PROJECTDr. Camara Jones Explains the Cliff of Good Health

Dr. Camara Jones Explains the Cliff of Good Health

Everyone should have the opportunity to achieve good health. But, as Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones explains through her cliff analogy, that’s often not the case.

We can reduce health disparities and better connect people to high-quality medical care, but to really make a difference, we need to address the social determinants of health and equity that protect some people and push others off the cliff.

The Urban Institute collaborated with Jones to illustrate her analogy of the cliff of good health.


Phyliis JonesCamara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, is a senior fellow at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the Cardiovascular Research Institute in the Morehouse School of Medicine, and she is a past president of the American Public Health Association (2015–16).

Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on health and well-being. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism), alongside universal access to high-quality health care. Jones’s allegories on race and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss, and she aims to catalyze a national campaign against racism.

Further Reading


Laudan Aron, Lisa Dubay, Elaine Waxman, Jillian West, Charmaine Runes, Justin Morgan, and Kilolo Kijakazi

Research Areas Health and health care Economic mobility and inequality
Tags Social determinants of health