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Genetic Code vs. ZIP Code: How to Address Health Equity

Friday, May 17, 2019
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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"We need to invest in preventative care so we can see the changes we want to see in our community." – Dr. Amy Acton

Despite being home to some of the most innovative healthcare systems in the world, Americans' overall health and life expectancy is often determined not by their DNA, but by their ZIP code. These social determinants of health —conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health outcomes and risks —can, according to leading studies, account for nearly 70 percent of all health outcomes.

While Cuyahoga County consistently ranks in the top 10 in terms of clinical care in Ohio, it has not necessarily made its residents healthier —the county's health outcomes are ranked in the bottom third of the state.

How can we close this gap? What programs and public policies have shown to be effective in reducing health disparities and promoting health equity?

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