Health Affairs Launches Health Equity Project

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Initiative will focus on equitable participation, new voices and introspection.

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Health Affairs has recently announced the public launch of a health equity initiative to address racism and promote equity.

The initiative to advance equity within Health Affairs will have three elements:

  • Equitable participation: Increase diversity among authors, reviewers, and editors based on race/ethnicity and other identifiers such as gender and affiliated academic institution.
  • New voices: Incorporate health equity research or program outcomes from institutions or community-based organizations that have historically not been well-represented in Health Affairs.
  • Introspection: Address our own biases as part of the publishing enterprise.

The goals for the initiative were detailed by Health Affairs Editor-In-Chief Alan Weil in a blog published on January 26 on Health Affairs Blog. Weil noted, “We are examining all aspects of our work to determine where we fall short of an equitable ideal.”

To implement the program, Vabren Watts has been appointed as Health Affairs’ equity project director. Before joining Health Affairs in September 2020, Watts served as deputy director of diversity and health equity at the American Psychiatric Association. In a companion blog published on Health Affairs Blog, Watts concludes: “if we are intentional and unapologetic in our efforts, we hope we can build a foundation for health services and health policy scholarly publishing that represents the perspectives of all cultures.”

Health Affairs’ health equity project is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation. Updates to the project and to Health Affairs’ health equity content can be found on its health equity webpage.


Health Affairs is the leading peer-reviewed journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published monthly by Project HOPE, the journal is available in print and online. Late-breaking content is also found through, Health Affairs Today, and Health Affairs Sunday Update.

Visit Health Affairs’ COVID-19 resource center for peer-reviewed articles published within two weeks of submission, as well as Health Affairs Blog’s COVID-19 content.

Health Affairs podcasts go beyond the journal’s pages to bring you insightful discussions on the latest news and research affecting health policy. On our flagship podcast, A Health Podyssey, Editor-In-Chief Alan Weil interviews the leading researchers and influencers shaping the field’s big ideas. Join Health Affairs editors on Health Affairs This Week as they discuss the week’s most pressing health policy news. All in 15 minutes or less.

Project HOPE is a global health and humanitarian relief organization that places power in the hands of local health care workers to save lives across the globe. Project HOPE has published Health Affairs since 1981.

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Sue Ducat
Health Affairs
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