Addressing Health Inequities in Environmental Public Health in Alberta

Publication: Environmental Health Review
20 December 2019


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.

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Information & Authors


Published In

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


Version of record online: 20 December 2019

Key Words

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



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

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