Wood County, Wisconsin

Official Website

Wood County Health Department Logo

Health Equity

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation defines health equity as “…everyone [having] a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.” When we talk about the factors that impact health equity we are acknowledging that health is more than health care – it starts where we live, learn, work, and play. Our physical environment (10%), health behaviors (30%), clinical care (20%), and social and economic conditions (40%) all come together to create our health. The ultimate goal of health equity work is to reduce the disparities in these factors that negatively impact people’s health. Disparities in health are caused by the fact that some people gain more than others because they have better access to resources and opportunities. Oftentimes this discrimination is not conscious, intentional, or personal; rather it is built into the systems and institutions that govern our ommunities. This can lead to inequitable outcomes no matter what someone’s intentions are. To achieve health equity we must work together as a community to eliminate the root causes of health disparities like racism and discrimination, while also improving social, economic, and environmental opportunities.

Learn more about health inequities in Wood County and what you can do to help in our 2021 Health Equity Report

Health Equity Team

Public health professionals play a key role in achieving health equity in the communities they serve. The 10 Essential Public Health Services framework designed “to protect and promote the health of all people in all communities.” This framework promotes policies, systems, and overall community conditions that ensure everyone is as healthy as possible by removing systemic and structural barriers that create health inequities. In order to promote equity education and considerations throughout the Wood County Health Department, there is a Health Equity Team (HET) made up of people from every division at the department. This team was created to ensure that Wood County residents’ health outcomes will not be determined by race, ethnicity, class, gender, income, education, geography, or any other group status. The HET leads efforts to increase staff knowledge and awareness of health equity in Wood County and provides support and capacity to system improvements within the Wood County Health Department focused on improving health equity.

Check out our 2022 Year in Review to learn what the HET has accomplished in the last year and where efforts will focus in the future.

The HET and the Wood County Health Department believe that the following statements* can be used to define and center the work that we do in the community:

  • All people are worthy of dignity and love.
  • Healing is interconnected.
  • We can organize a world where everyone thrives.
  • Diversity is our greatest strength.
  • We can dismantle systems of oppression and heal our wounds.
  • We are guided by people most harmed by oppression.
  • Participatory democracy is essential to create a shared future.
  • Our public sphere prioritizes collective wellbeing.
  • We have the power to transform the future.

*These narrative statements to advance health equity were developed by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, Human Impact Partners, Community Partnerships for Health Equity, Healthy Places By Design, Population Health Improvement Partners, Public Health Awakened, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, in partnership with narrative cohort participants across the country.