Strategic Planning for Health Equity


Click here to view Better Health Through Equity: Case Studies in Reframing Public Health Work, a publication by the American Public Health Association.

Social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the systems put in place to deal with health, wellness, and illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines social determinants of health as complex, integrated, and overlapping social structures and economic systems that include socioeconomic status, discrimination, housing, physical environment, food security, child development, culture, social support, healthcare services, transportation, working conditions, and democratic participation.

Health equity entails focused societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities by equalizing the conditions for health for all groups, especially for those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage or historical injustices. This can be achieved through the constant monitoring of programs, policies, and practices that address such social determinants of health in a mindful and meaningful way with the goal of actively addressing inequalities and inequities.

Strategic Planning for Health Equity

Earlier in 2015, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) to construct a training curriculum on how to undertake a strategic planning process that encompasses health equity, social determinants of health, as well as meeting the standards for public health accreditation.

NIHB will deliver a capacity building training on strategic planning Tribal health stakeholders and Tribal health officials. Training content will likely include elements of the following:
  • Role of social determinants of health in shaping the health of tribal populations
  • Strategies for using an equity lens in strategic planning, which may include strategic planning for Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) requirements
  • Using the social determinant of health framework in strategic planning
  • Assuring the engagement of community in the process of strategic planning for health
  • Creating, leveraging and sustaining cross-sector collaborations for development and implementation of strategic plans that are premised on the social determinants of health and equity framework
  • Assuring consideration of historical inequities in developing strategic plans to improve the health and well-being of Tribal populations

Progress To Date and Next Steps

NIHB is currently in the information gathering process. Once this is complete NIHB will create the training curriculum, provide one-on-one capacity building with at least one tribe, and will host a learning institute at the 2016 Tribal Public Health Summit. Additionally, NIHB will conduct an environmental scan to provide foundational information on the state of public health accreditation amongst federally-recognized Tribes in the U.S.


NIHB Contact:

Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle, JD
Director of Public Health Policy and Programs

National Indian Health Board
910 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Phone: 202-507-4089
Washington, DC 20003
[email protected]