Part I: Tools and Strategies to Promote Health Equity in PT Practice
Chronic, non-communicable diseases (e.g., heart disease, stroke, diabetes) have supplanted acute, infectious diseases as the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. These conditions, are socially constructed, meaning an individual’s social context shapes their risk of exposure, susceptibility to disease, and course of illness. Moreover, these conditions are not equally distributed within and across populations. Rather, they are part of a complex web of issues associated with where we live, learn, work, and play – what many call the social determinants of health. In response to changing societal needs and the importance of better understanding and addressing underlying social determinants of poor health, many physical therapists are forging their own path toward a more socially responsible practice – one that embraces our role as health professionals to cultivate health within our clinics and communities. During this session, we will explore the connection between social and structural determinants of health and widening health disparities. Attendees will practice viewing cases through a health equity lens to identify strategies they might employ at the individual, clinic, and community levels to advance health equity.