Promising Practices and Policies That Could Advance Health Equity

Local, state, Tribal, and national partners explore collaborative solutions to complex problems

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how many communities have struggled to advance health equity—the guiding principle that disparities in health outcomes caused by factors such as race, income, or geography should be addressed and prevented. Access to basic resources that contribute to a person’s health—such as fresh foods, healthy housing, clean water, green spaces, and medical care—has become even more urgent and potentially lifesaving in the last few years.

The coronavirus public health emergency exacerbated some community challenges, such as finding ways, amid school closures, to feed children who depend on school meals and making social service benefits accessible to non-English speakers. Other situations predated COVID-19 and will persist into the future—including the need to invest in equitable infrastructure in disadvantaged communities, Native Americans’ ability to obtain and grow their culturally appropriate foods, and revitalization of vacant lots in city neighborhoods that could serve as community green spaces to improve resident well-being. The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, supported five cross-sector projects between community-based organizations and local and state decision-making agencies—with support from a national partner with expertise in each respective field—to address these topics. This work will help center health and equity considerations as communities and policymakers implement promising, evidence-informed policies and practices throughout the country.

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America’s Overdose Crisis

Sign up for our five-email course explaining the overdose crisis in America, the state of treatment access, and ways to improve care

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