Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)


Kinesiology & Health Sciences


Monica Griffin

Committee Members

Thomas Linneman

Ashleigh Queen


The year of 2020 will famously be known by most as the year “the world stopped working.” Unfortunately, the world had not been functioning sufficiently prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing 2019 as a pre-pandemic baseline, the not so evident discrepancies in healthcare systems were illuminated during the pandemic, not only between countries but also between states, cities, and even counties. My research, being inductive, aims to dissect the pathways that allow health inequities to exist alongside providing realistic solutions that could be implemented through health policy. To accomplish my research goal, I conducted a case study that compares the most and least vulnerable county in Virginia alongside utilizing GIS methodology to aid in visually showing the discrepancies in health across the state. With utilization of the Social Vulnerability Index, which will be discussed in more detail later in this paper, I was able to narrow the predominant social determinants that impact health which can be seen broadly in the categories of socio-economic class, racial minority status, household composition, and accessibility to transportation. In addition, I plan to assert why health inequities matter and how they are results of structural neglects in our societal system.