Social determinants of health
In Halton Region, there is a close relationship between income level and health. Adults are more likely to report excellent or very good health as household income increases. Adults living in lower income neighbourhoods tend to visit emergency departments and hospitals more often, and have higher rates of premature death.
Good health is about more than having access to health care. Watch the video Let’s Start a Conversation about Health … and Not Talk about Health Care at All, which shows how the social determinants of health influence our opportunities to be healthy. It also illustrates how we all have a role to play in helping everyone to achieve their best possible health.
The Let’s Start a Conversation About Health … and Not Talk About Health Care at All: User Guide can help to build your understanding of the factors that affect health. You can also use it as a tool to help lead discussions with others.
Public health actions to improve health equity
The Halton Region Health Department works to address the social determinants of health and reduce health inequities. It is currently involved in the following key actions:
The Halton Region Health Department uses data to understand local health inequities. Population health reports include health outcomes by income and level of education. Due to data limitations, it is not always possible to show health outcomes by other social determinants of health. However, it still provides important information because income and education are linked to other social determinants of health. Reports are available at halton.ca/healthstats.
Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool
The Halton Region Health Department uses the HEIA tool to bring an equity lens to program planning. This tool:
- Helps staff to consider the needs of priority populations when making decisions about program planning
- Encourages teams to think about ways to reduce the potential negative impacts of a proposed policy or program
Watch this HEIA video, which uses a baseball analogy to explain the 5 simple steps of HEIA.
The Halton Region Health Department uses performance indicators to monitor performance and assess progress on efforts to reduce local health inequities. These indicators measure local priorities and will be used measure progress over time. Read the Health Equity Performance Indicators report.
The Halton Region Health Department provides staff education. Staff members must take an education session about the social determinants of health and health equity. Read the staff education evaluation summary (PDF file).