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We improve public health and population health practice to support healthier communities
Five Trainings for Health Professionals to Integrate Racial Equity Into Practice

Date: 6/4/2020 2:01 PM

Topic: Workforce Development

Tag: Training, TRAIN

Author: Vanessa Lamers

Vanessa Lamers, MPH, MESc, is the Assistant Director of Performance Management and Quality Improvement, Public Health Foundation
Racism is a public health issue, with significant impacts to health and well-being.
Public health and healthcare professionals know firsthand the impacts that long-standing discriminatory structures and institutionalized racism have on health outcomes. This has been particularly pronounced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as illustrated by the below graphic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
CDC COVID-19 by race.jpg
What is the role of public health in dismantling historical barriers, embedded segregation, and legacies of structural racism in our communities? Health professionals are at the forefront of efforts to achieve health equity, but we will only be successful if we focus as individuals, teams, and organizations to address the system underlying these disparities and the structural racism of our communities.
To build skills, knowledge, and learning for health professionals, PHF has curated a set of five high quality, recent, and complementary trainings. Each of these trainings are roughly one hour and are available through the TRAIN Learning Network​:
1) Achieving Health Equity - Tools for a National Campaign Against Racism
February 2017 Webinar Presentation
Host: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Grand Rounds
Speaker: Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD

This CDC Preventive Medicine Grand Rounds presentation features Dr. Camara Jones’ work on the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of the nation. In this presentation, Dr. Jones discusses how to address structural and historical causes of health inequality, build a health equity “lens” into public health work, and facilitate health systems’ effort to achieve health equity for all.
2) Health Equity and Environmental Justice 101 Training
June 2018 Online Course
Host: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Narrator: Tony Aaron Fuller
Using engaging videos and plain language, this course defines and discuses health equity, social determinants of health, and environmental justice. Although some data and examples are specific to Colorado, this training is an excellent introduction to these concepts, and would be appropriate for individuals without a background in public health or medicine.
3) Segregation Stress Syndrome: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin
May 2019 Webinar Presentation
Host: Health and Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG) and the Illinois ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Response Collaborative
Speaker: Dr. Ruth Thompson-Miller
While many might view an experience with trauma as a single event, sociologist Dr. Thompson-Miller argues that the trauma of racism has never ended–or subsided–for African-Americans, and has created a multigenerational traumatic experience. Drawing connections from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, Dr. Thompson-Miller discussed the origins and current state of “Segregation Stress Syndrome,” as well as ways clinicians can begin to make connections between historical trauma and the health outcomes of Black Americans today.
4) Working Across Government to Advance Health and Racial Equity
December 2017 Webinar Presentation
Host: Government Alliance on Race and Equity, the National Collaborative for Health Equity, and NACCHO’s Health Equity and Social Justice Committee
Speakers: Shawna Davie, Matias Valenzuela, Jordan Bingham, Jonathan Heller
This is the second part of the four part “Advancing Health Equity in Local Health Departments” webinar series. This webinar addresses the importance of working across government, and underscores reasons why being explicit about racism is key to advancing health equity. Case studies from King County, Washington and Madison/Dane County, Wisconsin are used to demonstrate this importance.
5) #NYCHealthEquity - Advancing Racial and Social Justice ​
March 2018 Webinar Presentation
Host: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Speaker: Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH
This video presentation discusses the roles institutions have played in fostering, exacerbating, and perpetuating racism and other forms of oppression, and lists the ways that institutions can work with neighborhoods and communities to amplify their inherent power to health together. Dr. Maybank discusses a neighborhood place-based approach, which uses evidence-based interventions to provide coordinated health promotion services, clinical services, and community resources to increase community access to goods and services and close coverage gaps. It also addresses coordination and multi-sectoral partnership building with other agencies to advance the health equity agenda.

PHF wants to thank these and all the course providers for their high quality trainings and excellent presentation of information crucial for our pursuit of health equity.
The TRAIN Learning Network provides easy access to content from thousands of reputable training providers. If you have a training or course that should be added to this list, email Vanessa Lamers at​


Add A Comment

Sheila Stoddart


At Deborah- So true and well said, unfortunately, truth is not what the powers that be really want.

Ron Bialek


Deborah, Thank you for sharing with us your feelings, thoughts, and suggestions. Many of our health systems are indeed set-up in ways that perpetuate injustice. We will continue to look for training that addresses health system change and how health systems can be a partner in eliminating racism and injustice. If you become aware of these types of trainings, please let us know. Your comments reminded me of a situation a number of years ago when we convened a group of experts – physicians, researchers, educators, community members – to address asthma. The physicians several times referred to their “non-compliant” patients. Eventually, one of the community members asked if a parent decides to feed her family rather than purchase her medications, is this being “non-compliant?” The physicians at the end of the meeting thanked the community member for helping them understand the struggles their patients may face. To this day, the physicians no longer use the phrase “non-compliant” and have worked with their patients to better understand their struggles and have even been able to help them overcome some of what their patients face.

Deborah Edwards


As an African American in Newark NJ who has worked in healthcare for 20 years and public health for 19 years.( 39 years), I am totally exhausted and worn out with academic study etc of this and other issues which has gone on over 401 years since slavery. Fast forward HHS developed Healthy People in 1990 representing 4 decades of plans and hopeful improvements, trainings, research etc) to address health disparities to no avail. However, upon closer look much of the disparities have been perpetuated by institutions which in many instances have taken advantage of populations for financial gain inherent trait within healthcare systems among others. There has been more than enough exhaustive research, "scholarly" exercises, data collection and publishing in academic and peer-reviewed journals publications which have served to develop the latest sterile clinical terminology i.e. the "social determinants of health" which blames the victims and circumstances. How about a fresh perspective with a purview toward change of systemic practices with implementation of practical applications to address health disparities which can yield immediate results. There are studies by Kaiser Permanente to address this with perceptions among practitioners in services rendered to privately insured patients v Medicaid patients....the changes came when cards were identical and the providers didn't know who was privately insured or a Medicaid patient....which changed patient outcomes. Simple as that. There was another study conducted and published in the New England Journal of Medicine which looked at two cohorts of black, one white, same presentations heart problems. Here again the white cohort received better alternative treatments, therapies and medications vs the black counter parts who received substandard care. Oh an BTW one would think it is because blacks were indigent. However, with the black cohort, it mattered not if the black patient was indigent/uninsured or the PCEO of a major corporation with multiple health insurances and CASH...they all received substandard care. What does that tell you? I'm sure there will be more money floated for grants for research and trainings to understand what we already know...the bottom line has been the sicker these groups are (without accountability or performance based outcomes of health systems) the more money they make. Most if not all health systems will want to help change the trajectory.... only if MONEY is attached. This is the sad reality. Think trainings need to be geared in this manner and produce the most immediate results.

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