October | 2020


Social inclusion/ Social Exclusion – These terms refer to the dynamic and multi-dimensional processes driven by unequal power relationships across socio-economic, political, and cultural dimensions. In other words, they refer to who has access to resources and information and who does not. Unequal access to resources and human rights leads to health inequities.

According to the World Health Organization, unequal access:results in a continuum of inclusion/exclusion characterized by unequal access to resources, capabilities and rights, which leads to health inequities. In this definition, “resources” refers to the “means” that can be used to meet human needs and “capabilities” to the relative power people have to use the resources available to them.” And further, “Social exclusion influences health directly through its manifestations in the health system and indirectly by affecting economic and other social inequalities that influence health. These inequalities contribute to social exclusion processes, creating a vicious circle.” [1]


(LOB= Legislative Office Building)

The Connecticut General Assembly has been quiet as legislators focus on their campaigns. We expect to see more opportunities to discuss issues after the election and closer to the start of the 2021 legislative session in January.


On October 9, Governor Ned Lamont announced a COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group to guide Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The group is co-chaired by Acting Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Deidre Gifford and CEO of Trinity Health of New England Dr. Reggie Eadie. The group includes several sub-groups; see the full list of members. The group will work from an initial vaccine distribution plan submitted by CT to the CDC on October 16.

Census self-response data collection ended abruptly on October 15 rather than continuing through October 31 as planned. This will result in irreversible damage to achieving a fair and accurate count and increases the likelihood that people of color were undercounted. Follow HES on social media for up-to-date information about the census and what we are doing to make sure health equity is a priority in Connecticut.


  • HES completed our 2020 Listening Sessions. Results and our legislative agenda will be online soon!
  • With the election fast approaching, will you pledge to vote for health equity?



This month, the HES team read the first half of Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers, a book exploring why we are often challenged when communicating with people we do not know or who are different from us.  

At Health Equity Solutions we are constantly “talking to strangers” as we cannot assume someone's knowledge, intention, or communication style and often do not initially know where people are on their journey to equity. Our work is also underpinned by the act of translation. In a literal sense, this includes ensuring that information is being disseminated and accessible in multiple languages, as in the case of our Community Assessment Survey, which was made available in Spanish and Haitian-Creole as well as English. As advocates, we are also responsible for translating complex policies into accessible bites of information tailored for various audiences.  Cultural humility is an essential component of communication as we start from points of similarity while acknowledging differences, sharing stories, and engaging in dialogue with the ultimate goal of mobilizing collective action for equity.  When engaging communities directly impacted by policies, we strive to share information that is relevant to each community’s needs and situation. In this way, we can come together to create change that ensures that every Connecticut resident is able to attain optimal health. 


[1] ]Popay, J., Escorel, S., Hernandez, M., H. J., Mathieson, J., & Rispel, L. (n.d.). Understanding and Tackling Social Exclusion Final Report to the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health From the Social Exclusion Knowledge Network. Retrieved 2020, from https://www.who.int/social_determinants/knowledge_networks/final_reports/sekn_final%20report_042008.pdf?ua=1

Health Equity Solutions
175 Main Street 3rd Floor | Hartford, Connecticut 06106
860.461.7637 | info@hesct.org

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