Plenary Panel: Toward a Culture of Health: Embedding Equity and Health into Government Processes


To truly achieve a “culture of health,” we need government, with the support of communities, to embed the goals of equity and health into the fabric of planning and decision making. Health in All Policies and HIA both support the same long-term social justice goals of ensuring that government decision making is accountable to community health and equity needs. HIA uses defined methodologies to provide evidence based information on health and equity impacts to policy makers to inform single decision points. In contrast, Health in All Policies focuses on the relational or cultural aspects of collaboration, creates structures to ensure ongoing prioritization of health and equity, and promotes the adoption of visionary health and equity goals across all of government.

This panel will provide examples of how HIA and Health in All Policies have been used in concert, including how the relational aspects of Health in All Policies have added value to HIAs by ensuring buy-in from leadership and supporting implementation of HIA recommendations. The panel will also include discussion of non-HIA approaches that have been used by Health in All Policies initiatives to embed equity and health into government processes. Panelists will describe work related to land use planning, transportation, recidivism, and housing. Both HIA and Health in All Policies are context-specific and vary significantly depending upon policy environment and community priorities, as will be illustrated by the diverse experiences shared on this panel.


Julia Caplan, Program Director, Public Health Institute, California Health in All Policies Task Force


Julia Caplan, Program Director, Public Health Institute, California Health in All Policies Task Force

Eileen Gunn, Manager, Sustainable Transportation, Office of Transportation Planning, Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Pat Leahan, Project Coordinator, Las Vegas (New Mexico) Peace and Justice Center 

Renee Autumn Ray, Mobility Manager, Atlanta Regional Commission

Linda Wheaton, Assistant Director, Intergovernmental Affairs, State of California Department of Housing and Community Development

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Tami Holzman

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