Prevention Institute is grateful to have worked with the National Association of City and County Health Officials' Health Equity and Social Justice Strategic Direction Team as well as a select group of experts working both locally and nationally to advance health equity and social justice. Advisors provided insight about the opportunities and challenges public health professionals face and about the tools and skills necessary to engage in policy advocacy to promote health equity. Prevention Institute is solely responsible for the final content of the Primer.
Judy Ashley-McLaughlin, MS
District Director, Vermont Department of Health
The Vermont Department of Health provides essential health promotion and disease prevention services by working in partnership with local health care providers, voluntary agencies, schools, businesses and community organizations to improve health and extend statewide initiatives in local communities throughout the state. "Health equity is important to me because all people should be able to enjoy a healthy and productive life."
Jim Bloyd, MPH
Regional Health Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health
Cook County Department of Public Health improves the quality of life for suburban Cook County residents through the prevention of illness, early disease detection and the promotion of personal and community health. "Health equity is important because it involves fundamental values of fairness and social justice, and represents a commitment to address life-threatening conditions that exist in neighborhoods across the country."
Barbara Ferrer, Ph.D, MPH, M.Ed
Executive Director, Boston Public Health Commission
The Boston Public Health Commission is an independent public agency comprising a variety of preventive and clinical health services. As the country's oldest health department, the Boston Public Health Commission has prioritized the elimination of health inequities and under the leadership of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, developed a blueprint outlining a comprehensive, multi-level strategy for eliminating racial and ethnic health inequities in Boston.
Richard Hofrichter, PhD
Senior Analyst, Health Equity, National Association of County & City Health Officials
NACCHO is the national organization representing local health departments. NACCHO supports efforts that protect and improve the health of all people and all communities by promoting national policy, developing resources and programs, seeking health equity, and supporting effective local public health practice and systems. "Health equity is important because social justice is the foundation of public health, and it is unjust and unacceptable that African-Americans have 2.5 times the infant mortality rates as whites, and that people with low-income have 8 times the chance of dying of coronary disease in a nation with such great wealth."
Noble Maseru, PhD, MPH
Cincinnati Health Department
The Cincinnati Health Department's mission is to assist in achieving and sustaining resident's highest level of health and to assure the provision of public health services that promote, social well-being, prevent injury and disease in people and communities throughout the City of Cincinnati.
"Health equity is important because it fosters conditions that sustain life and promotes health and development for all."
Gretchen Musicant, RN, MPH
Commissioner, Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support
Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support promotes health equity in Minneapolis and meets the unique needs of the urban population by providing leadership and fostering partnerships.
Health equity is important because, as a concept, it incorporates both social justice and public health and requires that we engage communities—it helps us recapture the foundational elements of public health work.
Bob Prentice, PhD
Director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII)
The Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) is a collaboration of eleven local health departments in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond that came together to confront health inequities. Its mission is to transform public health practice for the purpose of eliminating health inequities using a broad spectrum of approaches that create healthy communities.
"Health equity is important because the distribution of preventable illness and premature death is not random, but rather reflects underlying social inequalities—a commitment to health equity requires a reinstatement of social justice into the mission and practice of public health."
Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH
Deputy Director, Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES
Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services promotes healthy and safe communities, prevents illness and injury, and protects the residents of Harris County. "Health equity is important because it allows all of us to realize that optimal health is a desirable goal not just for some of us but for all of us."
Sandra Witt, DrPH
Deputy Director Planning, Policy and Health Equity, Alameda County Department of Public Health
Alameda County Public Health Department has worked in partnership with communites for over 50 years to improve the health and safety of Alameda County's residents and the neighborhoods in which they live. "Health equity is important because ...everyone should have the same opportunities to live healthy, productive and fulfilling lives no matter how much money they make, where they live or the color of their skin "
The organization drew heavily on information from our advisors as well as content from key informant interviews, current literature and existing toolkits, databases and case examples relevant to health, safety and equity to structure the primer. Our intent was to provide practitioners in the fields of primary prevention and health equity with frameworks and tools to increase skills and knowledge of policy and environmental approaches to achieve health equity. Our goal was to contribute to the groundswell of national efforts aimed at building safer, healthier and more equitable communities.
Support for the Health Equity and Prevention Primer was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation® in Princeton, New Jersey. Prevention Institute would like to thank The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their support and continuing efforts to bring about health equity through research, philanthropy and practice.
We would also like to thank our advisory board, key informant interviewees, and practitioners who provided invaluable feedback on the Health Equity and Prevention Primer throughout its development.