Health equity ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to prosper and achieve full health. Promoting just and equitable health outcomes require social, cultural and physical environments that prevent illness and injury in the first place, and a commitment to promoting racial and social justice. These profiles demonstrate how strong leadership, community engagement and advocacy, innovative thinking and changes in local policies and institutional practices can successfully converge to shape healthier, more equitable community environments. Learn more about how health equity connects to our focus areas:
Changing the underlying conditions that contribute to violence
Violence is among the most serious health threats in the nation today, jeopardizing the health and safety of the public. In particular, low-income and people of color are disproportionately impacted by high rates of community and street violence, and this disparity contributes heavily to safety and health inequities overall. Changing the underlying conditions that contribute to violence-in homes, schools, and neighborhoods-prevents it from occurring in the first place. Learn more about Prevention Institute's approach to preventing violence.
Reducing injury through local policy and community-based advocacy
Prevention Institute places equity at the center of its approach to injury prevention by prioritizing training, strategy development, and implementation in the most vulnerable communities. Communities are exploring the link among violence, healthy eating, and activity, and have taken action toward reducing inequities in health and safety. Through these initiatives, local communities have helped to promote safe routes to school and work; have revitalized paths to commercial districts; and helped to shape community norms that promote active transportation through walking, bicycling, and related means. Learn more about Prevention Institute's approach to reducing injury.
Addressing the links between violence, healthy eating, and activity
Violence not only directly contributes to poor health outcomes, it also threatens the effectiveness of chronic disease prevention strategies-designing neighborhoods that encourage walking and bicycling and providing access to healthy and affordable food retail outlets and grocery stores. While violence exists in most communities, its link to healthy eating and active living is more prominent in historically underserved low income and communities of color. Communities are exploring the link among violence, healthy eating, and activity, and have taken action toward reducing inequities in health and safety. Learn more about Prevention Institute's approach to connecting safety and chronic disease prevention efforts.
Creating easy access to parks, spaces to play, and healthy, affordable foods
People are healthier when they have easy access to parks, spaces to play, and healthy, affordable foods right in their own communities. But not all communities are designed to support health and this inequality results in preventable health inequities. The good news is that across the country, many communities have begun to reverse this inequity by increasing access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Communities have changed policies and environments to prevent poor health outcomes and promote equity, sustainability, and safety. Learn more about Prevention Institute's approach to supporting healthy food and activity environments.
Improving land use, zoning, and community design to enhance health and safety
Place affects health, and not all places have equal access to environments that support healthy outcomes. Decisions about land use, zoning, and community design have implications for neighborhood access to healthy foods, and the level of safety and attractiveness of neighborhoods for activities such as walking and biking. The built environment includes the planned use, layout, and design of a community's physical structures including its housing, businesses, transportation systems, and recreational resources. By improving their built environment, many communities have enhanced the health, wellbeing and safety of their residents. Learn more about Prevention Institute's approach to improving environments for health.
Sustaining food systems that promote human health, in the first place
The ability to provide everyone in the United States with access to healthy foods has major implications to prevent chronic disease. At the same time, concerns about our current food system have led to increasing interest in sustainable food systems that promote human health, protect the environment, and provide a livable income and fair working conditions for growers and laborers. Communities are taking action to ensure that residents have access to fresh, local, healthy foods. Learn more about Prevention Institute's approach to sustainable food systems.