New Health Equity Resources for Community Health Assessments

Health inequities exist when differences in the distribution of disease and mortality are systematic, patterned, unjust, unnecessary, and actionable.[1] Achieving health equity involves identifying, preventing, and reversing the effects of patterned decisions, policies, investments, rules, and laws that have caused social and economic inequities that affect people’s abilities to live healthy lives.[2]

Increasingly, communities are developing a growing awareness of health inequities that exist in their populations. As these communities seek to address health inequities and their root causes, local health departments (LHDs) are a critical convening point for partners seeking to engage community members and develop strategies to tackle health inequities.

NACCHO is developing resources to support their efforts. Recent releases include the following:

  • NACCHO University eLearning series on Health Equity and Social Justice. NACCHO’s online learning platform offers many courses to help LHD staff develop knowledge and competencies. Three modules, “What Is Health Equity?”, “Health Equity, Data Collection, and Analysis”, and “Using MAPP to Achieve Health Equity” define health equity and describe how to apply a social justice perspective in your public health practice.
  • MAPP User’s Handbook Health Equity supplement. Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) is a community-driven strategic planning tool for improving community health. NACCHO recently released guidance for communities implementing MAPP who seek to frame their community health improvement process around health equity and social justice. This guidance is now included in the MAPP User’s Handbook PDF in the NACCHO Bookstore, in addition to being available separately.

Are you or your LHD using one of these resources to help confront health inequity in your community? Share your story in the comments.


[1] Whitehead, M. M. (1992). The concepts and principles of equity and health. International Journal of Health Services, 22, 3: 429-445.

[2] NACCHO. (2014). MAPP User’s Handbook. Washington, DC: NACCHO.

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