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Library (Research) Guides: Health Disparities

Research Guides are designed to assist you in specific subject topics.

undefinedThis guide provides resources, both print and on-line, to gain a greater understanding of the issues surrounding social justice in America and how it impacts health disparities.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, "health equity" is when everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. "Health Disparities" is defined as differences in health outcomes and specific causes of these differences among groups of people.The goal of Healthy People 2020 is to eliminate these disparities, achieve health equity and improve the health of all U.S. population groups. 


February is Black History Month.  This year during Black History Month, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) will partner with fellow Offices of Minority Health at HHS and healthcare professionals around the nation to focus on highlighting the impacts COVID-19 has on African Americans with underlining health issues such as uncontrolled hypertension. 

Data Portal - HD Pulse (National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities) - click on the link to access data topics by state. 

Health Disparities

As part of Healthy People 2020, Social Determinants of Health was developed to identify ways to create social and physical environments that promote good health for all.  These social determinants of health are "conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks."


Articles to read

Hofstra B, Kulkarni VV, Munoz-Najar Galvez S, He B, Jurafsky D, McFarland DA. The Diversity-Innovation Paradox in Science. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020;117(17):9284-9291. doi:10.1073/pnas.1915378117

List of Publications on Racial Diversity in Science, Medicine, and Education (2010-2020)

Hill-Briggs F, Adler NE, Berkowitz SA, Chin MH, Gary-Webb TL, Navas-Acien A, Thornton PL, Haire-Joshu D. Social Determinants of Health and Diabetes: A Scientific Review. Diabetes Care. 2020 Nov 2:dci200053. doi: 10.2337/dci20-0053. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33139407.

Erase racism

Black Lives Matter


Jee-Lyn García J, Sharif MZ. Black Lives Matter: A Commentary on Racism and Public HealthAm J Public Health. 2015;105(8):e27-e30. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302706.

The Lancet. Medicine and medical science: Black lives must matter moreLancet. 2020;395(10240):1813. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31353-2.

America: Equity and equality in health. The Lancet; 2017. US Health and Health Care.

Anti-racism resources

Anti-racism resources - this document is from UNC at Chapel Hill and lists resources including books, podcasts and articles. 

Library resources on antiracism curated by Phillipe Lazaro 


Intersectionality - Kimberle Crenshaw


Carbado, D., Crenshaw, K., Mays, V., & Tomlinson, B. (2013). INTERSECTIONALITY: Mapping the Movements of a Theory. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 10(2), 303-312. doi:10.1017/S1742058X13000349

Health Equity and Prevention Primer (HEPP tool)

The Health Equity and Prevention Primer (HEPP) from the Prevention Institute,  is a web-based training series for public health practitioners and advocates interested in achieving health, safety, and health equity through policy advocacy, community change, and multi-sector engagement.

Social Justice

Definition: " Social justice encompasses economic justice. Social justice is the virtue which guides us in creating those organized human interactions we call institutions. In turn, social institutions, when justly organized, provide us with access to what is good for the person, both individually and in our associations with others. Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to collaborate with others, at whatever level of the “Common Good” in which we participate, to design and continually perfect our institutions as tools for personal and social development." (Center for Economic and Social Justice)

Social justice depends on four essential fundamental goals: human rights, access, participation, and equity. Social justice can’t be achieved without these four principles. It also means that everyone’s human rights are respected and protected.

Here are some organizations that focus on social justice.


Cultural Humility

What is Cultural Humility? The National Institutes of Health defines it as " a process of self-reflection and discovery in order to build honest and trustworthy relationships. It offers promise for researchers to understand and eliminate health disparities, a continual and disturbing problem necessitating attention and action on many levels."  

Here are a few articles about Cultural Humility:

Prasad SJ, Nair P, Gadhvi K, Barai I, Danish HS, Philip AB. Cultural humility: treating the patient, not the illness. Med Educ Online. 2016;21:30908. Published 2016 Feb 3. doi:10.3402/meo.v21.30908

Greene-Moton E, Minkler M. Cultural Competence or Cultural Humility? Moving Beyond the Debate. Health Promot Pract. 2020;21(1):142-145. doi:10.1177/1524839919884912

Masters C, Robinson D, Faulkner S, Patterson E, McIlraith T, Ansari A. Addressing Biases in Patient Care with The 5Rs of Cultural Humility, a Clinician Coaching ToolJ Gen Intern Med. 2019;34(4):627-630. doi:10.1007/s11606-018-4814-y

Ruberton PM, Huynh HP, Miller TA, Kruse E, Chancellor J, Lyubomirsky S. The relationship between physician humility, physician-patient communication, and patient health. Patient Educ Couns. 2016;99(7):1138-1145. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.01.012

Hoffman KM, Trawalter S, Axt JR, Oliver MN. Racial bias in pain assessment and treatment recommendations, and false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Apr 19;113(16):4296-301. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1516047113. Epub 2016 Apr 4. PMID: 27044069; PMCID: PMC4843483.

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

Conscious Style Guide






A website dedicated to conscious language and to assist us in thinking critically about the use of language "to empower instead of limit."

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