Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, aka Dr. BCW. Today, let’s delve into a topic often underestimated in its impact on our well-being: voting. Some of you are thinking, “Voting impacts health?” According to the CDC as much as 80% of our health is shaped by “social determinants of health”? These are often directly impacted by local and federal laws, health policies, minimum wages, and environmental protections that directly impact health outcomes. This is why voter registration is so important.
Your Vote, Your Health: Unveiling the Impact
Voting isn’t merely about selecting representatives. It is also about endorsing policies that greatly influence our collective and individual well-being. It’s about standing up for a healthier, more equitable environment that benefits everyone. Your vote can impact the health of your community through influence on social programs, environmental issues, and health regulations. Do not underestimate the power these factors have on your health and the health of your community. Also, The American Medical Association underscores the profound link between voting and health, recognizing that “voting is a social determinant of health and significantly contributes to the analyses of other social determinants of health.”
Barriers and Disparities
Sadly, certain communities face barriers to voting. For instance, communities of color, young people, rural residents, and disabled Americans often encounter obstacles that hamper their access to the voting process. Of course, these very same groups are often disproportionately affected by health disparities. To help improve health equity, we need to enable those facing barriers to use their vote to express their wishes.
The Power of Change
One group working to help underrepresented individuals vote is Vot-ER (https://vot-er.org). Vote-ER is a nonprofit on a mission for nonpartisan civic engagement within healthcare settings. Founded by Dr. Alister Martin, an emergency room physician. Vot-ER empowers healthcare professionals, clinical students, and medical institutions to champion voter registration and civic participation among patients and local communities. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which empowered the DMV, also grants hospitals the authority to conduct nonpartisan voter registration. Like voter registration at the DMV, healthcare settings possess a unique platform to promote civic engagement. By donning a simple badge, healthcare providers signify their readiness to assist patients with voter registration right in the hospital or clinic.
Above all, incorporating nonpartisan voter registration and education into healthcare settings enables patients to participate actively in their civic responsibilities, ultimately influencing health-oriented policies. Voter readiness isn’t a sporadic effort tied to high-profile elections; it’s an ongoing commitment. If you’re a medical provider, social worker, or student in the health field, I invite you to join me in this movement. Obtain your free badge at https://vot-er.org/badge.
Whether you’re a healthcare professional or a patient, your voice matters. Take a moment now to register to vote or verify your voter registration status by visiting: https://drbcw.com/vote
In conclusion, we can forge healthier communities through a more vibrant democracy. Let’s channel the power of voting to shape a better future for ourselves and future generations. Above all, let’s make a lasting impact on our health and our future through voting.
Stay informed and prioritize your health!
– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)
Check out Dr. Curry-Winchell’s Beyond Clinical Walls video on this subject: