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A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights that racial and ethnic groups often experience negative health impacts due to unmet social and economic needs. Dr. Karen Hacker, who leads the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, emphasized the importance of recognizing the external challenges that people face, especially those in low-income communities and individuals of diverse racial backgrounds. The study surveyed adults nationwide to identify five specific needs, such as social connections and food security.

Health officials believe that gaining a better understanding of how these needs affect health can lead to policy solutions and improvements in care. In addition to the national report, a random survey conducted in 42 states, including Arizona, will provide more state-specific data at the individual level. Hacker stressed the need for collaboration between communities and policymakers to address these health disparities effectively.

ASU professor Zach Cordell emphasized the importance of having diverse perspectives involved in discussions around healthcare solutions. Cordell believes that a fresh perspective is crucial for healthcare professionals to better understand and serve their communities. He hopes that taking a holistic approach to care will lead to actionable steps to remove barriers to improved health outcomes as outlined in the study.

The study’s findings highlight the disproportionate burden placed on racial and ethnic minorities when it comes to chronic diseases across the country. Disparities in chronic diseases underscored the need for policy changes that prioritize addressing social determinants of health.

Cordell believes that diversity is key in healthcare solutions discussions as it helps break down cultural barriers and ensures that everyone has an equal voice.

Hacker agrees with Cordell’s perspective stating that there is a need for collaboration between communities and policymakers to address these health disparities effectively.

In conclusion, addressing unmet social and economic needs can lead to improvements in healthcare outcomes for racial and ethnic groups. Policymakers must prioritize this issue by working collaboratively with communities to create policies that are inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.

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