Achieving Healthy, Resilient and Thriving Communities

The CDC Foundation believes we have more impact working together and is committed to supporting and working with communities to eliminate health inequities. By joining with public health, private sector, philanthropic and community partners, we aim to improve health for all and realize our vision of vibrant and resilient communities where everyone can thrive and live their healthiest lives.

What is Health Equity?

Health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health. Health inequities are the cumulative result of many factors, such as limited or no access to neighborhood grocery stores, exposure to environmental toxins, air pollution and the impacts of the changing climate, lack of green spaces and places for physical activity and lack of health insurance and limited access to quality primary care. Health inequities are avoidable. They affect us all and have a social and economic impact. 

Our collective future depends on all of our communities having an equitable opportunity for health, wellbeing and economic vitality.


Resources and Examples of Community Impact

More Impact Working Together

Building equitable health opportunities requires a focus on the systems we have in place within our communities and industries. Examining the systems, such as our policies and practices, our regulations, how we collect data within our communities and how we communicate about public health opportunities, enables us to create long-term changes and improve the health of our communities. 

By emphasizing the examination of systems, we address health inequities at their root causes. In this approach, we work through cross-sector partnerships that include community organizations to build sustainable solutions.

Health Equity Resource Highlight


Principles for Using Public Health Data to Drive Equity

The data equity principles are a guide to embedding equitable practices throughout the data life cycle.


View the Data Equity Principles


Lauren Smith headshot

“The CDC Foundation is deeply committed to embedding equitable practices and principles in all parts of our work. We’re excited to share a summary of data equity principles that we hope contributes to the ongoing conversation about how to use data to achieve health equity.”

Lauren Smith, MD, MPH, CDC Foundation



Learn about the important role that equity plays in ensuring public health:


The Principles of Our Health Equity Work


Commit to authentic community inclusion, engagement and partnership in how we prioritize and accomplish our work

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Understand, communicate and reckon with historic and current structural racism and systemic injustices

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Promote the building blocks of individual and community health

icon of wheel with arrows to represent changing systems

Focus on changing systems, both formal and informal, that have created and perpetuated public health inequities

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Catalyze cross-sector collaboration for sustained impact

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Identify and apply lessons learned to inform future action


Our Health Equity Strategic Priorities

Build Public Health Workforce Capacity and Skills

Support a trusted, diverse public health sector with skills, capacities and competencies necessary to lead.

Partner with Community-Based Organizations

Build capacity of community-based organizations to promote vibrant, healthy and resilient communities.

Focus on Cross-Sector Collaboration for Systems Change

Enhance integration of public health and other public and private sector partners to support a holistic community wellbeing movement.


Health Equity and Strategy Office

Our Health Equity and Strategy Office leads and aligns health equity work across the CDC Foundation, collaborating with fellow Foundation staff through support, training and resources. 

For questions, email

Our Health Equity and Strategy Office Partners

CDC Foundation is thankful to our diverse and dedicated partners with whom we work to address health challenges, including health inequities, across the globe. Below is a list of current organizations partnering with CDC Foundation’s Health Equity and Strategy Office to advance health equity in U.S. communities and beyond. View the full list of CDC Foundation partners