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Racism as the Ultimate Underlying Health Condition

Many prominent voices in health care and public health policy have publicly recognized structural racism as a root cause of health disparities in this country, with former American Public Health Association President Dr. Camara Jones declaring it “the ultimate underlying health condition.” In order to meaningfully address health disparities, experts argue we must act to dismantle systems of oppression both within and beyond the health care system and the traditional purview of public health.  

Our Approach

With the ultimate goal of increasing health equity, the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) is working to identify concrete ways that health care entities can participate in developing and implementing antiracist policies. From informing the research that will illuminate evidence-based best practices in addressing racism to investing resources in upstream solutions and activities that get at the root cause of health disparities, the health care system has a significant role to play in creating a more equitable society. CHLPI’s forthcoming resources on antiracist policy proposals and the implications for health care and public health law and policy aim to help health care entities move from intention to action.    

Forthcoming Publications

  • Responding to Systemic Racism: the Role of Health Care Entities in Addressing Disparities through Guaranteed Income Initiatives
  • Responding to Systemic Racism: the Role of Health Care Entities in Reimagining Public Safety and Efforts to Defund the Police

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