A demographic profile of Connecticut reflects striking health inequities.
On average, Connecticut residents have some of the highest per capita income, education levels, and health insurance coverage in the nation. In stark contrast to these indicators of wealth and progress, poor health outcomes have consistently been found among black/African-American, Latino and other racial-ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, the urban and rural poor, and other socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
Despite many efforts to address the problem of health inequities throughout the state, poor health outcomes among many remain an on-going public health challenge. Health disparities are the result of biogenetic predispositions to certain health conditions, socioeconomic factors affecting health and access to health care, and unequal care due to issues of cultural competency or bias.
The creation of the Health Disparities Institute (HDI) is rooted in the Bioscience Connecticut Legislation that was championed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy and approved by the General Assembly in 2011. The HDI is a programmatic component of Bioscience Connecticut; focused on community engagement and public health rather than construction or infrastructure improvements. It is tied with one of the project’s guiding goals: meeting the health care needs of Connecticut’s future.
The HDI is sponsored by the University of Connecticut, bolstered by a network of community partnerships, and focused on enhancing research and the delivery of care to minority and underserved populations.