Host Organization: Pennsylvania Department of Health, Office of Health Equity 

The Office of Health Equity (OHE) was formally integrated into the Pennsylvania Department of Health through an executive order signed in May 2007. The goals of OHE are to provide leadership to increase public awareness of health disparities in Pennsylvania, advocate for the development of programs to address health disparities, work with policymakers, insurers, health care providers and communities to implement policies and programs that result in a measurable and sustained improvement in health status of underserved and disparate populations and collaborate with state agencies, academic institutions, community-based organizations, health partners, providers and others in the public and private sectors to eliminate health disparities in Pennsylvania.

Issue: Deeply rooted health disparities

The State of Health Equity in Pennsylvania’s 2019 Report highlighted the significant health disparities in PA which are attributed to institutional racism, systemic oppression, and marginalization which has resulted in poor health outcomes and inequities of Pennsylvanians. 

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted that the greatest health challenges we face today, such as rising health inequity, chronic illness, a changing climate, and ever-increasing costs of care, are highly complex and often linked. Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a concept that identifies the ways in which decisions in multiple sectors can affect health, and how better health outcomes support the achievement of goals from multiple sectors.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health, Office of Health Equity, and the National Center convened a group of cross-systems stakeholders to expand their knowledge on health inequities and disparities and explore how systemic and institutionalized racism has contributed to existing policies that negatively impact health.


The convening highlighted action steps that can be taken to advance the work of racial and health equity through Pennsylvania’s state agencies.

For more information on this event, please contact the host organization.