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The Equity Equation

The Equity Equation

The Equity Equation webinar series examines health equity issues and highlights policy and systems-level solutions in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Through this series we aim to: 

  • Highlight pressing and emerging public health issues that have significant impact on health equity and racial justice.   
  • Draw connections between regional health outcomes, health inequities and root causes such as racism, sexism, classism, etc. 
  • Analyze the implications of past, present and/or proposed policies on the health of specific communities or population health in our region. 
  • Identify potential policy and systems strategies that target the social determinants of health and their distribution among communities and populations to reduce inequities. 

Upcoming webinars 

Please save the date for the webinars listed below! Registration links will be posted as they become available. 

Previous webinars 

Recordings from past webinars:  

Power in Policy: Driving Change for Black Maternal Health” April 15, 2024

This webinar featured:  

  • Dr. Tamara Henry, Ed.D., George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health
  • Angelia Williams Graves of the Virginia Senate, 21st district
  • Krystal Oriadha from Prince George‘s County Council, District 7

After watching the webinars, please complete this feedback survey.  

The American Life Expectancy Crisis” February 27, 2024

This webinar featured:  

  • Steven Woolf, MD, MPH, Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health 
  • Amy Wentz, Co-Founder of Southside ReLeaf 
  • Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, PhD, MA, Richmond City Council, 7th District 

After watching the webinars, please complete this feedback survey.  

Resources/Reading lists 

Here are developed reading lists and resources for a deeper dive into the these topics. 

To learn more about The Equity Equation, please contact IPHI training at [email protected]. 

The Equity Equation – Second Session

This webinar series examines health equity issues and highlights policy and systems-level solutions in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The topic of the second session will focus on, “Power in Policy: Driving Change for Black Maternal Health.”

This session will be held on Monday, April 15, 2024 at noon.

To register, visit:

Instructions on how to enroll:

  1. Visit: IPHI Absorb website
  2. Once on the Equity Equation Webinar Series Homepage CLICK “Sessions”
  3. Enroll in the “Power in Policy: Driving Change in Black Maternal Health Webinar” on April 15.

Nutrition Standards in Early Childhood Setting

Ensure that childcare centers in TCI priority areas promote proper nutrition and developmentally appropriate practices.

IPHI and School Readiness Consulting conducted a formative assessment among family childcare providers, county leadership, and nonprofits to identify the appropriate policy, system, and environmental change needed to support compliance with Maryland’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Act. Reports with assessment results can be found below.

Download (pdf): Healthy Family Child Care Environments in Montgomery County: Supporting Best Practices for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breastfeeding


Safe Routes to School (SRTS)

Students, teachers, and staff at Gaithersburg Elementary School in Montgomery County participated in the National Walk to School Day in October 2019.

Increase the number of students in priority communities who walk or bike to school.

The SRTS strategy increased the number of Montgomery County students who walk or bike to school. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) performed a walkability audit of all Montgomery County public schools to ensure students in the walk zone have a safe way to walk or bike to school. Through a partnership with MCDOT, TCI assessed SRTS within the county. Additionally, TCI collaborated with the MDCOT to develop and promote user-friendly SRTS maps for schools; increase the number of SRTS bicycle and pedestrian educational and safety trainings in priority ZIP codes; and increase collaboration for sustainability between Montgomery County Public Schools and the Department of Transportation for future SRTS programming.

Healthy Food Access

Reduce food insecurity in Montgomery County by creating system-level changes in coordinating and delivering food assistance resources and increasing access to healthy food for our most vulnerable communities. 

In April 2017, IPHI released a Request for Proposals to facilitate community-based approaches to the TCI strategy areas. Primary Care Coalition (PCC) and the Montgomery County Food Council (MCFC) were awarded funding to implement innovative approaches to community-based food access.

PCC and a group of community partners implemented “Food is Medicine,” a systems approach to food security screening and referral between safety-net health care clinics and food and nutrition service providers. MCFC funding supported the implementation of the Montgomery County Food Security Plan, including the creation of new training and resources for food assistance organizations, the identification of gaps in services, increased outreach and communication, and the conduct of food security data collection and evaluation.

School Health and Wellness (Local School Wellness Councils)

Create and maintain healthy school environments by increasing school wellness policy implementation by forming local school wellness councils (LSWC).

Montgomery County Public School staff worked closely with IPHI’s School Wellness Coordinator to implement LSWCs with support from the University of Maryland Extension, Maryland State Department of Education, and School Workgroup Steering Committee. By 2020, there were 110 LSWCs established in Montgomery County Public Schools, many of which received mini-grant funding to support student access to healthy foods, nutrition education, increase physical activity, develop school gardens, and enhance initiatives to support mental health.

Promoting Tobacco-Free Living (Tobacco 21)

Increase the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 years of age to reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults.

The American Cancer SocietyTobacco-Free Kids, the American Lung Association, and the American Heart Association, among other local and national organizations, formed the Maryland Tobacco 21 campaign. In October 2019, the campaign successfully advocated for Tobacco 21 legislation that increased the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 to reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults. The Tobacco 21 strategy included a social media campaign and educational materials to recruit and mobilize youth as legislative champions.

The Prince George’s County Food Equity Council Launches New Food Recovery Platform to Fight Hunger and Reduce Food Waste


Media Contacts:
Julia Groenfeldt, [email protected]

The Prince George’s County Food Equity Council Launches New Food Recovery Platform to Fight Hunger and Reduce Food Waste

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD — The Prince George’s Food Equity Council (FEC), an initiative of the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) has joined the Food Rescue US network to launch the Food Rescue US platform in Prince George’s County. The county’s food recovery efforts will be coordinated by FEC staff and funding from the Greater Washington Community Foundation and Philip L. Graham Fund. 

Food Rescue US, a national nonprofit organization, is a leader in food rescue operations. Since 2011, Food Rescue US has helped launch food recovery communities in 39 locations across the country, providing more than 56 million meals and keeping over 75 million pounds of food out of landfills. Through the use of its proprietary software, Food Rescue US provides the platform for volunteer food rescuers to directly transfer excess food from businesses to local social service agencies that feed the food insecure. Using the technology platform, the FEC will help coordinate food rescue donors, volunteer rescuers, and food assistance service providers to support hunger relief efforts and reduce food waste in Prince George’s County.  

“We’re excited to expand our reach into Prince George’s County and work with the Food Equity Council,” said Carol Shattuck, CEO, Food Rescue US. “Working directly with community organizations doing critical work for their residents, Food Rescue US is able to provide our innovative technology and institutional knowledge to empower their food recovery work.” 

Since 2013, the FEC has collaborated with residents, local businesses, organizations, and county government to create systemic change to the local food system, promote health, economic opportunity, food security, and well-being in Prince George’s County. This past year, the FEC’s work has taken on a new urgency as the COVID-19 pandemic caused skyrocketing rates of food insecurity and high demand for food among food assistance providers and social service organizations. According to the Capital Area Food Bank, over 104,760 county residents were food insecure in 2020, the highest in the Metro DC Region. By developing a robust food waste and recovery network, IPHI, FEC, and Food Rescue US hope to create a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable food system that can support the growing number of food-insecure residents. 

“Through the use of Food Rescue US platform we are able to create infrastructure changes to ensure that we don’t miss opportunities to connect food donors and services providers,” said Evelyn Kelly, Program Director at IPHI. “We will not only help families in need but also reduce our environmental footprint and food waste in our landfills.” 

Over the next few months, FEC staff will conduct outreach among businesses, organizations, volunteers, and providers to expand the Food Rescue US network in the county and bring partners onto the platform. The easy to use platform is free and available for desktop use. Food donors are invited to sign up to provide available food. Residents interested in volunteering can sign up to pick up and deliver food. Food providers can sign up to receive food to support food assistance and donation efforts. Everything is coordinated directly via the platform, and FEC staff are available to provide additional support and assistance to coordinate donations and delivery throughout Prince George’s County. 

About the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council: 

The Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC) is a local food policy council that works to help residents grow, sell, and choose healthy foods. Since 2013, FEC has been a voice for county residents at the policymaking table. The FEC focuses on systematic and sustainable changes to promote health, economic opportunity, food security, and well-being in Prince George’s by advocating for policy that creates a more equitable local food system. The FEC is housed within the Institute for Public Health Innovation. For more information on FEC, visit and follow FEC on social media @pgcfec. 

About the Institute for Public Health Innovation:

IPHI develops multi-sector partnerships and innovative solutions to improve the public’s health and well-being across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.  Our work strengthens health systems and policy, enhances conditions that promote health, and builds community capacity to ensure equitable health opportunities for all.  IPHI is one of over 40 public health institutes across the country and a member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes.  For more information on IPHI, see, and follow IPHI on Facebook and Twitter @InstitutePHI.