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Health Equity Toolbox

The Healthy Lucas County Executive Committee’s Health Equity Task Force developed this toolbox to help organizations throughout the community to incorporate best practices in their diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. Promoting a culture of equity throughout Lucas County is the goal for this toolbox, which includes standard definitions, assessment tools to determine readiness, and other resources below. The YWCA of Northwest Ohio has additional resources.


Ableism: Beliefs or practices that rest on the assumption that being able-bodied is “normal” while other states of being need to be “fixed” or altered

Diversity: The quality of being different or unique at the individual or group level. Diversity takes into account race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, age, ethnicity, ability, physical and mental health status, sex, socioeconomic status, national origin, and other factors.

Equity: Fair treatment for all while striving to identify and eliminate inequities and barriers.

Grassroots Organizations: Organizations developed and operated at the local or neighborhood level by individuals or groups who are indigenous to the community and understand community residents. Grassroots organizations use collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international level.

Health Disparity: A difference in health that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage.

Health Equity: Everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

Inclusion: The creation of an environment where people feel supported, listened to, and able to do their personal best.

Inclusive Organizations: Organizations that embrace inclusion and the power of diversity to achieve health equity as measured by the achievement of quantifiable benchmarks that track progress on employment, leadership, and  health outcomes related to race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, age, ethnicity, ability, physical and mental health status, sex, socioeconomic status, and national origin.

Implicit Bias (a.k.a. Unconscious Bias): Attitudes and stereotypes that influence judgment, decision-making, and behavior in ways that are outside of conscious awareness and/or control.

Marginalized: The process through which persons are peripheralized based on their identities, associations, experiences, and environments. Marginalized communities have been excluded or discriminated against through unequal power relationships across social, economic, and cultural dimensions of life.

Microaggression: A comment or action that unconsciously or unintentionally expresses or reveals a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group, such as a racial minority. These small, common occurrences include insults, slights, stereotyping, undermining, devaluing, delegitimizing, overlooking, or excluding someone.

Minority-Led Organization: An organization with an executive, administrative, and governing leadership composition that is at least 51% ethnic or racial minority group as defined by the U.S. Census (or other marginalized population groups, including LBGTQ+, persons with disabilities, women, etc.). Daily operations at these organizations are influenced by those minority group members.

Racism: A belief that racial differences produce or are associated with inherent superiority or inferiority. Includes racially-based prejudice, discrimination, hostility, or hatred.

Social Determinants of Health: Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes.

Systemic/Institutionalized Racism: Forms of racism that are engrained in society or organizations. It is when entire racial groups are discriminated against – or consistently disadvantaged – by larger social systems, practices, choices, or policies.

Underserved Populations: Groups of people who have been identified as having decreased level of service or access to health care.

Assessment Tools

Coalition of Communities of Color Tool for Organizational Self-Assessment Related to Racial Equity

Community Health Inclusion Index (CHII) On-Site Assessment

Community Health Inclusion Index (CHII) Organizational Assessment

National Council for Behavioral Health Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Care (TI-ROC) Climate of Equity Assessment

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Cultural and Linguistic Competence (CLC) Assessment Tool

Additional Resources

Annie E. Casey Foundation Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide

Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County Equity in Action Strategic Plan

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Series Necessary Conversations: Understanding Racism as a Barrier to Achieving Health Equity

Healthy Lucas County is a coalition of community organizations working to improve the health of all residents of Lucas County, Ohio. We're especially focused on addressing the needs of residents living in low-income areas and lessening health disparities to help everyone live to their fullest potential. Healthy Lucas County is coordinated by the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio.

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