| Feb 5, 2024

Health Equity Impact Tool

The Health Equity Impact Tool was designed to benchmark how state health agencies’ work impacts health equity and identify broad strategic equity goals which can be used to generate an action plan. Health systems, health plans, provider organizations, and others can also use this tool to identify goals for advancing health equity.

This tool centers disparities by race and ethnicity because of the unique history of racism and its wide-reaching impact on the health and wellbeing of people of color in the United States. The tool also considers inequities experienced by people living with disabilities, low-income groups, and people who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Why Use This Tool?

Injustice does not need to be intentional to cause harm. Systems, structures, and processes in the United States were built to explicitly oppress some groups and then to implicitly reinforce or maintain the privilege of others. As a result, universal approaches often exacerbate inequities because they do not examine the status quo for disparate impact.

How to Use the Results of the Tool

  • Identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Challenges

    • Use the tally of your responses and the notes made in each section to identify overall strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges for your organization as you address health equity in your work.
    • The worksheet is meant to be completed in a conversation among staff who participated in the assessment. As the team completes the worksheet, consider the overlap between and among sections of the tool. Consider also the overlap between programs and services.
    • Sections for which the tally score was relatively high may offer promising opportunities.
  • Goals

    • Use the Goals worksheet to identify a set of goals based on both the tally and the discussion of strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and challenges. Future work should include developing a set of measurable and timebound objectives for reaching each goal. Goals are principles for strategic change and most manageable if limited to five to seven in total. The information recorded in the worksheet is meant to guide next steps, but some, like the list of stakeholders, may change as objectives clarify the work needed.
    • The tally is meant to elevate and inform the development of equity goals and support strategic planning efforts across the organization. The following scenarios offer ideas of how to prioritize action based on the results of the various parts of this tool:
      • A holistic approach: follow the existing sequence of the tool to elevate priorities at different levels of the organization.
      • An intentional focus on short-term gains: focus on sections where you may have the most room or opportunity for progress or have a high degree of influence, but the tally is low.
      • An intentional focus on long-term gains and systemic change: follow the tool in reverse sequential order (e.g. start with Part 7).
Before you begin the Health Equity Impact Tool, please share your name and email address below. You will be sent a unique access code via email so you can save your progress and return at a later time if need be.

  • If you already have a unique ID and are returning to continue your work, click here.