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Center for Public Health Equity

Budget Analysis for CCPD: Preliminary Findings

The amount of public funding allocated to public health in the U.S. has decreased significantly over the past two decades—excluding temporary increases for the COVID-19 pandemic response. This trend in public health funding affects both local and state health departments nationwide, including local health departments in Illinois. Between June 2020 and December 2021, Health & Medicine staff reviewed local health department capacity data from the National Association for County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) 2019 National Profile of Local Health Departments (LHDs) report for nine health departments and interviewed representatives from five local health departments to compare the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) to some of their peers’ overall funding, staffing, and functions, and provide recommendations. This analysis purposely focused on 2019 data in order to ascertain funding before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic led to large, temporary influxes of funding for health departments, and this study sought to focus on and compare pre-pandemic funding, capacity, and function of local health departments. Read the full analysis here.

Tags: Health equity,
Creating a Health Equity Agenda for the City of Chicago’s 2019 Municipal Elections: Forum Report on Issues, Needs, and Policy Ideas

On Wednesday, December 12th, 2018, Health & Medicine held a town hall meeting, Creating a Healthy Equity Agenda for Chicago’s Elections, part of our Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy series. Attendees were asked to identify overarching problems within their sectors and discuss their impact at different levels of government—neighborhood, city, county, regional, state, and national. This report summarizes the most emergent issues and recommendations shared by participants. The report is divided into ten areas, each listing Issues and Needs as well as Policy Ideas and Approaches.

Tags: Health equity, Health reform,
December 2, 2021 Testimony for #StopGeneralIron campaign press conference

December 2, 2021 Testimony by Policy Director Wesley Epplin on behalf of Health & Medicine Policy Research Group and the Collaborative for Health Equity Cook County at the #StopGeneralIron campaign press conference.

Tags: Health equity, Health reform,
Health & Medicine Testimony: To Advance Health Equity, We Need Accountability for Racism in Policing and Gang Databases

The Cook County Department of Public Health’s current community health improvement plan lists structural racism as a ‘fundamental cause of health inequity, associated with imbalances in political power throughout society. It functions to normalize and legitimize cultural, institutional, and personal hierarchies and inequity that routinely advantage whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse health outcomes for people of color.’ Our testimony lays out that Cook County has longstanding health inequities. Further, racism is a fundamental cause of health inequities. Cook County’s Regional Gang Database (RGID) is both itself a manifestation of and cause of further racism against people of color—in particular against Black people and against immigrants in our county. Our elected officials have a responsibility to be accountable for and redress the harms of RGID.

Tags: Health equity, Health reform,
Health Equity Requires Defunding and Abolishing the Police

Advancing health equity is Health & Medicine Policy Research Group’s mission. As part of that mission, Health & Medicine supports the growing call to defund and abolish the police. As a matter of public health, Health & Medicine joins our voice to the demand for local, state, and federal governments to defund and abolish the police.

Tags: Health equity,
Health in All Policies: Testimony to City Council

Tags: Health equity,
Legislative Tracking May 2017

In order to advance health equity, people need access to high quality, equitable education, well-paid and safe jobs, affordable housing, and freedom from discrimination and violence, among other important issues. As such, our legislative tracking is broader than most that focus solely on mental health, healthcare access, or education, as examples. We hope our curated list of Illinois legislation will provides guidance for those who care about health equity and think through the lens of the structural determinants of health inequities.

Tags: Health equity, Health reform,