Health equity 101: Videos for environmental health
This resource is available in English only.
Public health inspectors (PHIs), also known as environmental health officers (EHOs), are professionals with expertise in health protection, including inspections, enforcement of regulations and education/training roles. PHIs are the only professional discipline with training that is explicitly rooted in public health, though the intersection between environmental public health (EPH) practice and the social determinants of health (SDH) is not always recognized or obvious.
Building equity into the public health inspector role
As a way to encourage PHIs to look more closely at how their practice can impact population health inequities, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has developed a resource to explore how EPH practice can address health equity as part of the existing mandate and scope of the PHI role. This series of five short videos presents key concepts related to how health equity applies to the daily practice of PHIs/EHOs and other environmental health practitioners at all levels of the public health system. Each of the videos is four-and-a-half to six minutes in length and presented in whiteboard video style.
Individual video topics include:
- Health equity and how it relates to EHO practice
- Social determinants of health and how they impact EHO practice
- How social determinants arise across different EHO practice settings
- How health authorities can integrate a health equity lens to environmental health
- Concrete actions that individuals EHOs can take to support health equity
The videos have been approved for PDH (professional development hour) credits through the CIPHI Continuing Professional Competency program. Practitioners may view the videos in succession or any order, in one sitting or spread out over several sessions, alone or with a group, as a way to explore how their work may impact health equity beyond individual client circumstances.
Use this resource to
- facilitate a discussion with EPH peers on how to shift organizational practices to address the SDH;
- develop a continuing education plan to improve knowledge in health equity concepts as applied to EPH; and
- advocate for policy changes to basic income, housing and working conditions as SDH factors impacting health equity.
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. (2018). Health equity 101: Videos for environmental health. British Columbia Centre for Disease Control; Vancouver, BC.
- Toward health equity: Practical actions for public health inspectors (2016)
- Key resources for environmental public health practitioners to address health equity: A curated list (2016)
- Equity in environmental health practice: Findings of a pilot study (2015)
- Blog post: “Letting experience speak: Addressing health equity in environmental public health” (2017)
- Do public health discipline-specific competencies provide guidance for equity-focused practice? (2015)
- Handbook of health equity in environmental public health practice (2017)