180 community partners.

* Founded in 2001, the Primaris Foundation is based in Missouri and is dedicated to being the trusted resource for helping individuals maximize their access to healthcare and benefits. Driven by a passion for improving the lives of others and building better and healthier communities, the Foundation empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their healthcare choices through direct one-on-one assistance, outreach opportunities, and education programs. Check out our flyer: Making a Difference in Healthcare, One Life at a Time. CLAIM Insurance Counseling Services (ICS)

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