AmeRicans’ Conceptions of Health Equity Study

Whose health deserves society’s attention, investment, or care?

Most public health professionals believe that, “Everyone deserves to live the healthiest life possible” (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2016). Yet the current public climate suggests that Americans do not unanimously support this claim.
Why might these differences of opinion matter? Initiatives like HIP-Cuyahoga can only succeed if they speak to the interests and goals of a wide range of community stakeholders, ranging from policymakers and health professionals to community advocates and individual community members. Connecting with these broad audiences will require clear insight into how different groups of Americans think about who deserves what, and why, in the health domain. Together with HIP-Cuyahoga, an interdisciplinary research team has launched a new study called ARCHES | AmeRicans’ Conceptions of Health Equity Study, that is designed to generate exactly this kind of insight.
ARCHES is a mixed-methods study that explores individual views, values, and experiences in relation to questions of fairness and health.
The lead researchers include two medical anthropologists, both native Clevelanders, and a political scientist. The study, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is organized in two phases. During Phase I, which is based in Greater Cleveland, members of our team are participating in and observing HIP-Cuyahoga activities, with a special focus on the activities of the Eliminating Structural Racism Subcommittee. We are interviewing a diverse group of 140 Clevelanders, half of them involved with HIP-Cuyahoga and half uninvolved. In Phase II, findings from Cleveland will be used to design and conduct a survey about views of health and fairness with a national sample of 3,000 American adults. We are very grateful to those HIP-Cuyahoga members who already have taken time to meet and talk with a member of the ARCHES research team, and we look forward to connecting with others in the coming months.
Overall, both ARCHES team members and HIP-Cuyahoga partners hope the study findings will be of benefit to community health researchers, policymakers, healthcare providers, and other key stakeholders in Cleveland and beyond. Specifically, we hope this research study will help clarify the range of Americans’ views regarding health and fairness, when and how those views might change, and how clearer insight into personal experiences – including experiences of “perspective transformation” – might help confront health inequities and create conditions where everyone can flourish and thrive.

We need your help!

Have your voice be heard

Participation in Phase I of the ARCHES project involves a single interview (~1¼ hours), along with a brief survey (~10 minutes). Interviews will take place at a time and place convenient to participants. Each participant will receive a $25 gift card after completing both the interview and the survey.
Participants who need to change or cancel a scheduled interview can use the link included in their confirmation email or contact us at You may also contact Dr. Colleen Walsh at 216-687-3816.
If you are interested in learning more, please click here and a member of our team will be in touch.

Visit the ARCHES website