Health equity concerns those differences in health that can be traced to unequal economic and social conditions and are systemic and avoidable – and so essentially unjust and unfair. These concerns are central to Con Alma Health Foundation’s mission, so the Foundation regularly collects and analyzes information about the many factors that promote and prevent health equity in our state.
Our first report, “Closing the Health Disparity Gap in New Mexico: A Roadmap for Grantmaking,” was published in 2006. The report focused on disparities: the differing health status of New Mexicans based on ethnic, cultural, and geographic factors. The report was seminal in helping us understand and define our role in grant making.
Disparities are enmeshed with inequity, but we wanted more insight into the quest for achieving equity- how communities and individuals can build systems and live in ways that promote health for all. In 2010 we began the next effort to extend our understanding and evolve our grant making. Economic upheaval and the changing policy environment helped shape our goals: We wanted to move beyond numbers and hear directly from people.
Fifteen focus groups convened throughout New Mexico provided a unique window on how people viewed health, the health systems and resources available to them, and their own needs and priorities. Combined with updated public health data from a multitude of sources, they gave a powerful voice to the community.
The 2012 report, “Health Equity in New Mexico: A Roadmap for Grantmaking and Beyond” is available in three forms: