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On our Podcast: Perspectives on Health Equity

Equity noun


is a pursuit of fairness and acknowledges that people who have been systemically and historically oppressed or excluded may require additional support and resources to ensure that their full potential may be reached. This differs from equality, which provides the same for all.

Where is global public health going? The field is facing multiple pressures, and among the most critical is the need to center equity as a core public health principle. The devastating disparities wrought by COVID-19 created new urgency to address the issue and new attention to long-embedded imbalances within public health and development systems and approaches. As we seek to change, Vital Strategies is kicking off the new season of its VitalTalks Listen podcast by interviewing people who can provide insights into how public health can become better, more effective and more equitable.

Explore with us by listening to our two-part VitalTalks podcast on health equity, which brings together an engaging mix of experts across disciplines including: Linda Villarosa, contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine; Neena Prasad, a public health physician who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ food policy program; and Keecha Harris, president of a firm in Birmingham, Alabama that advises government, businesses and philanthropies on advancing racial equity.

For more than a decade, Vital has been working with partners in countries around the world to make healthier choices easier for hundreds of millions of people—from supporting dozens of national governments so that millions of people can obtain birth, marriage and death certificates for the first time, to calling out profit-hungry industries that know that their products sicken and kill their customers, to helping governments better regulate industry so that the people they govern are not easy targets.

Each person’s health is a product of their unique history and environment and drives the future potential for them and their families, communities and countries. Health equity is central to the global fight for equity, demanding an all-of-society approach and generations-long commitments. At Vital Strategies, we work in partnership to reimagine evidence-based, locally driven policies and practices to advance public health so that everyone, everywhere can be protected by an equitable and effective public health system, and live life to their fullest potential.

Listen to the “VitalTalks Listen” Podcast

As we launch our revamped VitalTalks Listen podcast, we asked public health experts and those deeply engaged in equity work to join us to share their perspective on health equity in this special two-part series: Perspectives on Health Equity.

Listen now on:

Part 1 features:

  • Neena Prasad, Food Policy Program Lead, Bloomberg Philanthropies  
  • Keecha Harris, President of Keecha Harris and Associates  
  • Pedro de Paula, Country Director for the Vital Strategies Brazil office  

Part 2 features:

  • Linda Villarosa, Author and contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine
  • Lola Adedokun, Executive Director of the Aspen Global Innovators Group  
  • Carol McGruder, Co-Chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council  
  • Dr. Phil Gardiner, Co-Chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council  


Cities Hold the Key: Prioritizing Equity in the COVID-19 Recovery

Breaking Bondage: The Intersection of Race and Public Health


Building Back Better: 5 Ways We’re Centering Equity in Our Work

The Power of Data to Reveal and Address Health Inequities