Health inequities affect communities through adverse health outcomes, lost productivity, and increased health care costs. They arise from unequal distribution of social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born and live. Health outcomes, tied to behaviors and health care, also are rooted in location and social status. Cooperative Extension provides culturally appropriate programs that touch the places where individuals and families live. A history of promoting democracy through education makes Extension uniquely positioned to address health inequities and foster greater equality among groups that experience hardships as a result of differences in social, economic, and environmental determinants of health.

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