For years, the data on health inequity in America has been startling — and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made those disparities more evident, with Black, Indigenous and Latino citizens dying at 2.5 to 3.7 times the rate of white citizens. And while it can sometimes seem that medical issues exist in a vacuum, they don’t — there are complex educational, economic, environmental and social determinants of health that must be addressed in order to enhance the quality of life for underserved populations across Texas.
That’s where UNT’s new Center for Racial and Ethnic Equity in Health and Society comes in. Through their research, more than 40 UNT faculty members are addressing inequities in how people in Texas live, work, learn and interact socially — factors that the Centers for Disease Control cite as contributions to overall health considerations and outcomes.
Chandra Carey, associate dean in UNT's College of Health and Public Service and associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services, initiated the center, along with Tony Carey, associate chair and associate professor in the Department of Political Science. In Episode 27 of UNT Pod, the Careys discuss the center’s interdisciplinary approach to exploring the issue of racial and ethnic equity in health and society — and how they see that approach expanding in the months and years ahead.