Center for Public Health Innovation


The Center for Public Health Innovation envisions Columbus as a united community where ALL residents are safe, healthy, and free to live long, fulfilling lives.


The Center for Public Health Innovation was newly created during the COVID-19 pandemic by Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts to increase life expectancy and improve quality of life by reducing health inequities*; with a focus on racism, in all its forms, as a major cause of those inequities.*

*Inequity is an avoidable and unjust difference.

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Racism is a Public Health Issue:


Race does not predict health and life outcomes - racism does 

Racism is the belief that one race is superior to others and that the qualities and abilities of people are determined by race. It also refers to the parts of society that keep people of some racial groups from having the same privileges and opportunities as people from other races. Research has shown that the neighborhood you live in, your access to quality housing, healthy food, a good job, and a good education have a greater impact on your health than your genes.

Dr. Camara Jones' cliff analogy also illustrates how these forces rooted in race, gender, zip code and economic inequality can push some groups of people into poorer, sicker, and shorter lives as if they are pushed off good health as seen in the figure below. When we address these conditions along the top of the cliff, and dismantle policies and practices that continue to keep these factors that cause inequalities we can create a path to good health for ALL. 



The center's mission is carried out through the work of our 3 sections:Community Engagement & Participatory Planning, Capacity Building & Education, and Policy, Research & Evaluation.To learn more about these sections and what we have accomplished so far scroll down to learn more or email us at [email protected]

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Community Engagement & Participatory Planning

Works across Columbus Public Health to build community relationships & trust, while bringing community voices into program planning, evaluation, acute community situations and spreading messages to the community from the health department. Learn more


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Capacity Building & Education Build equity expertise and support across Columbus Public Health and equip community partners with the skills, resources and ability to improve health equity. Learn more

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Policy, Research & Evaluation

Researches and recommends policies to advance equity while collaborating with other programs to evaluate equity impacts and department-wide work plans. Learn more

Try the PlaySpent Simulator The PlaySpent Simulator was made to help people understand the challenges and hard to make decisions made everyday by people who do not have secure employment or health insurance living in poverty.

Do you want to learn more about racism and health?

Links and Resources:

   Health Equity Guide hosted by Human Impact Partners -

   All-in Cities Racial Equity Impact Assessment

   CDC Health Equity

   CDC Social Determinants of Health Map

   APHA Health Equity

   RWFJ Health Equity



Office of Minority Health

Program funded by the Ohio Commission on Minority Health along with support from the Ohio Department of Health and Center for Disease Control funding.