Community-Driven Health Equity Action Plans

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Culture of Health Program is proud to present a model for developing Community-Driven Health Equity Action Plans. The NAM piloted the model in collaboration with five diverse communities across the United States from 2018 to 2019. This page contains links to each pilot community’s completed plan, as well as lessons learned from the pilot project.

Overview of the Model

Health equity means everyone has a fair shot at living the healthiest life possible. Health equity is fundamental to living a good life and building a vibrant society. All actors in society—residents and community-based organizations, businesses, state and local government, anchor and faith-based institutions—have the power to promote health equity. Identifying strategies to advance health equity is the mission of the NAM’s Culture of Health Program.

The Culture of Health Program created a model for developing Community-Driven Health Equity Action Plans as a tool for communities interested in advancing health equity at the community level. A Community-Driven Health Equity Action Plan is meant to lay the groundwork for communities to take action on a health equity agenda that addresses a priority of the community.

The model provides a framework to strategize how to reduce health inequities at the community level in seven steps:

  1. Vision and goals: Decide what you want to achieve over the long term and the steps to move towards that vision
  2. Community context: Determine the unique challenges that your community faces as well as the unique opportunities that exist in your community that can be leveraged to achieve your vision
  3. Research grounding: Ground your plan in the evidence base
  4. Strategies and tactics: Strategize how your team will accomplish the goals identified for your plan
  5. Stakeholders: Decide who you will need to engage for plan development, uptake, and implementation
  6. Timeline: Develop a time frame for developing, rolling out, and implementing your plan
  7. Sustainability: Consider communications, potential resources to sustain your plan, and the evaluation of your success

Population: Everyone


  • Learn more about the Culture of Health Program
  • Learn more about the Community-Driven Health Equity Action Plans
  • Read the full report Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity by 2017 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Learn more about the National Academy of Medicine

Date: 2020