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Take the Compass to see where your health
department is on its population health and equity journey.

Photo Credit to Jordan Madrid

What is the Pathways to Population Health Equity (P2PHE) Compass?

The P2PHE Compass is a tool to help public health change agents see where they are in their health equity journey. Like any good compass, it can be used to enable individuals to look ahead and chart a path forward. This should ultimately be done in collaboration with communities that are not thriving. In the early stages of implementation, a health department might use it to prepare for a more comprehensive equity journey.

How the Compass is Structured

  • Equity

  • Stewardship


  • Partnerships with People with Lived Experience

  • Understanding our populations with an equity lens

  • Community Collaboration

  • Budgeting and Payment


  • Data for physical and/or mental health

  • Advance population health strategies

  • Direct care services

    • Integrated care

    • Care management


  • Power sharing

  • Growing community leadership and voice

  • Institutional/ health department policy

  • Public policy and context

  • Directing fiscal and human resources

  • Aligning and leveraging assets



  • Data for social and/or spiritual well-being

  • Planning around social needs

  • Direct care services:

    • Screen for and address social needs


  • Common vision

  • Concrete aims

  • Shared theory of change/
    community strategy

  • Set measures with the community

  • Community access to data

Who should use the Compass? 

The Compass is for any public health change agent.  A public health change agent is anyone working to improve the health and well-being of the public!  You can take the Compass just to assess your health department or to advance a broader health equity community collaboration.

The P2PHE Compass can be used by:

  • an individual taking this assessment to assess their health department they are getting started

  • a health equity team working within a health department or agency

  • a community or state collaboration including multi sector leaders and community residents 

The online assessment makes it easy for a group of people to take the Compass together, learn from diverse perspectives and chart a path forward together.

Using The Compass


Take the Compass

Remember: there is no right answer.  Just choose “don’t know” for any questions you feel unprepared to answer.


Talk it Through

If you took the Compass as a group (recommended), discuss questions for which you might have a difference of 4 or more in your scores to understand each other’s perspectives.  Arrive at a common score based on your conversation.


Set goals and chart a path forward.

Identify up to five priorities (questions) to work on and develop a transformation plan. Decide on a goal for each of these items. Create an improvement plan for each of these priorities (see Act)  



Reassess your progress every 3-6 months for just the improvement questions you chose.  Take the full Compass at least once a year.

I would like to take the Compass

In my health

In my community

Using The AACT


The AACT (Assessment for Advancing Communities Together) is an assessment that you can use to see how healthy your community collaboration is. It talks about six main topics where communities focus when they work together.  It is shorter than the Compass, and more applicable when the coalition members have a broader focus than simply healthcare.

The process for using the AACT is the same as for the Compass, where it can be taken as a group, and the results discussed to identify differences in perception of the current status and opportunities for improvement.

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