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      Health Equity

      Family with bikes on sidewalk, Creating the Healthiest Nation: Housing EquityNEW REPORT

      Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health & Housing Equity (PDF) examines how structural racism and discriminatory policies led to housing and health inequality in America for low-income communities and people of color.

      To equip public health professionals with the tools to address these inequities in their communities, the report outlines numerous ways to advance equitable change in housing equity through policy and advocacy, cross-sector partnerships and community engagement and education.

      Creating health equity is a guiding priority and core value of APHA. By health equity, we mean everyone has the opportunity to attain their highest level of health.

      APHA Action Alert: Urge your members of Congress to support health equity legislation

      APHA Health Equity Briefs and Fact Sheets 

      Creating the Healthiest Nation: Water and Health EquityCreating the Healthiest Nation: Water and Health Equity (PDF) discusses the root problems to access and affordable water in the United States today. The fact sheet also highlights several types of water contamination that deeply impact the health of the consumer, the connection between water and agriculture and climate change, how water quality will affect some more than others, as well as recommendations on what can be done to improve our status.



      First page of Advancing Health Equity Fact Sheet featuring smiling children


      Creating the Healthiest Nation: Advancing Health Equity (PDF) explains why health inequities hurt public health. The fact sheet outlines key principles for advancing health equity and takes a look at the role of such social determinants of health as housing, education, income and neighborhood conditions.



      First Page of Environmental Justice Fact Sheet featuring photo of river and smiling children


      Creating the Healthiest Nation: Environmental Justice for All (PDF) defines such important terms as 'fair treatment' and 'environmental racism' and gives recommendations for advancing environmental justice. Among the key findings highlighted in the fact sheet: race is the strongest indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in the United States, and communities of color carry a much higher burden of air pollution compared to the overall population.


        First page of Health and Educational Equity Fact Sheet featuring kids throwing graduation caps in the air


      Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health and Educational Equity (PDF) gives a snapshot of which students are most at risk for not graduating from high school. The fact sheet tells us how to advance health and educational equity through such efforts as offering group therapy, giving students access to washers and dryers and making sure school staff have ongoing opportunities for culturally informed professional development.


      More about health equity

      Inequities are created when barriers prevent individuals and communities from accessing these conditions and reaching their full potential. Inequities differ from health disparities, which are differences in health status between people related to social or demographic factors such as race, gender, income or geographic region. Health disparities are one way we can measure our progress toward achieving health equity.

      How do we achieve health equity? We value all people equally. We optimize the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, learn and age. We work with other sectors to address the factors that influence health, including employment, housing, education, health care, public safety and food access.1  We name racism as a force in determining how these social determinants are distributed.

      As APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, writes in this U.S. News & World Report piece, "Health equity is a goal we can achieve, and it's within our power to do so. We have the tools and the knowledge to make health equity happen, but it's up to all of us to use them."

      From The Nation's Health

      Special Section: Addressing health equity through state, regional partnerships

      Climate change, health equity 'inextricably linked'

      Complete streets promoting health equity in communities: Supporting transportation for all users

      Health departments placing stronger emphasis on equity

      More APHA Resources

      All Health is Connected: Can Leveraging Women's Health Care Help Narrow Gaps in Black Men's Health? (APHA issue brief)

      Climate Change, Health and Equity: A Guide for Local Health Departments

      Health equity now: A state of play on public health and equity (from APHA's Public Health Newswire)

      Fumes across the fence-line (from APHA's Public Health Newswire)

      APHA's Georges Benjamin on "Closing the Gap on Health Disparities"

      Better Health Through Equity: Case Studies in Reframing Public Health Work (PDF) highlights state and local efforts from health agencies and one Tribal Nation across Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin to address the root causes of health inequities.

      Read APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin's thoughts on health equity ("It is simply impossible to talk about the roles that racism and discrimination play in the health of our communities without taking a hard look inward...")

      Partner Resources:

      Learn More:

      1 What are Health Disparities and Health Equity? We Need to Be Clear 

      COVID-19 and Equity

      magnified image of novel coronavirus

      Webinar series


      Narrowing Health Disparities

      David Williams speaking

      All Health is Connected

      smiling mother and father in doctor's office

      Health Equity and Social Justice

      john powell smiling