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.

Health Equity Strategic Map

The Role of the State/Territorial Health Official
in Promoting Health Equity

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.
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Infographic: Health Equity at ASTHO

Infographic: Health Equity at ASTHO

ASTHO has created an infographic that highlights state and federal initiatives in health equity. The infographic also features a timeline of ASTHO’s own health equity program, which promotes health equity to our members, states, and partners through resources, policies, and technical assistance. View the infographic »


Guide and Template for Integrating Health Equity Language Into Funding Announcements

This guide for integrating health equity language into funding announcements and template were developed by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) with funding provided by the HHS Office of Minority Health. The guide is meant to serve as a resource for state health agencies that are considering incorporating health equity requirements into their funding announcements. While this guide contains information tailored to public health and healthcare organizations, it is useful for any organization or agency that seeks to advance health equity through grant programs. The template outlines eight health equity requirements for applicants to incorporate throughout the application, and includes background information on health disparities, the social determinants of health, health inequities, and health equity. It also includes suggested language that states can include in their funding opportunity announcements. 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.

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 »


Mary Ann Cooney, Chief, Center for Population Health
Melissa Lewis, Director, Health Equity