VNSNY Impact Challenge: Defining Health Care Disparities

The VNSNY Impact Challenge will focus on reducing health care disparities. For this competition, a health care disparity is defined as: preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.

Health disparities typically impact groups who have experienced greater obstacles to health based on their race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, mental health, sexual orientation, or gender identity. For additional background on health care disparities, click here.

Factors that influence health care disparities include:

  • Social and physical environmental conditions
  • Lack of access for telehealth options
  • No access to insurance coverage
  • No availability of linguistically appropriate care
  • Limited access to primary and preventive health care
  • Quality of health care received
  • Limited access to healthy foods

Any of these “stressors” can impact health: Stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma.

Linking your proposal to health disparities:

Each VNSNY Impact Challenge contender (individual or team) should develop a proposal that aligns with VNSNY’s mission and that also defines and outlines a specific health care disparity that will be addressed by the program being proposed.