Infographic: Conquering the Health Disparities of Structural Racism

My new commentary “Conquering the Health Disparities of Structural Racism,” published in a special supplement of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, presents best practices for mitigating the effects of structural racism on the social determinants of health and thus, health disparities.

Policies, processes, and systems rooted in racist ideologies, like redlining, and school segregation directly impact the health and well-being of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. This creates what public health practitioners describe as the social determinants of health and presents itself clinically as chronic disease, poor maternal child health outcomes, and limited opportunities for equitable resources. The effects of structural racism have been well described in hypersegregated communities, or communities exhibiting lesser amounts of resources and racial diversity than their surroundings as a result of past discriminatory policies. Public health departments have an opportunity to target the health disparities caused by structural racism and improve the potential to achieve true health equity.

The following infographic summarizes best practices for public health practitioners in targeting structural racism when fighting health disparities. Strategies that center on utilizing culturally relevant and inclusive programmatic development, the creation and modification of intentional and equitable policies, and collaboration that incorporates all stakeholders can be a double-edge sword in conquering structural racism and health disparities. 

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Christen Johnson
Christen Johnson, MD, MPH, is a health equity champion and Board Certified Family Physician in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Johnson is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Antiracist and Multicultural Education and is a 2020-21 AAFP Health Equity Fellow. Her research interests include health disparities, medical education, and antiracist medicine. @ChrissyJMD on all social media

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