In Action

Our Work on Health Equity

Our Work on Health Equity  /  Our Work In Action

Better, together: examples of our equity work with local partners

CDC Foundation’s Health Equity and Strategy Office coordinates our health equity strategy, and endeavors to create and support equitable systems through our partnerships and programs. This page highlights some of the important work happening throughout the CDC Foundation to support our vision of vibrant and resilient communities in which everyone can thrive and live their healthiest lives.

Learn more about our work happening across the world to build equitable public health systems.


Hear more from participants in the STRETCH Initiative on the CDC Foundation's YouTube channel.

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the CDC Foundation, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) partner on the Strategies to Repair Equity and Transform Community Health (STRETCH) initiative. The initiative helps state agencies re-think approaches to addressing health inequities and leverage the influx of federal funding from the pandemic to create long-term systems change leading to inclusive, equitable public health systems. The initiative aims to address root causes of health inequities by strengthening relationships between governmental public health and communities.

Learn more about STRETCH.



Workforce Capacity and Skills

Examples of how we are supporting a trusted, diverse public health sector with skills, capacities and competencies necessary to lead.

group of healthcare workers


60-plus CDC Foundation employees working in the public health protection field as health equity project managers, providing wide-ranging support to health departments around the country to help community members live their healthiest lives, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status and more. And these staffers’ personal and career histories are just as varied as the programs to which they are assigned.

Learn more about how a diverse workforce helps health departments aiming for equity.


data systems for maternal health

The CDC Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Pregnancy Outcome and Death Surveillance (PODS). With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the PODS project partnered with ministries of health, humanitarian organizations and other groups working in Cameroon, Chad and Burkina Faso. These partnerships will implement, strengthen and expand systems for gathering and reviewing data on deaths among pregnant women and newborns—known as Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR).

Learn more about how innovative data solutions are helping workforce teams address community needs.


Partnering with Community-Based Organizations

Examples of how we are partnering to build capacity of community-based organizations (CBOs) to promote vibrant, healthy and resilient communities.

rows of faces of men and women

Improving Engagement in Community Level Data Collection 

To improve health outcomes for all, it is essential communities be engaged throughout public health data creation and dissemination. In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPH) and the CDC Foundation, the National Alliance Against Disparities in Patient Health and five local data equity coalitions are gathering community perspectives on the use of survey data to improve health. By leveraging community insights, this project aims to increase access to local measures of social determinants of health and to increase the reach of surveys by building shared knowledge around data needs and use among communities and data providers.

Learn more about infusing community perspective into public health data


older gentleman with an arm around a younger gentleman

Strengthening Partnerships between Public Health and Community-Based Organizations

With support from the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund and in partnership with Human Impact Partners, the CDC Foundation is developing a set of recommendations and roadmap for building and strengthening partnerships between public health agencies and community-based organizations (CBOs). The recommendations aim to cultivate relationships with CBOs to better prepare and respond to future public health emergencies, pursue more equitable solutions in routine practice, effectively promote community health objectives and share power with CBOs to address historical disenfranchisement in decision making. 

Learn more about the recommendations


Cross-Sector Collaboration

Examples of how we are working to enhance integration of public health and other public and private sector partners to support a holistic community wellbeing movement.

woman talking to another woman at a conference table

Building more equitable data systems

We all have a part in strengthening public health data processes to be more equitable: funders, community partners, program managers, data producers and the public play a pivotal role. The CDC Foundation, with insights from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed the Principles for Using Public Health Data to Drive Equity, also known as the data equity principles, to bring an equity lens to each stage of the data life cycle. The principles offer an approach to centering the question: How can each of us make more impactful data decisions?

Learn more about changing the approach to public health data.


relationship building with the million hearts campaign

The Alliance for Million Hearts®–a public-private collaboration between the CDC Foundation, Amgen, Bayer, Association of Black Cardiologists, Black Heart Association, Family Heart Foundation, GirlTrek and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD)–was formed to help fuel the Million Hearts® initiative’s goal of preventing one million heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events. The Alliance produces national, prevention-focused communication campaigns to help more people understand their personal risk for heart disease and stroke, believe in their power to change it and take steps that lower their risks. The Alliance has produced two campaigns: the “Live to the Beat” campaign, addressing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Black adults in the United States, and the “Start Small. Live Big.” campaign, encouraging adults, particularly those over age 55, to take prevention steps for maintaining their heart health.

Learn more about building cross-sector communication campaigns for public health.


Learn More About Our Work

Visit our stories to learn more about innovative community projects working towards building equitable public health systems.