Equity Work Among Accredited Health Departments in the United States, 2015-2021.

Publication date: Dec 03, 2023

Minimal research has examined the number of health departments conducting work related to equity and/or the kind of work, if any, they are conducting. We examined the relationship between public health accreditation and work related to health equity by analyzing accredited health departments’ responses to a prompt in the Public Health Accreditation Board’s (PHAB’s) annual report. We analyzed self-reported responses from accredited health departments to questions about emerging public health issues and innovations in PHAB’s annual report. We identified themes using a priori and inductive coding. A total of 316 health departments submitted an annual report from January 2015 through December 2021. Of those health departments, 283 (89. 6%) stated in their annual report that they engaged in work related to health equity, 50 (17. 7%) of which provided a narrative about this work. Of those 50 health departments, the most common theme reported was community partnership, described by 23 (46. 0%) health departments. The next most reported themes were COVID-19 vaccine access for racially or socioeconomically marginalized communities (n = 17, 34. 0%) and programs related to health equity (n = 16, 32. 0%). We found that most accredited health departments conduct work related to health equity. Further research is needed to examine characteristics that influence a health department’s likelihood of conducting equity work. Models and resources on how health departments, particularly small health departments, can begin equity work would be valuable.

Concepts Keywords
Conducting accredited health departments
Socioeconomically equity
Vaccine public health accreditation


Type Source Name
disease VO Equity
disease VO report
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine

Original Article

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