229129 Finding common ground: Health equity, social justice, and public health preparedness

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:35 AM

Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH , Deputy Director, Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, Houston, TX
Dennis P. Andrulis, PhD, MPH , Senior Research Scientist, Texas Health Institute, Austin, TX
Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH , Chief Medical Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Ana-Marie Jones , Executive Director, Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disaster, Oakland, CA
Nadia J. Siddiqui, MPH , Senior Health Policy Analyst, Texas Health Institute, Austin, TX
Hurricane Katrina, and the more recent H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, awakened the nation to the deep-rooted patterns of socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities that exist in preparing for and responding to communities. A growing body of literature cites that a myriad of factors outside the public health system, and within the broader social, political and economic arrangements of communities perpetuate unequal treatment in public health emergencies. These include, for example: poverty and inequality of opportunity; cultural and linguistic factors; segregation and substandard housing; immigration policies; access to health care; and exposure to environmental hazards. Eliminating disparities in public health preparedness will require a long term commitment to advancing and achieving health equity and social justice generally in the system, and more specifically in emergency programs, plans and policies. This presentation will chart the intersection between health equity, social justice and public health preparedness and offer a theoretical framework based on literature and recommendations from experts on how to ensure equity in preparing and responding to socioeconomically diverse communities. To ground theory in practice, presenters will share their first-hand experience responding to public health emergencies, both nationally and internationally, as well as across a breadth of socioeconomic, political and cultural contexts. They will recount, in particular, the challenges, facilitators and lessons learned in the wake of recent events, including the Haiti Earthquake (2010), H1N1 Influenza Pandemic (2009), and Hurricane Ike (2008) and offer practical recommendations for application.

Learning Objectives:
(1) Identify the socioeconomic, cultural and political factors that contribute to inequalities in public health preparedness. (2) Define a framework, including priorities and practical strategies, for advancing health equity and social justice in public health preparedness.

Keywords: Social Justice, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as senior analyst and project manager on a number of research grants and projects on preparedness and vulnerable, racial/ethnic minority populations. I have also co-authored a Health Affairs article on this topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.