County by County Blog

Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

CHR&R State Partners Address Inequities During the Pandemic

Publication date
May 14, 2021

Each year, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R) offers funding awards to state partners to address health and equity. We launched this to partner with states to promote the annual Rankings release. The effort has evolved over time, offering states more flexibility in using the funds to spotlight and support their health and equity initiatives at any point during the year.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, many state partners recognized the need to prioritize the inequities it exacerbated. State partners redirected their efforts to address their residents’ most urgent health needs, and many found the Rankings data especially helpful to their work. Here is how some of our partners leveraged their award.

  • The Florida Institute for Health Innovation (FIHI) hosted a virtual convening that explored the impacts of various stressors during the pandemic. Stakeholders from a range of sectors -- local government, social services, education -- participated in the event entitled, “Working Well And Being Well: Managing Toxic Stress Impact On Infant Mortality And Maternal, Climate Change And The Housing Crisis During Covid-19 And Beyond." More than 80 percent of attendees said the event provided them with a better understanding of their Rankings data and more than 65 percent said they would use the information in their work.
  • The Kansas Health Institute (KHI), the Kansas Hospital Association, and the Kansas State Department of Education joined forces to host a virtual event for 200 people representing more than half of the state’s counties. They examined the connection between education and health and included remarks from Governor Laura Kelly and Teal VanLanen, a representative from the RWJF Culture of Health Prize-winning community, Algoma, Wisconsin. KHI offered attendees individual county profiles that provided a five-year comparison of CHR&R data and a deep dive on key measures impacting the state.
  • The Texas Health Institute (THI), the Texas Association of City & County Officials (TACCHO), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) worked with other state partners to disseminate the Rankings. In an accompanying webinar, they discussed the inequities in Texas Rankings that surfaced in alignment with COVID-19 cases and deaths among communities of color. COVID-19 continues to illuminate the inequities described in their 2020 State Report.

We are proud of our state partners for leveraging their awards during the pandemic to address residents’ needs. The 2021 award cycle is now open. If you’re a CHR&R state partner who is working with local partners to build and strengthen state networks, develop strategies to implement to advance equity, and bring groups together to take action, consider applying for the 2021 State Funding Awards.

Contact [email protected] for more information.

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