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Webinar: Living health equity values within public health organizations

This webinar took place in English. Click here to access the recording (English only).

As part of the Organizational Capacity for Health Equity Action Initiative, the NCCDH is hosting a series of webinars to discuss ways to strengthen organizational capacity for health equity. The webinar series is based on evidence, learning circle discussions and experiences of the two public health organizations implementing organizational change projects. This is the third webinar in the series.

Organizational values influence policies and practices that can support or hinder health equity action. There is a certain set of values that underpin health equity action, some of which are explicit and obvious, and others that are implicit.

These values include the core values of social justice, solidarity, reciprocity and fair distribution of power, as well as other values such as trust, respect for the environment and affordability. These values play an important role in enabling public health action focused on health equity.

Organizational health equity values

Personal and societal values guide organizational work on the social determinants of health and health equity. This webinar reviews the organizational values that reflect an equity orientation. It explores how organizations can successfully shift their values to more closely align with those supportive of health equity action. Shifting organizational culture depends on a close alignment between the personal values of staff members and the desired values of the organization.

Each individual working at an organization arrives with a set of values that has varying degrees of overlap with other staff members and that helps shape the organization's value system. However, not all individuals influence the organization's values to the same extent. The leaders of an organization play a key role in sustaining and reinforcing values within their organization. An organization's values can, in turn, support or detract from health equity action when they influence the goals and priorities of policies and practices.

In short, the sociopolitical context of an organization is critical in directing its ethical commitments. This webinar reviews strategies for assessing and shifting organizational values to support health equity action.

Listeners will learn about

  • the values that reflect health equity;
  • how to assess the values inherent in existing organizational policies and practices; and
  • strategies for shifting organizational values to support health equity action.


Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh, Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist, NCCDH Claire Betker, Scientific Director, NCCDH

Related resources

Shifting moral values to enhance access to health care: Harm reduction as a context for ethical nursing practice (2008) Winnipeg Regional Health Authority 2016–2021 Strategic Plan (2015)
Disruption as opportunity: Impacts of an organizational health equity intervention in primary care clinics (2018) Public health nursing practice and ethical challenges (2006)

Click here to access the recording (English only)

  • Presenters:
  • Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh
    Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh

    Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh, MHSc

    Sume has professional experiences in equity-focused organizational and community development and change, social justice education, HIV/AIDS prevention, research, knowledge translation, evaluation and women's rights with local, provincial and global organizations. Sume has previously contributed to teams at the Program Training and Consultation Centre of the Smoke Free Ontario Strategy, the Regional Diversity Roundtable, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Southern African AIDS Trust and the Centre for Social Justice. Sume holds a Masters of Health Sciences in Health Promotion and Global Health from the University of Toronto.

    [email protected]
  • Claire Betker
    Claire Betker

    Claire Betker, RN, MN, CCHN(C), PHD

    Scientific Director

    Claire arrived on March 4, 2019, as the NCCDH’s scientific director. A registered nurse, she was most recently the acting Executive Director of the Population and Public Health Branch with Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living. Her career has included roles in rural public health and home health, primary health care, a regional health authority and the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as previously serving as a senior knowledge translation specialist with the NCCDH. Claire is currently the president of the Canadian Nurses Association and a past president of the Community Health Nurses of Canada. Her PhD work focused on the capacity for public health leadership to advance health equity, a knowledge base that greatly informs her contributions to the NCCDH and the public health field. Claire brings a wealth of expertise, rich networks and a passion to translate knowledge and evidence, especially to position public health to advance health equity.

    [email protected]

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