Collaborative Glossary


Age- Adjusted Rates 
  • "Statistical process applied to rates of disease, death, injuries, or other health outcomes which allows communities with different age structures to be compared."  Source 


Built Environment
  • "Includes all of the physical parts where we live and work (e.g. homes, buildings, streets, open spaces and infrastructures)." Source


Census Tracts
  • Small, relatively permanent areas within each county or similar area (i.e., independent city). Each census tract has a population between 1,200 and 8,000 people. The size of census tracts are dependent on the area's population density. In simpler terms, a census tract  is the Census Bureau's version of a neighborhood. Source 
Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Disorders where blood flow from the brain is disrupted. These disorders include strokes, aneurysms, clots, embolisms, and the narrowing or rupturing of blood vessels. Source
  • "A group of people who share some or all of the following: social demographics, geographic boundaries, sense of membership, culture, language, common norms and interests." Source
Community Capacity
  • "The formal or informal interaction of human, organizational, and social capital existing within a given community that can be leveraged to solve collective problems and improve or maintain the well-being of a given community. " Source


  • "The collective mixture of differences and similarities that includes individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, and behaviors. It encompasses our personal and professional histories that frame how we see the world, collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders and serve communities." Source 


Environmental Change
  • A change in the economic, social or built environment. Source
  • "Equal treatment  that may or may not result in equitable outcomes." Source
  • "Providing all people with fair opportunities to attain their full potential to the extent possible." Source
 Equity Lens
  • "The lens through which you view conditions and circumstances to understand who receives the benefits and who bears the burdens of any given program, policy or practice".  Source
  • A shared common identity based on "ancestry, language, or culture. It is often based on region, beliefs, and customs and well as memories or migration or colonization."  Ethnicity is separate from race.  Source


Food Deserts
  • Areas with little or no access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods.  "This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets and healthy food providers." Source 
Food Insecurity
  • "A lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life." "in 2017, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans where food insecure, equating to 40 million Americans, including more than 12 million children." Source


GINI Index of Income Inequality
  • The Gini Index measures income inequality on a scale from 0 to 1. The closer to 1 the number is the larger the differences in income levels.  Source


  • "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Source
Health Disparity
  • "A particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/ or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on the racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination and exclusion." Source
Health Equity
  • Providing everyone with the fair opportunity to attain the highest level of health. Source
Health Inequities
  • Avoidable differences in health between group of people living in the same community. Health inequities arise from differences within and between social groups.  Source
Health Outcomes
  • "Changes in health that result from measures or specific health care investments or interventions." Source
Healthy Life Expectancy
  • The average number of years one, on average, can expect to live in full health in his or her community. Source: Virginia Department of Health
Housing Cost Burden
  • Paying more than 30% of ones income on housing. This can lead to difficulties in paying for food, clothing, transportation and medical care. Source 


  • "Active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity, including intentional policies and practices that promote full participation and sense of belonging of every employee, customer, client." Source
  • "A difference or disparity between people or groups that is systematic, avoidable and unjust." Source
  • "The interaction between gender, race, and other categories of differences in individual lives, social practices, institutional arrangements, and culture ideologies and the outcomes of these interactions in terms of power." Source


Life Expectancy
  • "Is a measure of the overall health of the population. It represents the average number of years of live that could be expected if current death rates were to remain constant." Source


  • "The systematic targeting or marginalization of one group by a more powerful group for the social, economic, and political benefit of the more powerful group." Source


Perspective Transformation
  • "Changing the way we think about, talk about, and interact with our community." Source
  • "A law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions." Source
  • "Access to resources and to decision-makers as well as the ability to influence others and to define reality for yourself and potentially for others." Source 
  • "A judgment or opinion, usually but not always negative, formed on insufficient grounds before facts are known or in disregard of facts that contradict it. Prejudices are learned and can be unlearned." Source 
  • "When one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they have done or failed to do. Dominant group members may be unaware of their privilege or take it for granted." Source
  • "A specific set or activities combined according to precise guidance in order to achieve a specific purpose." Source


  • "Socially constructed way of grouping people, based on skin color and other apparent physical differences, which has no genetic of scientific basis. This social construct was create and used to justify social and economic oppression of people of color by whites. An important thing to note is that while race is a social construct with no genetic or scientific basis, it has real social meaning." Source


Social Advantage and Disadvantage
  • Personal circumstances and interactions based on social and cultural norms; social mobility/immobility; social inclusion/exclusion; implicit bias; and personal affinity that lead to positive of negative life experiences for an individual or group." Source
Social Determinants of Health
  • "Conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality - of- life outcomes and risks." Source