Health equity and public leadership

Individual Author(s) / Organizational Author
Koh, Howard
American Public Health Association
April 2010
American Journal of Public Health
Abstract / Description

At its inception in 1946, the World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed that the “enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.”(p100) Yet, that noble goal remains disturbingly out of reach for far too many; glaring inequities continue to riddle the public health landscape. Volumes of research have probed the roots of disparities, documenting both their enormity and persistence. These inequities can be viewed through various lenses—diseases, risk factors, populations, and geography, to name a few. Furthermore, like other major public health conundrums, they stem from the distant past, play out in the public eye, impact a vast array of stakeholders, and require solutions that lie well beyond the control of any single authority. Tackling these disparities and achieving true health equity will only come through leadership—societal, organizational and individual—that embraces the powerful integration of science, practice, and policy to create lasting change. (author abstract)

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