In June 2006, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness established the Center for Health Equity (CHE) as the first of its kind within a municipal government. CHE was created to advocate for a Louisville Metro where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy and reach their full human potential. Although a person’s identities, whatever they may be, should not predict how long or how well one will live, the history and evolution of structural racism and other systems of power significantly shape the way residents experience hope, happiness, and wellness. CHE prioritizes policies, partnerships, and performance to address the root causes to our health.
The elimination of health inequities begins with building a shared understanding of the ongoing impact of systems of power, organizing our structures in ways to advance equity, and making real equitable, daily practices. There are enough resources in our community, right now, to achieve a Louisville where we all thrive. Recognizing the choices that people make are shaped by the choices they have, CHE advocates making the healthy, equitable choice the easy choice. Health equity is everybody's work!
Health Equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy and reach their full human potential. A person's identities, whatever they may be, should not predict how long or how well one wil live.
Root Causes are the conditions that shape our community, often structured by societal institutions. Root causes include employment and income, food systems, neighborhood development, the environmental quality, criminal justice system, and more. Differences in experience with root causes include whether or not we have grocery stores in our neighborhoods or the ability to experience safe and stable housing. Root causes lead to health outcomes and have to be addressed to make a difference in individual health.
Systems of Power - like racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, and more - shape how people experience root causes of health through the design of policy, implementation, and accountability. Health equity work understands systems of power can be equitable but requires collective and systems-level transformation.