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Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation


The City’s health reform agenda focuses on reaching and increasing protections for communities of color, who experience the worst health outcomes in Philadelphia.

Reaching underserved communities

Racial Equity Response Plan

After recognizing significant disparities in COVID-19 case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths among Black and Latinx city residents, the Department of Public Health developed an Interim Racial Equity Response Plan that addresses eight key areas of concern:

  • Access to COVID-19 testing
  • Surveillance data
  • Community outreach
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Protecting essential workers
  • Community spread
  • Spread in congregate settings
  • Contact tracing

In collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Public Health tapped key City and community stakeholders to provide input on and help shape the plan. The first meeting of the stakeholder group took place the week of June 15, 2020.

Collaboration between Department of Public Health and Steering Committee

The Steering Committee will consult with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health on the development of its Racial Equity Response Plan to ensure more equitable responses in programs and services to historically disadvantaged communities.

Increased protections for disproportionately vulnerable populations

Expanded COVID-19 testing

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is expanding COVID-19 testing sites to address the virus impact disparities in Black and Latino communities. Through an RFP process, we’re collaborating with Federally Qualified Health Centers, the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, and other community partners. We have more than 50 test sites across the city with a goal of expanding to 75 sites. Of the residents who have been tested and for whom we have information on race and ethnicity, 53 percent were African American, 30 percent were white, and 5 percent were Latino.