Office of Health Equity

The Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Health Equity, has released the HRSA 2019-2020 Health Equity Report: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities (PDF - 7 MB). The report shows progress in vital health indicators and addresses the agency’s efforts to improve health outcomes through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce and innovative, high-value programs. A high resolution, print-ready version of the report (PDF - 28 MB) is also available.

The Office of Health Equity (OHE) works to reduce health disparities so that communities and individuals can achieve their highest level of health.

For which issues do we provide leadership?

  • Communication
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health Systems (Care Delivery and Integration)
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Strategic Agency/Organizational Partnerships
  • Workforce Development, Clinical Care, Provider-Patient Relationships

For which populations do we serve as principal advisor and coordinator?

  • African Americans and Black Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • Hispanics and Latinos
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)
  • Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders
  • People with disabilities
  • Rural communities
  • Urban communities


Our vision is for health equity to be realized in communities throughout the United States.


Our mission is to reduce disparities and improve health equity, especially in vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.

Impact Areas

  • Health Equity Policy Coordination for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations
  • Internal, External, and Community Partnerships to Improve Health Equity
  • Health Equity Solutions -- Training and Operations

Core Functions

We work with external organizations as well as other HRSA bureaus and offices to improve health equity.

What are our eight core functions?

  • Serve as HRSA's principal advisor regarding health disparities, health equity, and minority and priority population health
  • Direct strategy for program planning and implementation regarding health equity
  • Manage an agency-wide data collection system for minority health activities and initiatives, including White House and HHS departmental initiatives
  • Increase the availability of data to monitor the impact of agency programs regarding minority health and health disparities
  • Provide culturally- and linguistically-appropriate communication strategies to improve health literacy and effective clinical encounters
  • Foster collaboration and strategic partnerships with external organizations to improve health equity
  • Provide a clearinghouse for training and activities that demonstrate effective strategies for serving underserved and minority populations, as well as addressing health conditions that disproportionately affect those populations
  • Consult and collaborate with federal agencies and other public and private organizations to address minority and health disparities issues and enhance cultural competence among health service providers 

What is health equity?

Health Equity is the absence of disparities or avoidable differences among socioeconomic and demographic groups or geographical areas in health status and health outcomes such as disease, disability, or mortality.

What are the social determinants of health?

Social Determinants of Health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

Date Last Reviewed:  October 2020