Extension's National Framework for Health Equity


The graphic depiction of the framework found immediately below illustrates how a focus on the core themes can advance Cooperative Extension’s portfolio of work focused on achieving health equity and promoting the well-being of all people. Some readers will notice the visual similarities to the 2014 model, particularly in the utilization of a multi-layered, social-ecological model to show the relationships between the individual and the environments in which they live.

The Framework Explained

The outer ring of the diagram lists many of the root causes of structural inequity . The list, however, should not be viewed as exhaustive of all of the root causes of inequity. But when decision makers use their power to establish norms, policies, and practices through the lens of racism, for example, people of color may systematically be denied access to the resources and services which support lifelong health and well-being. These resources and services are more commonly referred to as the social determinants of health. This framework incorporates the nine social determinants of health identified by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM, 2017). Access to healthy food was added as a tenth determinant because of its centrality to the work of Cooperative Extension. The work of Cooperative Extension focuses first on identifying the health inequities which may exist in a given community. Cooperative Extension then works through two major streams of activity in its efforts to improve health. The first stream is through promoting healthy behaviors though communication and


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