Health Equity

COVID-19 health equity initiatives across the United States


This article is part of a series of COVID-19 resources on health equity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the U.S population and the hardest hit have been traditionally minoritized and marginalized people—in particular Black, Brown and Indigenous communities—where health inequities were already present.

Explore Health Equity

This web series features diverse speakers touching on the impact of existing structural issues and the COVID-19 pandemic on health equity.

Cities, states and various organizations are responding to health and racial equity in the COVID-19 response by putting in place projects and initiatives that center equity while assisting health care, public health, neighborhood and community stakeholders, and residential communities. 

We partnered with these organizations to collect their insights to help us better understand the history of the project or initiatives, the overall goals of the project/initiative, the expected results and early wins, as well as the key partners involved in the effort. They also gave recommendations and advice to consider when engaging in similar efforts.

See how health care, governmental and community organizations across the country are working to provide resources to minoritized and marginalized populations, dismantling racist systems and improving patient trust in the health care system.

Review initiatives

  1. Black Arizona COVID-19 Task Force

    1. The Black Arizona COVID-19 Task Force is rolling out measures to address food security, residential resources, job security, small business stabilization and voter retention in the aftermath of COVID-19 in Arizona.
  2. Cambridge Health Alliance

    1. In the context of the pandemic, Cambridge Health Alliance's paramount focus was an approach that was even more equity-focused and patient-centered.
  3. Meharry Medical College

    1. Meharry works with the local Nashville government to create and lead COVID-19 wards, as well as expand testing teams in prisons and churches via mobile operations.
  4. Michigan Public Health Institute

    1. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated racial disparities in Michigan’s justice system revealing how incarceration accelerates the spread of the coronavirus.
  5. Milwaukee Health Department

    1. The Milwaukee Health Department Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) group looks to identify the skills, organizational practices and infrastructure needed to guide staff in their work to address health inequities.
  6. New York City Department of Health

    1. The New York City Department of Health concentrated testing in neighborhoods with low testing numbers and high rates of COVID-19 positivity.
  7. Spectrum Health Lakeland

    1. Spectrum Health Lakeland (SHL) addresses the impact of COVID-19 on racialized disparities in mortality rates and life expectancies in Berrien County, Michigan.
  8. UC San Diego Refugee Health Unit

    1. The initiative addresses the exclusion of refugee communities in the San Diego, California area from decisions that impact their well-being and access to resources, with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  9. Public Health Alliance of Southern California

    1. The Public Health Alliance of Southern California works to support its members in improving population health and advancing equity for disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color.