Trust for America's Health Initiatives

Health Disparities

Health Disparities

Every American should have the opportunity to be as healthy as he or she can be. But now, health varies dramatically from state to state and community to community. Access to good medical care is obviously one important factor that impacts how healthy a person is, but a number of other factors play a role in health beyond medical care. In fact, many researchers have found that where you live, your income level, socio-economic group, and behavior often impact your health more than either genetics or access to medical care.

Health disparities are a significant threat to our nation's health. Low-income and minority communities systematically have less access to health care, higher exposure to health threats, and worse health outcomes.

TFAH addresses health disparities and factors that are beyond individual control, often called "social determinants," as a central part of our work. TFAH advocates for strategies to improve the health of all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, income or where they live.

Policy and Advocacy

For TFAH position statements and letters, congressional hearings, briefings and testimony, and additional policy and advocacy materials, click here.

Press Releases

November 19, 2015
Nearly Half of States Score 5 or Lower out of 10 on Substance Misuse Prevention Report Card Youth Drug Overdose Death Rates more than Doubled in 35 States in Just Over a Decade

November 3, 2015
New TFAH Report Focuses on Priority Policies for Reducing Toxic Stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences

October 28, 2015
TFAH Commends President Obama and Congressional Leadership for Securing the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

June 23, 2015
TFAH Statement: Lancet Commission and White House Summit Highlight Urgent Need to Address Climate Change Health Threats

March 27, 2015
Collaborative Applauds HHS Move to Expand Efforts to Confront Opioid Abuse Epidemic

More press releases


Selected items from TFAH's Resource Library:

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health Inequities Among Gay Men & Men Who Have Sex With Men With support from the M·A·C AIDS Fund, TFAH undertook a literature review and convened a one-day consultation to consider strategies to mitigate the social determinants of health inequities among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM).† Invited participants included research scientists, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)‡ health service providers, public policy advocates, and federal officials.*

State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America The State of Obesity is the 12th annual report produced by TFAH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with support by a grant from RWJF. This edition includes annual rates and rankings of adult obesity and obesity rate trends by ethnicity, region, age, gender, education and income.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund: For A Healthier America Prevention saves lives, reduces health care costs, and makes the country a healthier, more productive place. More than half of Americans live with at least one serious preventable health condition, like diabetes or heart disease, which forces taxpayers to spend billions of dollars a year on health care. And, today’s children are in danger of becoming the first generation in American history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. The Prevention and Public Health Fund enables communities around the country to invest in proven strategies to improve health. That’s why the Fund has the support of more than 760 national, state and local organizations.

A virtual guide of the symptoms of Hepatitis C and how it affects the body Hepatitis C is a viral disease that primarily causes inflammation of the liver, but the effects can be felt throughout the body. Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that is passed through contact with the blood of an infected person. The infection leads to inflammation of the liver.

Addiction Center: Health Effects of Youth Substance Abuse Addiction Center was founded by recovering addicts and health professionals to provide the most up-to-date information on various addictions and reviews of top treatment centers across the country.

More resources