The phrase honor health is used to describe the health of a city’s people and communities.
In America, the phrase honors health means that the health system has improved, that the community has improved and that the economy is moving in the right direction.
But in a country where poverty and violence are widespread, honor health can mean a city has fallen behind, its schools are struggling, its hospitals are in need of repairs and its infrastructure has been neglected.
“We have no choice but to do better,” says Ali Fadel, a sociologist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
“I don’t think that we have the right to take pride in our status.
It’s not fair.
I think that it’s really a form of privilege to be the richest country in the world, and we should take pride when we’re doing that.”
In the past, honor has also meant a city was doing well financially.
In the 1950s and 1960s, honor was often a sign of success for cities, says Fadel.
Now, honor can mean that a city is doing better financially.
A report from the Center for American Progress found that, in 2020, cities ranked first in terms of per capita wealth, second in terms for median income, third in terms per capita healthcare expenditures and fifth in terms in terms on the quality of healthcare in each city.
Fadel says this means that people’s perception of honor health in America has been impacted by changes in economic, social and political realities.
The report also found that while honor health has remained relatively stable in recent decades, it is changing, particularly for African Americans and Latinos.
“When you have a high poverty rate and a low healthcare coverage, the community is going to feel very frustrated,” says Fader.
“People are not going to take this seriously, they’re not going have a sense of honor.”
Fader says she thinks the rise of health care and social media is one of the main reasons the term honor health became so stigmatised in the United States.
“It’s a way to be perceived as a lazy and uneducated person or to be treated as less educated and less capable,” she says.
Fader is a co-author of the report and also an adjunct scholar at Brookings.
Fadem also says that it is important to remember that honor is a broad term, encompassing a broad range of things that have been celebrated.
She points to the American flag as an example of a symbol that has been widely celebrated in the past century, and that many people would associate that flag with white supremacy.
“So what’s happening is that the very things that are considered honor are becoming less important,” says Feadem.
“The flag itself has become less important, and the other symbols of the country are increasingly less important.”
The report, entitled “Honor Health in America: The Impact of Urban Poverty on Healthcare Access and Economic Development”, is available at the Center on Poverty at Brookings, which is located at the Washington University School of Law.