NBCCEDP Health Equity Strategies

Illustration of diverse people

Health equity is achieved when every person has an opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is at a disadvantage from achieving this potential. “All people get the right screening at the right time for the best outcome” is a strategic priority of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. Below, CDC outlines guidance for implementing strategies to support this health equity priority.

The Approach

  • Collaborate from the beginning of the process with the local communities being served; consider the people burdened with cancer, and identify the assets, partners, challenges, and solutions.
  • Include staff in planning and monitoring health equity strategies and goals and help them understand their roles in changing practice.
  • Assess the effect of all activities, and determine whether practices or policy actions increase, decrease, or have no effect on health equity for each population of focus.

The Work

  • Document health equity gaps using cancer incidence, late-stage diagnosis, and mortality data.
  • Develop partnerships with local organizations who have trusting relationships and credibility with the populations of focus.
  • Work with partners to engage individuals to increase the program’s understanding of population groups and community experiences that affect health and access to health care.
  • Engage partners and communities in the development of a health equity strategy that addresses gaps, builds on community strengths, and reduces cancer health disparities.
  • Engage both providers and clinics in setting and meeting health equity goals that address access, quality, policies, and systems to improve patient outcomes.
  • Expand health care access by supporting partnerships with organizations who address social determinants of health1 to connect the unscreened to program clinics and screening services.
  • Expand access by engaging new providers and clinics in locations where population groups experience higher rates of cancer incidence, late-stage diagnosis, and mortality.
  • Evaluate efforts to achieve the program’s health equity goals and objectives.

 1Conditions in the places where people are born, live, learn, work, play, and worship.

The Fundamentals
  • Start now, if you haven’t started already.
  • Make health equity a priority in your program.
  • Align efforts with national program goals.
  • Use multiple internal and external strategies to achieve health equity.
  • Establish a common language to discuss health equity.
  • Use inclusive terminology in communications.
  • Update standard operating procedures.
  • Invest in public health workforce training for diversity, health equity, and inclusion.
  • Include both qualitative and quantitative metrics to measure success, and compare findings to verify outcomes.

The Strategy

Describe the challenge

Use community and partner input and cancer data to describe health equity needs and challenges in your jurisdiction.

Focus efforts

Identify and describe population(s) of focus using late-stage cancer diagnosis and mortality data to prioritize screening resources to those most in need, and plan appropriate intervention strategies.

Outline the plan

  • Describe your proposed strategies and how they may affect cancer outcomes and advance health equity for each population of focus.
  • Include annual and five-year health equity goals for each population of focus, including screening goals by population.
  • Describe implementation and evaluation.
  • Describe the resources, assets, and partners needed to support activities.