The HiAP concept recognizes that the causes of health disparities and the resulting health inequities are the consequence of a variety of social factors that include income inequality, economic forces, education quality, environmental conditions, individual health behavior choice, and access to health care. Health disparities are not fair, nor are they inevitable.
This concept acknowledges that all city departments impact health, even those we do not traditionally consider as conducting health-related work. Richmond’s Health in All Policies Strategy is being developed as a collaborative approach with the goal of improving health equity by addressing the social determinants of health and integrating health into the decision making process across all departments of the City.
Adapted from NACCHO.
A driving theory behind the HiAP Strategy is that the cumulative impact on the body of multiple stressors is a key driver that explains the persistence of poor health outcomes disproportionately afflicting people of color in Richmond. Thus, Richmond’s HiAP Strategy may take a multidimensional and integrated approach to reducing the cumulative stressors that occur from an early age and throughout life in the most vulnerable Richmond neighborhoods. By focusing on cumulative stressors, we hope to reduce the occurrence of many chronic illnesses and premature mortality for Richmond residents who are currently experiencing health disparities.