Iowa Equity Challenge Day 11

Day 11 of 21


You may have heard about the wealth gap, but have you heard about the wealth-health gap?


Socioeconomic status and institutional racism lead to harmful living conditions, limit access to quality health care, and contribute to chronic stress. These factors result in shorter life spans and a higher likelihood of adverse health outcomes for people living in poverty and people of color.


Health care costs make up a significant portion of a household’s annual budget, placing additional stress on families that may or may not have insurance or access to quality care.


The 2018 United Way ALICE Report for Iowa found that health care costs were the most significant driver of increases in the Household Survival Budget from 2007 to 2014, including an average 43% increase in out-of-pocket costs.


Compounding these factors, Black Americans are much less likely to trust their health care providers and health care institutions. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is one of the most egregious examples of the origins of that distrust.


Did you know?


Learning Objectives

  • Learn why people of color have worse physical health outcomes than their white peers.
  • Discover why people of color may mistrust the medical community.
  • Learn ways to improve racial disparities in maternal health.


Today's Activities


Choose one or more of these daily activities to learn about today’s topic. Plan to set aside 15 to 30 minutes to complete the activities and journal about your thoughts and feelings. 


Watch “Health Disparities in the Black Community: Past & Present” (12:32) from Origin of Everything to learn about many areas of historical health disparities.


Read “Racial and Ethnic Disparities Continue in Pregnancy-Related Deaths” (4 mins) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review key findings on pregnancy-related mortality.


Listen to this episode (19:27) of the Arch Beat podcast to hear Dr. Rachel Hardeman explore the intersection between race and birth outcomes.


Capture what you learned by writing down your thoughts and feelings about today's content.

  • What was your “aha moment” (moment of surprise or new information)?
  • Does this information change your perspective?
  • Have you ever experienced any bias in your physical health care? If so, how did you respond? 
  • How will you use what you learned today to create more equitable spaces?

Download a free journal page for today.


Additional Resources & Activities


If you would like to dig deeper into this issue, check out these additional resources. We encourage you to revisit this material when you have more time. Feel free to come back to this topic as often as you’d like!



Share your reflections on today’s topic on social media using the hashtag #IowaEquityChallenge.



Next Topic: Mental Health