To address the root causes of health inequities, public health organizations are being called to transform the way they do business. In 2017, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Center for Public Health Practice launched a Health Equity Learning Community to support local adoption of health equity practices. The learning community included teams from public health departments in six local jurisdictions and had three primary components: 1) learning community meetings, 2) coaching by MDH staff for each participating local jurisdiction, and 3) local action steps to adopt health equity practices. Interactive learning community meetings provided foundational content and coaching provided individual support for action. An Implementation Guide with details about meeting content and activities is available on the MDH website.
Health departments interested in addressing the root causes of health inequities can start by putting a plan in place and forming a project team to implement it. The necessary resources must be secured to support the work and recruit teams from local health jurisdictions to participate. The Implementation Guide should be used to execute and evaluate a learning community, and success stories should be shared to identify opportunities to sustain equity work over time.