Racial and ethnic approaches to community health: reducing health disparities by addressing social determinants of health.

Poor people and people of color are more likely to live shorter and sicker lives and are less likely to survive a host of chronic illnesses. Policies and organizational practices that improve the environments in which people live, work, learn, and play can reduce these disparities. Using the World Health Organization’s “Call to Action” principles as a discussion framework, we highlight the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health programs that have developed and applied such strategies to address chronic illnesses. Several, in turn, foster health equity.