Building the Capacity to Advance Public Health Equity

Health equity is the attainment of the highest level of health and well-being for all people. It requires efforts to ensure all people have full and equal access to opportunities that enable them to lead healthy lives. Conversely, health inequities are avoidable, unfair, and unjust differences in health that are affected by social, economic, and environmental conditions.
In collaboration with colleagues from the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, researchers at MAC represent the New Orleans team for the National Collaborative for Health Equity’s Building the Capacity to Advance Health Equity (BCPHAE) initiative. A W.K. Kellogg Foundation sponsored project, BCPHAE aims to identify opportunities and strategies that health departments can employ to advance racial, social, and health equity. We conducted a series of key informant interviews with local public health officials and their community partners and reviewed documentation of existing programs within and external to the New Orleans Health Department. Our goal is the identification of barriers, needs, and opportunities facing the Health Department in their work towards becoming a catalyst for health equity. Findings and recommendations emergent from this work will be disseminated locally and incorporated into a larger national report by the National Collaborative for Health Equity.