We have BIG news!

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May 24, 2018 

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A Louisville where every person and every community can enjoy hope, happiness, and wellness.

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400 E Gray Street

Louisville, KY 40202


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Over the past 12 years, the Center for Health Equity (CHE) has worked within Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) to ensure that policies, practices, and outcomes are meeting the needs of all people in every community. 

Under the direction of Dr. Sarah Moyer, LMPHW continues to elevate health equity through the revamped vision and mission for the entire department. In addition, she tasked Dr. Brandy Kelly Pryor  to holistically operationalize the work of health equity in the everyday work of LMPHW staff.  Today, we are aligning ourselves internally to enhance our outreach into the community, build the capacity of partners and policymakers to make strategic change, and advocate for equitable practices that undo the harmful impact of systems of power for Louisville residents.  In order to drive this work forward, we know we have to make some big changes. In the past six months, CHE has trained LMPHW staff to build capacity and knowledge around the relationship between their existing work and advancing health equity. Formalizing this commitment, the Center for Health Equity staff is officially growing - from a staff of 5 to 40 – as these employees are realigned into the CHE team. 

While new to CHE, everyone joining us has been LMPHW staff for a wide spectrum of years and brings expertise in various public health topics. We are excited to welcome each person!

Employees will be joining existing CHE projects as well as taking on new work, including the formation of new Root Cause Teams and Skillset Labs. These teams are focusing on six root causes that were prominent in our Health Equity Report:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Social & Cultural Capital
  • Food and the Built Environment
  • Environmental Quality
  • Housing and Economic Development
  • Criminal Justice

Staff are also building their capacity and sharing their expertise with others through these Skillset Labs:

  • Policy Development
  • Data Analysis
  • Community Engagement
  • Strategic Partnerships

We know that systems of power, like racism and ableism, create ineffective practices which mean we must do our work differently to achieve different outcomes. We believe aligning ourselves in this way will allow us to have an increased, strategic focus to ensure residents experience these root causes of health in ways that improve their quality of life, rather than have a negative impact. We look forward to serving each of you in this way and sharing more about our endeavors in future communication!

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"I have always thought that what is needed is the development of people who are interested not in being leaders as much as in developing leadership in others." ~Ella Jo Baker

Now, we have some bittersweet news to share with you. On May 25, 2018, Dr. Brandy N. Kelly Pryor will step down from her position as Center for Health Equity (CHE) Director and take an exciting position at the Humana Foundation.

Dr. Kelly Pryor joined CHE as the Director in December 2015 in a newly created joint role between the University of Louisville and Louisville Metro Government.  Filling the position after it was vacant for one year, she prioritized having conversations across the county to impart the message that health equity is everywhere and is everybody’s business. What became most clear is residents--all of you--felt a strong sense of understanding that root causes shape our health outcomes and racism shapes root causes. You were also clear you wanted CHE to prioritize institutional change and build capacity of systems to advance equity, rather than just community education on its concepts. With Dr. Kelly Pryor’s leadership, we did just that.

In her time here, CHE has grown exponentially in knowledge, skills, and advocacy to ensure each of you experience the Louisville you deserve, where you can find hope, happiness, and wellness. Some of these highlights include:

  • In 2016, we hosted My Dream for Lou, a policy summit where all 26 districts in our county were represented and YOU shaped the agenda and eventual policy recommendations needed to create the Louisville you dream of. Two out of four groups recommended participatory budgeting. We are currently building a pilot project for that and will be sharing more information soon.
  • We have trained over 4000 Metro employees in ways to undo the impact of racism on our roles and responsibilities. Through partnership with other Metro agencies and our work with Living Cities Foundation, CHE also advocated for the creation of a Chief Equity Officer to be housed in the Mayor’s Office and be responsible for advancing equity across LMG.
  • We have shared the work that we are doing as a community all over the country through our RWJF Culture of Health Prize recognition and even brought international recognition to the work of CHE  by sharing the work of health equity with amazing partners in London

We are sad to see Dr. Kelly Pryor move into another position but thrilled that the work of equity continues. Equity is a skillset that we are learning to build, and Dr. Kelly Pryor is who you want on your team helping to develop that skill. We know we will continue to call her a partner in this work and grow the seeds she has spent so much time planting.

T Gonzales, who has been leading CHE with great enthusiasm, will be stepping in as interim Director of our new CHE team. T is a natural leader and facilitator that has led advocacy efforts for policy change both at the local and national level.  T has written up academic research and communicated to lay audiences on challenging topics. We are ready for T to lead this exciting challenge of helping to move our department forward.

In Community, 

The staff of the Center for Health Equity