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Keywords

health equity; coalition; collaboration; social determinants of health

Abstract

In April 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) launched the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) to increase the effectiveness of efforts to eliminate health disparities by coordinating partners, leaders, and stakeholders committed to action. At its core, the NPA is an experiment in collaboration that relies heavily on those on the front line who are actively engaged in minority health work at multiple levels. It gives them the responsibility of identifying and helping to define core actions, new approaches, and new partnerships that ultimately will help to close the health gap in the United States. This paper provides a retrospective examination of the NPA’s creation and development of health equity coalitions at the federal and regional levels and its establishment of strategic national partnerships to move a health equity agenda forward. The article explores how the development of this infrastructure has, in turn, led to the implementation of actions and activities to address health disparities. The article concludes with a reflection on emerging opportunities for improvement and ways forward to continue the initiative’s evaluation and secure its sustainability.