National Health Equity Index to be Developed to Chart Progress to Good Health

The National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE) will create a National Health Equity Index in the coming year. This project will serve as a way to assess the connectedness of important health determinants like housing and employment in order to identify promising points of prevention  and to build collaboration across sectors.

The index will focus on the structural inequalities that lead to health disparities by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. It will document differences in access and quality of seven determinants of health, including: health care, education, the environment, income, employment, housing, and safety, and examine them in the context of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geography, and primary language spoken. The analysis of these relationships will help inform policy and systems changes for the advancement of health equity and show where cross-sector collaboration can help achieve these policy and systems changes.

NCHE will partner with The Texas Health Institute (THI) and the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health (CSH) to build the index.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided the grant for the project. Tracy Orleans, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior scientist stated “The National Health Equity Index will identify both the drivers of existing health inequities and those strategies and systems changes with the greatest potential to eliminate them.  It will provide an unprecedented compass and impetus for change in states and communities across the country.”

Along with the the National Equity Index, expected to be released in July 2016, the grant will be used to create an index for each state and for three localities, expected to be released in June 2017.

More information here.