Center for Health Equity

At the Center for Health Equity at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), we see a future where your ZIP code does not correlate to your state of health, where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, that is not the current state in Philadelphia, where more than 120,000 children live below the poverty line.

The vision of the Center for Health Equity, launched in 2021, is to discover, implement and disseminate evidence-based practices and policies to ensure equitable care and achieve the best health for every child in Philadelphia.

In the near term, we will bring together experts from CHOP, the city of Philadelphia and the nation to understand the gaps and bridges in achieving health equity. We will begin in CHOP’s own backyard, focusing first on West Philadelphia and then other communities throughout the city facing similar challenges. As we improve our programs and demonstrate strong outcomes, we will then propose adaptable models for health equity that can be used in communities across the country.

“Nothing about us without us” is our mantra at the Center for Health Equity. To this end, the center will integrate the community’s voice through the formation of a Neighborhood Council, a community consultant for each core area of focus and a village of community health workers. The Neighborhood Council will consist of CHOP employees who live in the West Philadelphia area. The community consultant will participate in our clinical, community and research focus areas. Community health workers will be the boots on the ground for our community focus area.

Core work streams

The Center for Health Equity encompasses four core work streams critical to addressing pediatric health disparities:

  • Clinical Quality and Safety

We seek opportunities to eliminate health disparities and assure health equity across the CHOP enterprise and to build skills to capture metrics and disseminate solutions.

  • Community Translational Focus

Through partnerships with key community stakeholders, we provide evidence-based interventions that show promise to reduce disparities and help sustain the impact of these interventions long term.

  • Advocacy and Justice

We identify opportunities to advocate for racial justice and health equity and to cultivate community partnerships to drive change in healthcare.

  • Research and Education

We provide mentorship and tools for CHOP researchers to implement best practices for health equity in research.

Center leadership

The Center for Health Equity is led by Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD, who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new role as inaugural Senior Director of the center. She conducts some of the most innovative and progressive health equity work in our region.

She founded CHOP’s nationally renowned Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) and served as its medical director for more than 20 years. Her team has cared for thousands of children with asthma and has observed some striking disparities — including strikingly worse outcomes for Black children and children living in low-income neighborhoods.

Her work in launching CAPP+, an initiative which seeks to eliminate asthma triggers caused by structural defects in children’s homes, was made possible by funding from CHOP’s Healthier Together initiative. CAPP+ pays for repairs that remove mold, fix leaking plumbing and close gaps in roofs and walls, eliminating the asthma triggers responsible for worsening asthma symptoms.

Commitment to children

CHOP aspires to make the 1.5 million children of Philadelphia — including the more than 120,000 who currently live below the poverty line — among the healthiest children in the country. The launch of the Center for Health Equity is evidence of that commitment.

In establishing centralized infrastructure and resources to support this important work, the center invokes new synergies, innovation and collaboration within the hospital and with the communities CHOP serves. We strive to remove barriers so we can give each child what they need to achieve their best health. We accelerate and sustain interventions that advance equitable health and healthcare for children across the Philadelphia region.

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Next Steps