According to the American Public Health Association, public health promotes and protects the health of individuals and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. Public health is interdisciplinary work that is grounded in values of social justice and community empowerment, ultimately aimed at assuring the conditions in which all people can live healthy and productive lives.
These living and working conditions that impact health are often referred to as social determinants of health because they are shaped by the distribution of resources at the community or societal level, rather than being under the direct and sole control of individuals. Examples of social determinants include the built environment (e.g. affordable quality housing, safe streets and parks, etc.), jobs, education, community characteristics (e.g. violence, social cohesion, etc.), as well as race/ethnicity, gender identity, disability status, and other characteristics of privilege. The unequal distribution of these and other resources needed for good health are the underlying factors that drive inequities in health at the community level and is an important focus of our work.
CCRS works with community partners and state agencies to enhance the delivery of public health services, promote just and effective health and social policy, and ultimately improve the health of individuals and communities.