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Equity tools

The Through an Equity Lens project aims to increase knowledge about health equity in the context of environmental public health (EPH) practice and to develop resources that support the use of an equity lens in practice. These action-oriented resources are designed to help individuals and health authorities integrate health equity considerations into EPH practice, and will be updated as new resources become available.

Equity 101 Videos

The Equity 101 video series provides a simple and quick overview of health equity concepts and issues specifically targeted to environmental health officers (EHOs) and health protection leaders. Each 5 to 7-minute video focuses on a specific aspect of health equity in relation to environmental health practice. 

Certified public health inspectors who view all five videos can earn 1 hour credit toward the Continuing Professional Competencies program of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI). Log on to the CIPHI Member Service Centre to submit hours.  

1. Health equity and how it relates to EHO practice

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  • Consider how you would define health equity as it relates to environmental public health practice. How might you explain it to a colleague?
  • Can you think one example from your own practice in which societal barriers were preventing someone from complying with health regulations?         

2. Social determinants of health and how they impact practice

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  • Which of the social determinants of health identified in the video do you think is most likely to affect people you work with?
  • Think of one example and consider how you might find out what barriers someone is facing? How might that awareness change the way you interact with someone?

3. How social determinants arise across different EHO practice settings

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  • Think about each of the settings in which you work – how have social determinants of health impacted those settings?
  • For each setting, how might consideration of those social determinants change the long-term outcomes of your responses? 

4. How health authorities can integrate health equity lens to environmental health

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  • If you were to articulate a vision statement for health equity for your department or health authority, what would you say?
  • What policies or frameworks could you leverage to place more emphasis on health equity?
  • What opportunities for collaboration between might be possible? Can you start the conversation?
  • Who are the vulnerable populations in your region? How could you find out more about their issues?

5. Concrete actions that individual EHOs can take to support health equity through their practice

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  • What is one way you could consider health equity in your usual work? How might you communicate differently, consider people's social situations, or get behind an equity champion in your organization?
  • Which other professionals could you, as an EHO, work with when you suspect that social determinants are impacting your clients and your practice? Can you start the conversation?
  • If you were to set a goal to do one new thing to support health equity, what would it be?


Framework for EPH Action on Health Equity

BCCDC collaborated with the National Collaborating Centres for Environmental Health (NCCEH) and Determinants of Health (NCCDH) to produce a Framework and accompanying User Guide to help environmental public health practitioners identify potential actions on the social determinants of health and health equity. Practitioners can use these two tools to reflect on their current practice and identify practical actions for use in their day-to-day work or broader program planning.

The Framework outlines 10 considerations to help practitioners identify how equity work relates to their role and how they can begin to take action. It can be used by staff with any degree of knowledge or experience related to health equity. The User Guide highlights potential points of influence for frontline staff, managers, and educators. Together, these tools support reflective practice, collaboration, and action toward equity-integrated environmental public health.
Success Factors

Success Factors for Equity-Integrated Environmental Health Practice

This action-oriented document summarizes the key facilitators to integrating an equity lens and uses three case studies to illustrate different ways these facilitators have been implemented. It can be used individually or as a tool for strategic planning or in workshops and meetings to support staff training and development.

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