About the Center

What is Health Equity?

Health equity is achieved when everyone, regardless of race, neighborhood, or financial status, has the opportunity for health — physical, mental, economic, and social well-being. 

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, “health equity is the attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.” 

Why Place and Race Matter

One number may determine how healthy you are and how long you will live. It’s not your weight, cholesterol count, or any of those numbers doctors track in patients.

It’s your address.

Race has historically dictated where we live, creating places that offer profoundly unequal opportunities to many communities of color. Effective strategies to build healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities must address both race and place, openly and authentically.

The PolicyLink report, Why Place & Race Matter, illustrates how to improve the economic, social, physical, and service environments of vulnerable communities through race-conscious strategies.

How We Work

As the PolicyLink Center for Health Equity and Place, we are dedicated to achieving health equity by supporting key stakeholders with:

Policy advocacy

  • Negotiating with decision makers in the public and private sectors
  • Crafting proposals for legislation and policy initiatives
  • Testifying before government agencies
  • Presenting at conferences; and
  • Informing public opinion through a variety of media platforms.


Technical assistance

  • Building the capacity and addresses the specified needs of organizations


Network Building

  • Supporting collaboration across a broad range of sectors and groups working to create healthy communities for all


Research and data analysis

  • Integrating qualitative and quantitative methods into policy initiatives aimed at creating healthier communities


Click on an area of focus -- Food Systems, Health Systems, Built Environment, Convergence Partnership -- to learn how the Center for Health Equity and Place pushes for health equity in all places and policies.