Health Equity

Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health

ASTHO’s Center for Population Health Strategies supports state/territorial health officials (S/THOs) in advancing population health improvement as a core function of public health agencies. ASTHO’s framework for addressing population health encompasses three pillars: Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health, Clinical to Community Connections, and Data Analytics and Public Health Informatics.

Health inequities exist among groups based on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, education, income, disability, and geographic location. ASTHO's Center for Population Health Strategies supports public health agencies in addressing the social determinants of health and health equity in programs and health services supported by public health agencies, healthcare providers, public and private payers, and health systems. ASTHO’s organizational vision is to support state and territorial health agencies advancing health equity and optimal health for all.

ASTHO's 2016 President's Challenge: Advancing Health Equity and Achieving Optimal Health for All

Triple Aim of Health Equity ASTHO President and Minnesota Commissioner of Health Edward Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, has issued ASTHO's 2016 President’s Challenge: Advance Health Equity and Optimal Health for All. His goal for this challenge is to promote the objectives in the Triple Aim of Health Equity: 1) Expand our understanding of what creates health, 2) Take a “health in all policies” approach with health equity as the goal, and 3) Strengthen communities’ capacity to create their own healthy future.
Learn more »

Foundational Practices for Health Equity

The Foundational Practices for Health Equity: Learning and Action Tool for Public Health Organizations was developed by the Region V Social Determinants of Health Team of the Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) sponsored by Health Resources and Services Administration. In November 2018 the Learning and Action Tool was transitioned from its host site at the Minnesota Department of Health to ASTHO’s website for broader distribution. Learn more »

Introduction to Multi-Sector Intersections and Collaborations to Advance Health Equity

ASTHO’s new report the Introduction to Multi-Sector Intersections and Collaborations to Advance Health Equity highlights partnerships with public health and other governmental sectors such as: agriculture, economy, education, environment, housing, justice, and transportation. This guidance document features effective approaches to developing partnerships, both within and outside of government, and across health and non-health sectors, to improve health outcomes of racial and ethnic minority populations and address health disparities. This report was developed with guidance and support from the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Integrating Health Equity Language Into Funding Announcements


Integrating Health Equity into Funding Opportunity Announcements is a webinar for public health professionals involved in programming to advance health equity or in the grant-making process. During the webinar, ASTHO featured their newly developed health equity tools, a guide for integrating health equity language into funding announcements and template. The tools were developed with guidance and support from the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The guide is meant to serve as a resource for state health agencies that are considering incorporating health equity requirements into their funding announcements. The template outlines eight health equity requirements for applicants to incorporate in a funding announcement, and sample language for applying basic health equity concepts. The development of the template was shaped by previous work at the Ohio Department of Health.

State Snapshots

In 2014, ASTHO conducted its third Health Equity/Minority Health Survey to assess health equity efforts in the states and territories. The survey examines health equity infrastructure, funding allocation and expenditures, and strategic plans and partnerships. The analysis allows for comparison of data longitudinally and between the states and is foundational for ASTHO’s efforts to support its members and state public health infrastructure through best practices research.

These State Snapshots summarize data that state health officials and their teams can use to highlight activities to improve health for all populations that they serve. View state snapshots »

Health Equity Webinars

To view recordings, slides, and supporting resources from past ASTHO webinars, visit the health equity webinars page.

Transactional Versus Transformative Approaches

Interested in learning about transactional versus transformative approaches to improving health equity? This chart illustrates the difference between the two.

Achieving Health Equity: ASTHO Reports and Case Studies

ASTHO provides information and resources to state health officials on health equity and health disparities issues, including resources on the economic case for health equity, health equity case studies, maternal and infant disparities, and state stories. Read more »

Example Health Equity Reports from States and Territories

This page showcases a variety of selected state-produced health equity reports. Read more »

ASTHO Minority Health Survey

ASTHO collected data on state minority health and health disparities programs and documented the variations in infrastructure, capacity, history, goals, major activities (including programs and populations served). Read more »