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The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy: Can Reform Move us Toward Health Equity?

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at Loyola University, Health & Medicine hosted Can Reform Move Us Toward Health Equity? a meeting of The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy.

Successful health reform includes the elimination of health inequities and achievement of health equity.  The forum centered on a discussion on whether health reform efforts in Illinois are advancing the state toward health equity.

Panelists & Presentations:
  • Linda Rae Murray, MD, Board Member, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (Moderator)
  • Ngozi Oleru, PhD, Director, Environmental Health Division and Co-Chair, Equity & Social Justice Inner Branch Team, Public Health Seattle & King County - view the presentation
  • Margie Schaps, MPH, Executive Director, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group - view the presentation
  • Emily Benfer, JD, Director, Health Justice Project and Clinical Professor of Law, Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy; Loyola University Chicago School of Law - view the presentation
  • Jim Bloyd, MPH, Regional Health Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health and Team Lead, Cook County PLACE MATTERS - view the presentation
About the Forum:
The World Health Organization defines health equity as “the absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health services and outcomes among groups of people.”  In Healthy People 2020, one of the goals set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to “Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.”

While health equity is on the national agenda, do recent policies and health reforms move Illinois toward health equity?  The forum brought together thought leaders to discuss health reform, to what degree it works toward health equity, and whether or not we are making progress on the social determinants of health.   

The event provided an opportunity to:
  • Learn about Seattle & King County, Washington’s Health Equity ordinance, its positive impacts, and lessons from its implementation
  • Explore how health departments can be effective in helping to implement effective health reform and ensure progress toward health equity
  • Discuss both positive aspects and shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act vis-à-vis health equity
  • Consider the growing role of medical-legal partnerships and how they can help address social and legal issues that negatively impact the health of low-income people
About The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy:
Each policy forum in The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy series focuses on health reform efforts both in Illinois and in the Chicago area, including discussions of best practices from around the country. Previous events in the series include:

Health & Medicine wishes to thank the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust, The Health Justice Project at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and the Beasley Institute for their support of this forum.