Addressing Health Inequities in Environmental Public Health in Alberta

Publication: Environmental Health Review
20 December 2019

Abstract

Environmental health related inequities can occur when environmental hazards or disasters disproportionally impact vulnerable populations, when environmental protection activities place a disproportionate burden on marginalized groups through a lack of inclusion or representation, and through creation of policies or programs that address only the immediate environment rather than the broader structural determinants that have created it (Gore and Anita, 2013). Environmental public health (EPH) practitioners are well positioned to reduce inequities when they are empowered to include an equity lens in their work and identify opportunities to act on the social determinants of health (SDH). This focus group project identified ways in which public health inspectors in Alberta Health Services Calgary zone understand the concepts of equity and SDH as relevant to their work, revealed gaps in understanding and practice, and generated ideas to operationalize the integration of an equity lens into EPH practice. This project helps reinforce the importance of providing health equity education and opportunities for collaboration as a catalyst for action to integrate SDH and health equity into professional competencies and address organizational/operational barriers. Sharing these results will be helpful in moving towards fulfilling the key inequity-reducing role of EPH practice.

Get full access to this article

View all available purchase options and get full access to this article.

References

Alberta Health Services (AHS). 2017. AHS map and zone overview. Available at: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/about/publications/ahs-ar-2017/zones.html [accessed October 18, 2018].
BC Centre for Disease Control. 2016. Taking action on health equity in environmental public health: Five strategies for organizational change. Available at: http://www.bccdc.ca/resource-gallery/Documents/Educational%20Materials/EH/Five%20strategies%20 for%20organizational%20change%20on%20equity.pdf [accessed October 21, 2018].
BCCDC. 2017. Equity and EPH handbook: Through an equity lens. Available at: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-professionals/professional-resources/health-equity-environmental-health/equity-and-eph-handbook [accessed October 21, 2018].
Campbell A., Foggin T., Elliott C., and Elliot C. Health promotion as practiced by public health inspectors: The BC experience Can J Public Health 2011 102 6 432 -36
Daghofer, D. 2016. Equity-integrated environmental health practice: Facilitators and barriers. Vancouver, BC: BC Centre for Disease Control.
Daghofer, D., & Edwards, P. 2010. Toward health equity: A comparative analysis and framework for action. Ottawa, Ontario: Public Health Agency of Canada.
Gore D. and Anita K. Getting to the root of the problem: Health promotion strategies to address the social determinants of health 2013 Can J Public Health 104 1 52 -54
Grigg, G. 2012. Health protection and health equity: Identifying the organizational barriers to success. Unpublished Masters thesis. Athabasca University.
Lichtman, M. 2010. Q ualitative research in education: A user’s guide (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH). 2014. Glossary of essential health equity terms. Available at: http://nccdh.ca/resources/glossary/ [accessed October 18, 2018].
Pham M.T., Jones A.Q., Sargeant J.M., et al. A qualitative exploration of the perceptions and information needs of public health inspectors responsible for food safety BMC Public Health 2010 10 345
Public Health Agency of Canada. 2017. Core competencies for public health in Canada. Ottawa, ON: Public Health Agency of Canada.
Rideout, K. & NCCDH. 2015. Equity in environmental health practice: Findings of a pilot study. Vancouver, BC; Antigonish, NS. Available at: http://nccdh.ca/resources/entry/equity-in-environmental-health-practice-findings-of-a-pilot-study [accessed October 21, 2018].
Rideout K. and Oickle D. 2016 Integrating equity into environmental health practice: Findings of a pilot study Environ Health Rev 59 1 35 -39
Rideout K., Oickle D., Scarpino J., Chang H., Ness T., Vecchiarelli V., and Ma L. 2015 Opportunities for environmental public health action on the social determinants of health and health inequity Environ Health Rev 58 4 75 -78
Stewart J. and Bourn C. 2013 The environmental health practitioner: New evidence-based roles in housing, public health and well-being Perspect Public Health 133 6 325 -329

Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image Environmental Health Review
Environmental Health Review
Volume 62Number 4December 2019
Pages: 121 - 124

History

Version of record online: 20 December 2019

Key Words

  1. environmental public health
  2. health equity
  3. health inequities
  4. public health inspectors

Authors

Affiliations

Michelle Kilborn [email protected]
Population, Public & Indigenous Health, Alberta Health Services Edmonton, Alberta
Jason Cabaj
Population, Public & Indigenous Health, Alberta Health Services Edmonton, Alberta
Lynn Navratil
Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta
Angela Torry
Healthy Public Policy Unit, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta
Richelle Schindler
Resident, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta

Metrics & Citations

Metrics

Other Metrics

Citations

Cite As

Export Citations

If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. Simply select your manager software from the list below and click Download.

There are no citations for this item

View Options

Get Access

View options

PDF

View PDF

Full Text

View Full Text

Media

Media

Other

Tables

Share Options

Share

Share the article link

Share on social media