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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Health equity and transportation


Transportation and Health Equity series, Part 1


Editors note: Although most of our posts are about helping Portland commuters make inexpensive, active, and sustainable choices to get to work, ocassionally we discuss transportation policy matters. Over the next several weeks, our colleague Sara Schooley will provide short essays on health equity and its connection to transportation.

Hello Commuter Central Blog Readers!  Your regular authors graciously offered to turn over bits of their blog to a topic that has gotten much publicity both locally and nationally in the recent past – health equity. 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll look to explain the concept of health equity, connect it to transportation and what the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is doing as we speak (ummm, type and/or read), and hopefully inspire you to learn more about the topic.

But before we delve too far into the intriguing word of health equity, a word from our sponsors…

The Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) awarded PBOT a grant in order to further integrate health and health equity into transportation planning (we’ll learn more about what this means later).  This money traveled to MCHD through a couple of filters, first designated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and then passed to the Centers for Disease Control for distribution. 

The CDC allocated the money to communities in order to start and/or support efforts that combat obesity and tobacco use. Multnomah County received $7.5 million from the CDC and has been distributing that money to community organizations that are working to combat obesity

Read Part II: What's the problem?

Read Part III: Obesity, Race and Equity

Read Part IV: What makes health?

Read Part V: Can transportation make you live longer

Part VI: Your Neighborhood and Your Health

Part VII: Opportunities to Impact Health Equity



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