A core aim for improving health care is to provide equitable care or “care that does not
vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic
location, and socioeconomic status.” We believe that an essential ingredient in the
effort to increase health equity and reduce health disparities is eliminating health literacy
barriers. The challenge of aligning health care system demands and complexities with individual
skills and abilities across the spectrum of public health and clinical delivery will be difficult, but
critical in the effort to achieve health equity.
In this paper, we intend to demonstrate that the concepts of health literacy, health equity,
and health disparities are connected, both in practice and in research.