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I agree that focusing directly on racial disparities in health often helps identify obstacles rather solutions. Focusing rather on the social and physical environmental determinants of health may help directly answer the "what's in it for me" question and indirectly address racial/ethnic disparities.
Few who practice racism, even unconsciously, seem able to articulate the personal benefits of working to eliminate racism. Plus there's no convincing evidence base for treating racism. However, the population-level benefits of improving the physical and social environments are more apparent.
Because I am able to compensate, I am less likely to suffer from the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in my neighborhood or the industrial haze visible in the distance from my window. Nevertheless I would love it if I were able to walk to the grocery store or see the mountains beyond the haze.
Improving the social and physical environments is likely to have a greater impact on those who suffer most from current conditions. Still, we can all see and feel the benefits. This approach may do little to mitigate the effects of racism, but a portion of the racial gap may diminish.

This article is featured in the March 3rd edition of the Health Wonk Review. Thanks for your submission!


David, I found the blog site in On Wisconsin. Interesting as usual.And of course veri different view from mi professional life.Thanks. I will be an avid follower. Bill Rock

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