Skip to Main Content

Achieving Health Equity and Justice

We will design, implement and sustain cost-effective, equitable public health programs that address structural and social determinants of health, the root cause of most chronic and infectious diseases.
A mother and her baby in Uganda. An academic track that bolsters the health of mothers and children launched at the beginning of the 2021–22 academic year.

Poor health in the United States and globally is due to systems and processes that perpetuate health injustice. YSPH examines how historical and current systems of privilege and power, related to race, class, sex, age, sexual orientation, place and other identities, create unequal burdens on health that are avoidable and unjust.

YSPH develops and implements innovative interventions, policies and programs that dismantle these structural factors to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities. This approach is essential to addressing social determinants of health and the fundamental underpinnings of poor health outcomes, whether locally, nationally or globally. YSPH seeks to achieve this by:

  • Developing a world class public health practice, research, training, education and outreach program based on equitable community engagement and implementation science.
  • Promoting research in areas of health equity and social justice.
  • Fostering training through the expansion of our new U.S. Health Justice Concentration, which provides students with practical experience in organizing, advocacy and policy skills that prepare them to advance justice.
  • Creating community research collaborations by establishing long-lasting and robust partnerships with community-based organizations.
Improving health care quality and access requires a health justice approach that examines equity through the lenses of economics and history. Special challenges include ensuring healthy aging in a growing elderly population, and nurturing wellness in vulnerable populations such as low-income children, women, the LGBTQ+ community, those who are incarcerated, ethnic and racial minorities, immigrants, refugees and food- or housing-insecure persons. Our Office of Public Health Practice, and our new academic concentrations in social justice and maternal and child health, will be a vehicle for this work, engaging students through internships, preceptorships and thesis work.