Definitions


Ultimately Raising the Bar’s public-facing products will be designed to resonate with others (after work by communications professionals), but for reference, this is what we mean when we say:

  • Birth Equity: The assurance of the conditions of optimal births for all people with a willingness to address racial and social inequities in a sustained effort. (Source: Crear-Perry)
  • Community: Raising the Bar will seek to add context when we use the term “community.” Generally, Raising the Bar uses the term to refer to geographic place (e.g., neighborhood, local environment, geopolitical subdivision).
  • Equity: The just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach full potential. (Source: PolicyLink)
  • Health: WHO defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Raising the Bar focuses on equity and on optimizing the health of individuals, families, and communities, all of which makes them healthier.
  • Health Equity: A process and outcome where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Equity is not the same as equality. Those with the greatest needs and least resources require more or different effort and resources to equalize opportunities.
  • Health care organizations/health systems: Raising the Bar takes a broad view of health systems, including organizations and individuals that deliver, insure, purchase, or pay for health services of all kinds, as well as public health agencies and others directly involved in meeting health needs of individuals and families and communities where they live.
  • Populations Served: Raising the Bar is focused on individuals and families, rather than terms more limited to those in direct treatment or care systems (e.g., patients and consumers).  Health systems have important roles in influencing policy and other levers on behalf of those who may not be in their direct care. We are also attentive to the importance of family relationships.
  • Racism: Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized. Racism occurs at multiple levels, including internalized, interpersonal, institutional, structural and systemic. Racism in all its forms is harmful to health and well-being.
  • Social Determinants of Health (SDOH): The conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. This includes economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies, and political systems. Everyone has SDOHs and their impact can be positive as well as negative.  “Vital conditions” seeks to capture this theme as well, defined as the properties of places and institutions that we all need all the time to reach our full potential, like food, humane housing, access to meaningful work and wealth and a sense of belonging.
  • Social Needs: An individual’s immediate non-medical needs (e.g., food and housing needs). For example, an intervention to provide fresh produce to patients in need does not address the underlying systemic issues that cause food insecurity, but rather mitigates an immediate individual need.
  • Social Risk Factors: The specific adverse social conditions (e.g., food insecurity and housing instability) that are associated with poor health and outcomes. A person may have numerous risk factors but have fewer immediate social needs.

Working Draft – as of January 27, 2021

These Definitions will evolve as the project moves forward.