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What is health equity and racial justice, and how do we achieve it?

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Health equity is the opportunity for everyone to attain his or her full health potential. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, racism and other forms of discrimination, and resulting consequences, including lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care. Our role at BPHC is to work with others to remove these obstacles to health and well-being for all.

Racial Justice is the creation and proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes, and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, and outcomes for all people regardless of race.

We are advancing racial justice and health equity through BPHC's three strategic goals for health equity:

  • Expanding the understanding and dialogue of what creates health and what creates inequities.
  • Supporting comprehensive place-based strategies to improve health.
  • Strengthening workforce development opportunities for all staff to integrate equity into practice. 

Community Health Assessment and Improvement: The Office of Health Equity leads BPHC efforts on assessing the needs of our community and planning for improvement.

The Office of Health Equity convenes the Boston Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Council, which advances the four priorities of Boston's Community Health Improvement Plan:

  • Achieving racial and ethnic health equity.
  • Improving coordination of health care and community-based prevention services.
  • Building and increasing resilience in communities impacted by trauma.
  • Addressing social determinants of health to improve health outcomes.

This work is done in partnership with the Boston Alliance for Community Health, the Boston hospitals and health centers, community-based organizations and other government agencies. Click here to view full plan.

The Moving Equity Forward Together video series(link) is a project of the Office of Health Equity and BPHC's Communication's Office. In these short videos, BPHC programs and service centers demonstrate equitable practices in their work, which others can adopt.

A Health Equity in All Policies (HEiAP) approach ensures that as policymakers develop policies in Boston, we consider the potential impact of those policies on people of color and others who may experience barriers to optimal health. BPHC's Office of Health Equity provides staff support to the Boston Health Equity in All Policies Task Force, a group of city departments and community-based organizations that is convened by the Boston Health and Human Services Cabinet and BPHC.



Last updated 1/14/2019 

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: