State Health Departments Invited to Participate in Health Equity Pilot

CONTACT: Paige Rohe,, 470-809-0589

ATLANTA (July 12, 2017) – The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors’ (NACDD) Health Equity Council is inviting state health departments to participate in a health equity pilot using its new guide, “Moving to Institutional Equity: A Tool to Address Racial Equity for Public Health Practitioners.” The tool was designed to tackle institutional racism by walking state health department staff through a series of conversation topics that help identify any policies that could result in unintentional, negative outcomes for minorities.

NACDD has focused on promoting health equity for several years with the “Moving to Institutional Equity” tool being the latest product of the Association’s work in this area.

“African-Americans are more likely to have a chronic illness or disability than whites, and while there are many complicated and confounding factors at play, the result is that African-Americans have a higher mortality rate from preventable diseases than other racial groups,” John Robitscher, NACDD CEO, said. “The ‘Moving to Institutional Equity’ tool helps us begin to identify and address the barriers that implicit bias can create, preventing otherwise strong public health programs from being as successful as possible.”

Through a six-month pilot launching in September, states will have formal support to review the tool and determine if their organizations are ready to examine any policies and procedures that have unintentionally favored one population over the other. State health departments will have the opportunity to make recommendations on changes or modifications to the tool to help make it more impactful and comprehensive. 

States are not limited to the example in the tool, but can select the most appropriate situation for their organizations. The Ohio State Department’s Office of Health Policy and Policy Improvement is the first state health department to volunteer to participate in the pilot, with more states expected to volunteer in the coming months.

States who would like to participate may send their organization and contact information to Dr. Gail Brandt at Gail.Brandt@DOH.WA.GOV or (360) 236-3739, or to Ms. Louise Square at or (212) 417-4475.

Editor’s note: You can view NACDD’s tool on NACDD’s website and read health administrator for New York State Department of Health Louise Square’s  blog post on how the tool will help users recognize implicit biases in policies and procedures in state health departments.


The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors

Since 1988, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and its more than 6,500 members have worked to strengthen state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in all states, territories, and nationally. Learn more at