Health Equity Report Card: St. Clair County

Definition of Terms

Using everyday words is one way that we can help create a healthier, more informed community. Listed below are terms that you will see in the Report Card. You may have also heard them used in the media or other places. To keep our community well informed, we include two definitions for each term: one in everyday language and one from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or another credible organization. The ‘formal’ definition is in quotes.



Able to get.

“Access to health care is the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best possible health outcomes.”

Healthy People 2030, US Department of Health and Human Services.

Buprenorphine prescription unit

A medication used to treat serious pain or opioid use disorder. A prescription unit refers to the dosage, or how much you take at a time.

“Buprenorphine is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).”

Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration.

Chronic disease, illness, or condition

A serious health problem that goes on for a long time.

“Conditions that last one year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Facts, information, numbers.

“Information, especially facts or numbers, collected to be examined and considered and used to help decision-making.”

Cambridge Online Dictionary.

Health disparities

Differences in health among groups of people.

“Preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by populations that have been disadvantaged by their social or economic status, geographic location, and environment.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health equity

Ensuring that everyone has the same chance to be as healthy as everyone else.

“The state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

High-housing-cost burden

Expensive housing.

“Housing costs account for 30% or more of a household’s income.”

Michigan League for Public Policy.


Having a disease or medical problem.

“Refers to having a disease or a symptom of disease, or to the amount of disease within a population. Also refers to medical problems caused by a treatment.”

National Cancer Institute.


Death or number of deaths.

“The state of being mortal (destined to die). In medicine, a term also used for death rate, or the number of deaths in a certain group of people in a certain period of time.”

National Institutes of Health.

Opioid prescription unit

Medication prescribed by a healthcare provider to relieve pain. A prescription unit refers to the dosage, or how much you take at a time.

“Prescription opioids can be used to treat moderate-to-severe pain and are often prescribed following surgery or injury, or for health conditions such as cancer.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overdose death

A death caused by taking too much of a drug or combining drugs that are more dangerous when taken together.

“Overdose death ‘happens when a toxic amount of a drug, or combination of drugs overwhelms the body,’ resulting in death.”

National Harm Reduction Coalition.

Social determinants of health (SDOH)

Non-medical factors that influence health outcomes.

“[SDOH] are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Substance use disorder (SUD)

A pattern of drug and/or alcohol use that leads to significant problems or distress.

“A treatable mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to their inability to control their use of substances like legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications.”

National Institute of Mental Health.

Michigan substance use vulnerability index score (MI-SUVI)

How likely it is for a community to have drug problems.

“The MI-SUVI score consists of 8 data indicators grouped into 3 components (Substance Use Burden, Substance Use Resources, Social Vulnerability) that make up the total score.” (Substance Use Burden: negative outcomes associated with SUD that place a burden on individuals and community resources such as the healthcare and justice systems. Substance Use Resources: resources available to the community that can be used to address the negative outcomes associated with SUD. Social vulnerability: a measure of community level characteristics known to be important drivers of health (i.e., social determinants of health)).”

State of Michigan.