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The Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) seeks to create policies, systems, and environments that make healthy communities happen. DHPE understands that multiple circumstances and systems influence individual, community, and population health. These systems, often referred to as social determinants of health, directly impact health outcomes of individuals and communities where they live, work, and play. Policies and interventions influence the distribution of these social determinants to different social groups, including those defined by socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex, disability status, and geographic location. Social justice influences these multiple systems and interactions. Inequitable distributions of these social determinants lead to health disparities and inequity. Conversely, equitable distributions of these social determinants lead to health equity. Therefore, one definition of health equity is that everyone has the opportunity to attain their full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially determined circumstances.

Empowering Our Members

Although DHPE members understand the importance of health equity and promotion, operationalizing activities to address health equity may appear to be a new and challenging task. DHPE will approach health equity through assisting its members to: 

  • Receive capacity building and technical assistance in using multiple federal and state datasets to address health equity
  • Employ health equity tools to guide state grant applications and program development
  • Access market research data and geographic information systems to identify groups and communities with the greatest needs for healthy interventions 
  • Inform communities and policy makers about social determinants of health and their impact on health outcomes
  • Participate in Shaping Policy for HealthTM trainings to enhance their competencies in policy development and system change
  • Foster partnerships and collaborations with non-health focused government agencies and departments to address health inequities through a multifaceted approach
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