Cities of Opportunity Community of Practice

The root causes of poor health, or the factors influencing how well we live and how long we live, lead to concentrated inequities resulting in significant differences in the quality and length of life. Root causes are social and economic, they relate to access to healthy, affordable food, reliable transportation, hazard-free living conditions, and access to clean air and water among other factors.

The devastating effects of the COVID-19 and racism pandemics across communities increase the urgency to contend with these root causes before the inequities they cause deepen further. To achieve this, city leaders and their health system peers need to collaborate to tackle these complex problems.

The Cities of Opportunity Cities and Health Systems Community of Practice is working to ensure robust city and health system partnerships to improve health outcomes and advance. Cities in the Community of Practice include: Baton Rouge, La.; Bloomington, Ill.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas, Texas; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Huntington, W.Va.; Lawrence, Mass.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Roanoke, Va.; and Spokane, Wash.

The Cities of Opportunity Cities and Health Systems Community of Practice is a partnership between the National League of Cities and the Center to Advance Community Health and Equity at the Public Health Institute and is generously supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

For more information about the Community of Practice by reaching out to Sarah Weller-Pegna at

Learn more

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Kevin Barnett of the Public Health Institute discuss how cities are working with health system partners to address root causes of poor health.