Region 2 Public Health Training Center

Strategies to Advance Health Equity: How Health Departments Can Promote Living Wages

This is an all levels course offering CHES and CPH — Free
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Time to Start

3-5 minutes


1.00 hour


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The social determinants of health, or the structures and economic systems that shape patterns of wellness and illness, can influence health issues like obesity and teen pregnancy. Upstream factors that influence health are broad, deeply entrenched in our society, and can appear daunting to change. While public health often focuses on individual-level health behaviors, this approach requires a high level of effort from the targeted individual and has little influence on widespread population health.

Health departments are increasingly moving upstream to tackle the core issues that affect the communities they serve, such as income. This module details how raising the minimum wage is a public health issue and provides a case study of one health department that used research, communication, and advocacy to influence low wages. 

Learners can expect clear, easy to follow navigation, and many opportunities for reflection in this case study. 

This learning opportunity topic is aligned with one or more of the strategic skills.

This learning opportunity responds to training needs identified in PH WINS 2017.

What You'll Learn

  • Explain the rationale for expanding public health practice to change living conditions to promote health and equity
  • Consider action on living conditions to be part of their scope of work
  • Identify some of the conceptual and organizational obstacles state and local health departments face in addressing living conditions
  • Explain how to apply the “upstream” strategies to define and achieve feasible goals in their own practice

Related Occupations

Department/Bureau Director
Deputy Director
Public health - multiple occupations will benefit
Public Health Agency Director