Community – can be defined broadly, both geographically or population-based, among people with shared identity, affinity, or affiliation.

Community Engagement –the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people.It often involves partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners, and serve as catalysts for changing policies, programs, and practices. (CDC)

Community health improvement planning (CHIP) processes – The processes used to develop and support long term-strategies to address public health problems and achieve health equity in a defined community. A community health improvement plan (CHIP) is a long-term, systematic effort to address public health problems based on the results of community health assessment activities and a community health improvement process.  This plan is used by health, human service, and governmental organizations, in collaboration with community partners, to establish priorities and align resources. A community health improvement plan is critical for developing policies and defining actions to prioritize efforts that promote health. 

Community health initiative (CHI) – A unique effort required of hospitals when a Determination of Need project is approved. CHIs focus on addressing social determinants of health and health inequities. 

Disparities or inequalities – a condition of being unequal, a great or noticeable difference that is unfair between individuals or population groups. 

Determination of Need (DoN)– is the state’s mandatory public regulatory program and approval process that healthcare facilities must adhere to when they propose substantial capital expenditures, as well as other significant actions that could impact the healthcare market. 

Environmental change approach – Changes to the physical, social, or economic environment. 

Groundwater – As outlined in The Groundwater Approach by the Racial Equity Institute, “we live in a racially structured society, and that that is what causes racial inequity.” The groundwater is a metaphor for structural racism and to explain the nature of racism as it currently exists in the United States. 

Health equity – Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. To achieve this, we must remove barriers to health — such as poverty, discrimination, and deep power imbalances. We must also remove their consequences, including lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care (Human Impact Partners

Implicit Bias: Learned stereotypes and prejudices that operate automatically, and unconsciously, when interacting with others. Also referred to as unconscious bias. When a person’s actions or decisions are at odds with their intentions this is implicit bias. (john a. powell) 

Inequities – Differences that are unnecessary and can be avoided.  They are also unfair and unjust. 

Institutional racism – The policies and practices of organizations (education, transportation, housing, healthcare, and others.) that create different oppressive and negative outcomes for different racial groups. (“Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: Evidence and interventions”

Lived experience – is defined as someone who has lived (or is currently living) with the issues the community is focusing on and who may have insight to offer about the system as it is experienced by consumers (i.e. substance use disorder, homelessness, etc.).

Lived experienced of oppression – is the sum of an individual’s past events and personal history with navigating systems of power through their marginalized/oppressed identities or backgrounds. Lived experience is not defined ONLY as one’s firsthand experiences – a person’s circumstances must have been filtered through encounters where their stability or well-being was negatively impacted by systemic oppression.

Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change – Policy, systems, and environmental change strategies are a way of making sustainable, lasting change within a community to support healthy environments and behaviors across populations. These strategies create or change infrastructure and modify the contexts in which people live to improve community conditions that promote health. Policy, systems, and environmental changes are often made in combination with each other.  

Policy change –  Policy change includes the passing or changing of laws also known as legislation, as well as ordinances, resolutions, mandates, regulations, or rules. Government bodies, park districts, healthcare organizations, worksites, and other community institutions (schools, jails, daycares, etc.) all make policies. Policy change strategies include advocacy & education, civic engagement, and power building.

System Change – Systems change creates fundamental shifts in how problems are solved and how resources and services get distributed. It involves changes made to the policies, processes, power structures, and relationships within an organization or across organizations. Systems changes can be unwritten, ongoing, often qualitative organizational decisions/changes. They might precede or follow written policies.

Environmental Change – Environmental changes involve the economic, social, or physical surroundings or contexts that affect health outcomes. Environmental strategies create more lasting change when paired with systems and policy changes.

Racial equity – Just and fair inclusion into a society in which all people, no matter their race or ethnicity, can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential (PolicyLink) 

Racism – Racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks (which is what we call “race”), that: 

  •  unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, 
  • unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and 
  • saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources. 

(Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones) 

Social determinants of health (SDoH) – Conditions in the environments in which people live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. (source: Healthy People 2020, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 

Structural racism – All the ways in which societies discriminate against racial groups through inequitable systems of housing, education, employment, earnings, benefits, credit, media, health care, and criminal justice. These patterns and practices then reinforce discriminatory beliefs, values, and distribution of resources. (“Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: Evidence and interventions”

Systems change approach – Changes that impact all elements – including social norms – of an organization, institution, or system. 

White Supremacy: White supremacy is a historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent; for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege. (Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, Sharon Mathias)