The Health Equity Unit (HEU) provides community-based programs and services to ensure all our residents have the opportunity to reach their full health potential no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, or income level.

Health disparities reflect the differences in health status between different groups of people, such as higher rates of disease. These groups may be based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, disability or income. Where you live can also impact your health.

Systemic, institutional, structural, and historical racism is at the root of health disparities. In 2020, Austin's City Council declared racism as a public health crisis. Austin Public Health plays a vital role in dismantling and deconstructing racial inequities. The Health Equity Unit assists the community in navigating these complex systems to increase access to health and social services through a variety of pragmatic efforts including:

  1. The Equity-Line
  2. Quality of Life Program (QOL)
  3. The Mobile Van Program
  4. Reach In, Reach Out Program (RIRO)
  5. Health Equity Unit Connects (HEU Connects)
  6. The Community Health Worker Hub (CHW Hub)
  7. The Maternal Infant Outreach Program (MIOP)


The Equity-Line

The Equity-line serves as an access tool for our residents by providing a connection to multiple community and city-based programs and services.  We aim to ensure all residents have the opportunity to reach their full health potential regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, or income level. The Equity-line assist residents by providing information and guidance in over 200 languages, helping them navigate questions or issues related to City of Austin departments or services.


Quality of Life Programs

The Quality of Life Program seeks to reduce the rates of death and disease from chronic illnesses by providing health education and screening services throughout Austin/Travis County. Through education and health promotion activities, participants have access to tools, resources, and support to help them live longer healthier lives. Services include: diabetes education; chronic illness prevention and education; and free health and wellness activities.


Mobile Van Program

The Mobile Van visits different community locations to offer free health screenings to help residents learn their risk for chronic diseases. Services include screenings for blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol; testing for pregnancy and HIV/STDs; resource referrals; and health insurance information.

See the mobile van schedule here.


Reach In, Reach Out

If you’ve ever beLady at table talking to another ladyen confused about when and where to get your COVID-19 vaccine, you are not alone. FDA approval, CDC recommendations, eligibility, and availability have many residents confused, and many have questions as they make informed decisions for their families. The Reach In, Reach Out (RIRO) Program connects the community, local businesses, churches, schools, housing properties, and more to the latest on COVID-19 efforts and overall social services. These trusted messengers actively build trust in the community through candid conversations and genuine connections. 


HEU Connects 

Short for "Health Equity Unit Connects," HEU Connects has 3 programs that aim to connect Austin to Austin. Our team has 3 program coordinators who are rooted in their respective communities and empower the community through connection and passion. Programs include - My API, Austin has Faith and Salud Austin.

My API - Connects the vast communities of Asian American Pacific Islanders to resources and services. Hosts an annual API Community Health Fair in coordination with local non-profits and address language access barriers by providing in-person interpretation in Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Pashto, Nepali, Vietnamese, and Mandarin. Connect with us on YouTube!


Austin has Faith - Connects the faith-based communities by conducting community outreach and providing support to faith-based organizations  to improve the overall health status of their members and surrounding community. Hosts annual National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.


Salud Austin - Connects the Hispanic/Latinx communities to resources and services that improve the quality of life of families. Hosts an annual community health fair, Fiesta de Salud, with community partners. Check us out on Facebook, Austin Public Health - En Español


The Community Health Worker Hub

The Community Health Worker Hub (CHW Hub) unites and trains Community Health Workers of Austin and surrounding communities. CHWs are the cornerstone of public health. The Health Equity Unit knows this truth and works with CHWsGroup picture in all programs making it the unit with the most CHWs in APH. The CHW Hub connects CHWs and allies by hosting the Community Health Worker Alliance of Central Texas (CHW ACT) bi-monthly coalition meetings. Click here to learn more.


Maternal and Infant Outreach Program (MIOP)Program flyer

The Maternal Infant Outreach Program provides support to  African-American/Black women and birthing people who are pregnant, have a baby, or are planning a pregnancy. The program consists of certified Community Health Workers with direct lived experiences to provide free services, including health education, navigation assistance, one-on-one home visits, birth education, and labor and delivery support. To learn more about MIOP, click here.

Health Equity Unit Management Team


Resources on Health Disparities