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Addressing Health Disparities in America

Analysis of Community Health Improvement Plans

Inderstrodt, Jill; Perrault, Evan K.; Hintz, Elizabeth A.; Hildenbrand, Grace M.

doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000364
HEALTH EQUITY SERIES/METHOD
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Background Healthy People 2020 has made achieving health equity one of its overarching goals; another goal is increasing the number of accredited local agencies that have Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs). Community Health Improvement Plans are meant to serve agencies as guiding documents for multiple years.

Objectives This study investigates the prevalence with which health disparities are addressed within CHIPs and the specific health disparities targeted by these objectives.

Methods Researchers analyzed 4,094 objectives from CHIPs of 280 local Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB)-accredited and nonaccredited public health agencies in the United States.

Results Despite the PHAB's focus on addressing health equity, not all PHAB-accredited agencies addressed health disparities (85.4% of CHIPs analyzed). However, more accredited than nonaccredited agencies (73.9%) contained at least one objective focused on health disparities.

Discussion Findings indicate that if health equity is truly a goal of national initiatives, agencies' planning documents (e.g., CHIPs) can do a better job addressing commonly ignored populations.

Jill Inderstrodt, PhD, is Graduate Student, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Evan K. Perrault, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Elizabeth A. Hintz, MA, is Graduate Student, University of South Florida Department of Communication, Tampa. At the time the research was completed, she was Graduate Student, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Grace M. Hildenbrand, MA, is Graduate Student, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Accepted for publication January 6, 2019.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Corresponding author: Jill Inderstrodt, PhD, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education, Room 2115, 100 North University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098 (e-mail: jmi3@purdue.edu).

Ethical Conduct of Research: No IRB approval was sought as the data used for analysis were publicly available.

Clinical Trial Registration: None.

Online date: May 1, 2019

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