Measures to Advance Health and Opportunity
The HOPE Initiative
The Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative provides an interactive data tool designed to help states and the country move beyond measuring disparities to spurring action toward health equity. HOPE tracks social determinants of health and health outcomes by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Indicators are organized into five domains—one for health outcomes and four domains that influence longevity and well-being. Our unique analyses use an opportunity framework to set aspirational but achievable goals to improve life outcomes—especially populations of color most affected by systemic racism and conscious and unconscious bias.
HOPE data identifies where residents of individual states and the country are doing well and where states can do more to help residents be healthier. In doing so, HOPE calculates three important factors that help state and federal leaders, advocates, and other stakeholders shape policies and practices: 1) where the gaps in opportunity are among people of different races and ethnicities; 2) what goals for achieving equity look like; and 3) how far they need to move the dial to make these goals a reality.
HOPE in the Time of COVID-19
The HOPE Initiative knows it is no accident that communities of color have been hit the hardest by the devastation of COVID-19. Across the country, these are the same groups facing steep systemic barriers to basic opportunities—from a livable income, affordable housing, and food security to access to neighborhoods that are safe and thriving. Left unchecked, disasters like the pandemic only make existing disparities worse.
In response to the pandemic, we created HOPE for COVID-19 to show how inequity plays a role in the virus’ disproportionate effects on communities of color. Specifically, we pair COVID-19 data with HOPE indicators in select states to reveal the connections among the pandemic’s inequitable outcomes and critical measures of health and opportunity. To read more about our findings related to the COVID-19 crisis, please check out our blog post in Health Affairs Grant Watch.
Explore Conditions that Create Health
HOPE domains represent key social and environmental conditions that shape health across all groups and states. Within each domain, the indicators we chose reflect actionable public policy decisions and social systems embedded in our society--much more than individuals’ choices or circumstances. What’s the upshot? Every state has room to improve equity in residents’ health, well-being and quality of life.