June 2017; Volume 36, Issue 6
Issue Focus: Pursuing Health Equity
From The Editor-in-Chief
Pursuing Health Equity
Alan R. Weil
If equity is one dimension of what the Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined as health care quality, what are the obligations of the health care sector to achieve health equity? Early evidence of health disparities led to a focus on the health care system—the roles of bias and discrimination, as captured by the title of the 2003 IOM report Unequal Treatment. Yet as Steven Woolf points out in his lead paper, growing understanding of the role of social factors in determining health outcomes makes it clear that achieving equity requires widening the lens. This month’s Health Affairs examines health equity from both perspectives: equity in care, and the relationship between social factors and health equity.