Although every jurisdiction’s health equity pool may be different, there are common approaches that different health departments have used to dive in. Prior to developing this website, Human Impact Partners conducted an environmental scan of health equity resources and found a set of common themes for how to advance health equity. We used these themes as a basis for the inside/outside approach articulated through the website (check out the materials we used to develop these themes).

We are grateful to our everyone who made this new resource possible.

Criteria for Case Study Inclusion

We identified the case studies on this website through outreach via our project advisors and related networks. To be included on the website, the case study had to meet the following inclusion criteria:

  1. Health department played a lead or central role in the effort.
  2. Although the health departments didn’t have to frame their work using specific language, the work had to address health equity, racism, oppression, privilege, etc. in some concrete way.
  3. The example was concrete and had positive impacts that could be noted or observed.
  4. Documentation about the work was available.

Our final case study selection was also informed by a desire for wide geographic representation and work at different scales. We developed the case studies by conducting a 45 to 90 minute interviews with key health department staff as well as through document review. The health department interviewee and the HIP team reviewed case studies. We intend to document additional case studies over time, and to provide new resources as they become available.

Political Context and Language Choices

We understand that health departments operate in a political and local context, and that context often determines the health equity framing and language that best resonates with staff and partners. We understand that some health departments intentionally don’t lead with words like power, racism, inequity — even though their work may actually be addressing these issues.

We intentionally aimed to present health department examples from diverse contexts, including red (Republican), blue (Democrat), and purple (combination of Republican/Democrat) cities, counties, and states. We use the language that the interviewees used in describing their work, and when offered, provided their specific advice for others working in a similar political context.

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