Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

Tackling Health Inequities Through Public Health Practice


Monday - Mar 22, 2010

Tackling Health Inequities Through Public Health Practice:
A Handbook for Action

You can download the handbook here.

This is a clip of the preface.

Health practitioners in local health departments (LHDs) face many dilemmas and struggles in seeking to protect and improve the public's health. As the front line of the public health response in local communities, they often must cope with immediate crises and chronic issues with limited resources, restrictive statutory mandates, categorical funding, and political pressures from state and local officials. Addressing the root causes of inequities in the distribution of disease and illness might seem like a luxury. But it is not. Persistent, severe health inequities are increasing significantly, with serious implications for the nation's well-being. While Hurricane Katrina made these health inequities and their underlying injustices salient to a wide population, the day-to-day consequences are a major threat to public health. They must be challenged. The good news is that success will mean fewer resources need to be spent on coping with the consequences. With leadership, strategic alliances, commitment, and public support, LHDs can meet the challenge. At the same time, addressing health inequities will demand a supportive environment for and collaboration with staff as well as community-based organizations.