The Mary Black Foundation believes that health and wellness are basic human rights. A health equity framework guides us in achieving our mission to invest in people and communities for improved health, wellness, and success in Spartanburg County. Health equity exists when all people have access to opportunities to thrive, both physically and mentally, and no one is limited in achieving health and wellness because of their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation, age, income, or zip code.
Achieving health equity is a data-driven, reflective, and ongoing process that requires integrity, transparency, and accountability to understand the structures and systems that produce inequities. The Foundation will deepen our understanding of how community needs differ and then invest in community-specific resources. Residents of Spartanburg County deserve opportunities to participate, prosper, and achieve maximum health and wellness.
The World Health Organization states that many factors combine to affect the health of individuals and communities. Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their circumstances and environment. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, only 30% of people’s health is impacted by their personal behavior. The remaining 70% stems from social and economic factors, physical environment, and clinical care.
The Social Determinants of Health model serves as the foundational research for Mary Black Foundation’s Health Equity Framework. We recognize that individuals’ ability to access opportunities is shaped by their social and community context. Inequities in access are often the result of centuries of unjust policies and structural discrimination.
To advance health equity, Spartanburg will need to ensure it has: (1) high quality education & employment, (2) safe & supportive neighborhoods, and (3) accessible, affordable, & culturally relevant health care.
While no one organization can achieve health equity alone, the Mary Black Foundation uses its resources- grants and impact investments, advocacy, capacity building, technical assistance, convening, and strategic alliances- to advance health equity. Below are examples of how the Mary Black Foundation is working to achieve health equity.
To download the full Mary Black Foundation Health Equity Framework, click here.