What is Health Equity?

  • The opportunity for individuals and communities to live happy, healthy and productive lives.
  • Uncovering health differences rooted in race, gender, physical abilities, or zip codes.
  • Empowered communities, organizations and policy makers partnering for healthier conditions.


Problem in Jefferson County

Children Living in Poverty
African Americans are unemployed for every 1 White person unemployed
Single Parent Households
Greater Infant Mortality Rate than the National Rate

A Tale of Two Communities

Health inequities persist in Jefferson County. In the summary below, we see unhealthy differences between 2 well-known communities in our county.

“Over the Mountain”/Trussville

  • Mostly white residents
  • Less poverty
  • Longer life expectancy
  • Low infant mortality rate
  • Greater access to healthy foods 

Interstate 20/59

  • Mostly minority residents
  • More poverty
  • Lower life expectancy
  • Higher infant mortality rate
  • Limited access to healthy foods

Reducing income inequalities will help reduce health inequalities. People with low income are more likely to have poor health.

Improving high school graduation rates can help reduce health inequalities. An educated population is more likely to have opportunities to earn a suitable income and impact their individual and community’s health.

Increasing access to grocery stores and farmer’s markets helps reduce health inequalities. Families who have access to healthy foods have better health outcomes.

In 2011, 13.2% of the households in Jefferson County had annual incomes lower than the federal poverty level. Many of these homes bordered Interstate 20/59.

In Jefferson County, educational disparities disproportionately differ by race. More blacks do not graduate high school with a diploma than whites (16.7% vs 9.7%).

Almost 160,000 Jefferson County residents live in a food desert. Many of these residents are concentrated along the I-20/59 corridor.

The Guiding Principles

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