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The American Heart Association (AHA) is working to boost health equity through a variety of online health lessons, called EmPOWERED to Serve.
EmPOWERED to Serve includes over a dozen science-based toolkits and lessons covering health education and community advocacy. Toolkits are free and open to the public and can be reached on the EmPOWERED to Serve Health Lessons website.
“The EmPOWERED to Serve health lessons offer a way to engage and motivate communities to create a culture of health,” according to the AHA website.
Let’s dive into why these health lessons are a useful and how they can be beneficial for all!
Health Disparities Among Communities
Where you live can have a big impact on your health.
In fact, our health is influenced by a variety of non-medical factors, such as the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work, and age. These conditions are known as social determinants of health (SDoH).
“Only 20% of a person’s health is shaped by access to quality health care, but where people live could cost them up to two decades of life,” according to the AHA.
Latinos and other communities of color often struggle with inequities in SDoH, such as a lack of access to health care, financial instability, food and nutrition insecurity, and housing/transportation insecurity . This endangers their health and contributes to disparities in rates of health conditions from obesity and diabetes to cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Latinos also face barriers to health including language barriers, lack of access to educational resources, and low literacy rates.
With the COVID-19 pandemic further heightening disparities and inequities, it’s important now more than ever to help boost health knowledge and literacy in communities of color.
“Everyone deserves a just opportunity to be healthy. We should pay special attention to those facing the greatest risk of poor health,” according to the AHA.
Importance of Health Education
Southern New Hampshire University highlights the many factors impacted by health education in a community, including:
- Chronic disease awareness and prevention
- Injury and violence prevention
- Maternal and infant health
- Mental and behavioral health
- Nutrition, exercise and obesity prevention
- Tobacco use and substance abuse
With many communities experiencing health inequities and misinformation, health education and literacy are crucial for all.
“No one should have difficulty achieving their potential because of their social position or systemic challenges that contribute to inequities,” according to the AHA.
The EmPOWERED to Serve health lessons offer a way to engage and motivate communities to create a culture of health.
Health Lessons and Toolkits
The EmPOWERED to Serve health lessons offer 12 science-based toolkits covering both health education and community advocacy.
“These 30-minute lessons engage communities and motivate people to create an enduring culture of health where the healthy choice is the easy choice,” according to the AHA.
Participants can browse and make use of health and advocacy based toolkits complete with presentations, lesson plans, and resources on a variety of health topics like diabetes, healthy food, stroke, CPR, smoke-free communities, and more.
Toolkits are available in both English and Spanish.
Videos are also available regarding the same health topics to further engage individuals in health education.
“EmPOWERED to Serve accelerates innovative solutions to eliminate disparities in under-resourced communities caused by social determinants of health, also called structural determinants,” according to the AHA.
Find all of the health lessons, toolkits, and videos here.
How Healthy is Your Community?
Have you ever wondered what health equity looks like in your neighborhood?
Now you can explore data on health-related issues with the Salud America! Health Equity Report Card!
Get the results and see how your county stacks up in health equity issues like social vulnerability, COVID-19, and healthcare.
Compare your results to other counties and states across the nation. Share the report with city leaders, advocacy organizations, and others!
GET YOUR HEALTH EQUITY REPORT CARD!
Explore More:Education, Health Equity
By The Numbers
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Pedestrians survive when hit by a car at 40 MPH