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Working together to facilitate intersectoral action for health equity

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Municipal and provincial governments interested in embedding health equity in their work can use tools such as Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) to facilitate intersectoral action (e.g., Health in All Policies approaches). In practice, the implementation of these approaches is influenced by many factors. Applying the same tool in two different settings (or jurisdictions) can result in very different outcomes.

Dr. Ketan Shankardass will present a framework examining how governments facilitate intersectoral action towards health equity. This framework can help actors from within government, as well as from public health, private sector and civil society organizations, think about the factors they should consider when using HEIA as a tool to implement intersectoral action. He will:

- introduce the idea of governments as complex adaptive systems;
- present a framework outlining the factors that influence the use of HEIA when implementing intersectoral action; and
- discuss implications for HEIA users.

A 15 minute presentation will be followed by a 15 minute Q & A session.

What is HEIA?

Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) is one of a number of tools intended to help organizations and governments apply an “equity lens” to their programs, services and policies. To support health equity and reduce avoidable health disparities between population groups in Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) developed an HEIA tool. You can find more information about the tool on the MOHLTC's HEIA website.

What is Health in All Policies?

Health in All Policies is an approach to public policies across sectors that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts in order to improve population health and health equity (WHO, 2014).

About the presenter

Dr. Ketan Shankardass is a social epidemiologist working to better understand and support innovative, intersectoral action to reduce inequities in health. His research focuses on multisectoral health strategies, and neighbourhood-level programs to address chronic stress and other health inequities.

Dr. Shankardass is a Scientist at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions (C-UHS; formerly Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH)) at St. Michael’s Hospital, an associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Wilfrid Laurier University, and an assistant professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto. Outside of the academic, Dr. Shankardass works with Health Promotion Ontario to improve preventive health practice in the province. He is a member of the HEIA Champions group and has collaborated with the City of Hamilton, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Toronto Tri-hospital Collaborative on Health Equity Data Collection, the World Health Organization, the City of Toronto, Health Canada and the University of Nairobi.

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