Bridges Out of Poverty and Bridges to Health and Healthcare coauthor Terie Dreussi-Smith is one of a handful of people acknowledged in a new free resource from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in Canada.

“No Barriers: Health Equity for All” is a tool kit and practical guide for health and community service providers. Its stated goal is to help service providers:

  • Better understand how addressing the social determinants of health and working toward health equity benefits the health and wellness of individuals in the community.
  • Identify intended/unintended impacts on health that policies, programs, services, and initiatives may have on specific population groups.
  • Engage in planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs, services, policies, and initiatives through a health equity lens.
  • Effectively communicate key messages using inclusive language (p. 2).

This tool kit was developed to assist decision makers, program planners, service providers, and front-line staff in their work to improve the health and wellness of individuals and communities. Content is laid out to establish a strong foundation of understanding and comprehension about the concepts of health equity and the social determinants of health. Practical tools, resources, and methods are provided to support translating knowledge into evidence-informed action.

The tool kit proposes a framework for understanding and addressing health equity. Special attention is paid to various approaches to overcoming inequity, environmental influences on values and priorities, and effective communication using inclusive language.

A “Health Equity Impact Assessment” (HEIA) tool is at the center of the tool kit, and it is accompanied by a decision making tool to help providers determine when to complete the assessment. The HEIA “can be used to identify and address potential unintended health impacts (positive or negative) of a policy, program, or initiative on specific population groups” (37). The HEIA tool template provided covers population identification, potential health impacts, mitigation strategies, monitoring and evaluating outcomes, and sharing results.

“No Barriers: Health Equity for All” is available from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s website. Click here to read it now.