Our Work on Health Equity

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.

Ample evidence documents the complexity and persistence of health inequities and the underlying structural factors contributing to these inequities. In particular, racism is increasingly recognized as a fundamental driver of inequities and a public health crisis. This is an urgent challenge.

COVID-19 has accelerated the need for work in communities disproportionately experiencing health and other social inequities. At the same time, the nation is reckoning with structural racism and other systemic injustices related to characteristics like rural location, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability status.

By emphasizing the examination of systems, structures, policies and practices, 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. Our collective future depends on all of our communities having an equitable opportunity for health, wellbeing and economic vitality.



The Principles for Our Work

  • Commit to authentic community inclusion, engagement and partnership in how we prioritize and accomplish our work
  • Understand, communicate and reckon with historic and current structural racism and systemic injustices
  • Promote the building blocks of individual and community health
  • Focus on changing systems (formal and informal) that have created and perpetuated public health inequities
  • Catalyze cross-sector collaboration for sustained impact
  • Identify and apply lessons learned to inform future action



Our Strategic Priorities

  • Support a trusted, diverse public health sector with skills, capacities and competencies necessary to lead
  • Build capacity of community-based organizations to promote vibrant, healthy and resilient communities
  • 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 heprograms@cdcfoundation.org.