About Us

Center for Health Equity logo

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!

MISSION

To achieve health equity and improve the health and well-being of all Louisville residents and visitors. 

VISION

A healthy Louisville where everyone and every community thrives. 

KEY IDEAS

Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Conditions (e.g., social, economic, and physical) in these various environments and settings (e.g., school, church, workplace, and neighborhood) have been referred to as “place.” In addition to the more material attributes of “place,” the patterns of social engagement and sense of security and well-being are also affected by where people live. Resources that enhance quality of life can have a significant influence on population health outcomes. Examples of these resources include safe and affordable housing, access to education, public safety, availability of healthy foods, local emergency/health services, and environments free of life-threatening toxins. (Healthy People 2020)

Social determinants of equity "govern the distribution of resources and populations through decision-making structures, policies, practices, norms, and values, and too often operate as social determinants of in-equity by differentially distributing resources and populations. They include racism, sexism, heterosexism, capitalism, and able-ism". Jones, C. P. (2014). Systems of power, axes of inequity: parallels, intersections, braiding the strands. Medical Care, 52, S71-S75.

Social Justice is the fair distribution of society’s benefits, responsibilities and their consequences. It focuses on the relative position of one social group in relationship to others in society as well as on the root causes of disparities and what can be done to eliminate them.