HEALTH & WELLNESS
HEALTH IN ALL POLICIES
A GUIDE FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERMENTS
The health of our nation is in crisis: chronic disease is on the rise, health care costs are spiraling up, and inequities are growing. More and more children are facing illnesses that have historically been associated with adults, and current trends suggest that today’s young people may be the first generation of children in the United States with shorter life expectancies than their parents. At the same time, we face urgent environmental problems—such as climate change, water shortages, the loss of habitat and other natural resources—which will pose additional health challenges.
The dictionary defines racism as “the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic and political advantage of another.” But according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the nation’s top medical expert and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, racism can now also be defined as a “serious public health threat.”
For re-searchers, how would your study
designs change if the primary metric was whether they helped Black women? How would your interventions be modified if you could not claim success without racially equitable out-comes? Let’s start with these challenges and learn what works, together. We can prioritize racial equity in women’s health, but we must actively choose to do so. How can we look at the evidence and do anything else?
The objective of this policy statement is to provide an evidence-based document focused on the role of racism in child and adolescent development and health outcomes. By acknowledging the role of racism in child and adolescent health, pediatricians and other pediatric health professionals will be able to proactively engage in strategies to optimize clinical care, workforce development, professional education, systems engagement, and research in a manner designed to reduce the health effects of structural, personally mediated, and internalized racism and improve the health and well-being of all children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families.