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Public health leadership to advance health equity: A review summary

Cette ressource est aussi disponible en français.

This document is part of the 'Leadership for Health Equity' Series.

In 2016, Betker (2016) completed a dissertation entitled Public health leadership to advance health equity: A scoping review and metasummary that reviewed research on health equity interventions and identified outcomes. The NCCDH has collaborated with Dr. Betker to produce an overview of the key findings of the scoping review and metasummary. It covers such topics as:

  • the status of the existing evidence base;
  • the essential attributes of public health leaders;
  • the importance of relationships in leading public health action for health equity;
  • the types of knowledge needed by leaders;
  • the essential nature of value when making decisions as a public health leader
  • the bridging and enabling role of leaders;
  • the levels at which leadership occurs; and
  • the tools and mechanisms to support leadership development.

To facilitate the application to public health practice, the resource aligns activities to support leadership development with core public health roles and leadership competencies. It also includes key messages for practice and research.

Use this resource to

  • facilitate a discussion about the importance of key attributes and values, as well as how to support these notions among current and emerging public health leaders;
  • identify actions that can be taken at each of the three levels of leadership to advance health equity within public health practice;
  • develop a professional development plan to strengthen the essential types of knowledge, relational aspects and bridging/enabling roles of public health leaders; and
  • consider activities within core public health roles that support the development of leadership for health equity action.


Also in this Series:


Related resources

What contributes to successful public health leadership for health equity? An appreciative inquiry (2013)

Public Health Speaks: Public health leadership for health equity (2015)


Betker, RC and the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (2018). Public health leadership to advance health equity: A review summary. Antigonish, NS: National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health.

Tags: Competencies & organizational standards, Key concepts, Leadership & capacity building, Document, Report / Document, Leadership for Health Equity