Document Type

Honors Paper


Loren Marulis

Publication Date



There are many underserved populations in America who struggle for various reasons including systemic and structural barriers as well as familial and individual factors (Gonzalez et. al., 2018). Our most vulnerable populations in America are likely to experience lower access to quality education and healthcare (Gonzalez et. al., 2018). Barriers to healthcare access include: financial, physical, educational, and psychological (Diderichsen, 2010). In this paper, I focus on where health disparities are present in the U.S. and who makes up our most vulnerable populations facing these inequities to access. I focus on the American healthcare system and what programs are in place to help low socioeconomic children and families. Next, I examine American educational systems which, in tandem with healthcare opportunities, may help to reduce access disparities. This includes intervention programs and strategies which I explore in depth. These programs have been significant in helping low-income children. Specifically, they have been proven to increase vocabulary development, which is significant in reducing the opportunity gap. I conclude this paper by stressing the importance of equitable access to education and healthcare. These issues are complex and involve several factors to address the problem and implement change. The five dimensions of access model (Levesque et al., 2013) is helpful in providing solutions to healthcare and can potentially be applied to educational contexts. Thus, it is important to understand the many factors involved in addressing inequalities Americans face in education and healthcare.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.