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Health Equity and Social Justice

NACCHO''s Health Equity and Social Justice initiatives explore why certain populations bear a disproportionate burden of disease and mortality and what health departments can do to better address the causes of these inequities. The goal of NACCHO''s Health Equity and Social Justice initiatives is to advance the capacity of local health departments (LHDs) to tackle the root causes of health inequities through public health practice and their organizational structure. NACCHO''s Health Equity and Social Justice initiatives include:

In the Spotlight
Unnatural Causes

With the support of the California Endowment NACCHO is helping local health departments screen the award-winning film Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick and discuss actions to tackle health inequity. NACCHO provides a free copy of the DVD, tools, and technical assistance to departments hosting events. More »

Roots of Health Inequity: A Web Course and Learning Collaborative
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Roots of Health Inequity considers the root causes of inequity in the distribution of illness, disease, and death. The course, based on a social justice framework, is a conceptual introduction to ground public health practitioners in concepts and strategies for taking action in everyday practice.

What can you expect? What will you be able to do on the site?

Roots of Health Inequity offers you the chance to:

  • Examine and discuss critical concepts in the field of health equity.
  • Meet, learn, and strategize with colleagues within your organization and across the country.
  • Hear from well-known practitioners and educators in the field, directly.
  • Access free syllabi, resources, and presentations for school-based courses.
  • Earn continuing education credits.
  • Be inspired.

Tackling Health Inequities through Public Health Practice: Theory to Action

Oxford University Press released Tackling Health Inequities through Public Health Practice: Theory to Action" in February 2010. Edited by NACCHO Senior Analyst Richard Hofrichter and the Director of the San Francisco Department of Health's division of Occupation and Environmental Health Rajiv Bhatia, this text raises questions and provides a starting point for health practitioners ready to reorient public health practice to address the fundamental causes of health inequities. This reorientation involves restructuring the organization, culture and daily work of public health.

Tackling Health Inequities is meant to inspire readers to imagine or envision public health practice and their role in ways that question contemporary thinking and assumptions, as emerging trends, social conditions, and policies generate increasing inequities in health.

Download the table of contents (PDF) by clicking here. More »

Featured Health Equity Tool

The Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) has taken a macro-level approach to address the organizational challenges that impact public health departments' ability to effectively address health inequities.

Organizational self assessment is an effective tool for gauging where health departments are already making headway, where there is room for improvement and how they might increase institutional capacity. While there are a wide range of organizational, self assessment tools, BARHII was unable to find one that specifically addressed the factors that had been identified during their brainstorming exercises. The committee retained an organizational development consulting group to weave together public health expertise and organizational development theory into a comprehensive Self Assessment Tool. More »