Health disparities are preventable differences in burden of disease, injury, violence, or the opportunity to achieve optimal health1 and adversely affect populations that have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial and ethnic background, socioeconomic status, age, geographic location, language, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.2 While the causes of health disparities are complex, it is possible to make meaningful strides toward achieving health equity.
More than one-third of US adults have limited health literacy skills, which impacts their ability to find and access care, and understand and act on health information.3 Many communities also face significant barriers in accessing and utilizing care.4 Both of these circumstances disproportionately affect members of marginalized populations and often lead to poorer health outcomes compared to other groups.4,5
To help address health disparities impacting people managing a range of conditions*, the STEP ProgramTM will recognize and fund up to five proposals that demonstrate innovation in the following areas:
Improving health literacy and patient education
Increasing access to health services
Please note the review committee is in the process of identifying funding recipients of the STEP ProgramTM focused on addressing health disparities. Applicants will be notified of the review committee’s decision on or before January 2022.
Please refer to the following information to help you prepare your submission materials.