The American Public Health Association's mission is to improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status for all Americans. Health equity can be defined in many ways. All definitions include a focus on ensuring opportunities for everyone to attain their highest level of health. To achieve health equity, "Obstacles to health must be removed such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, such as powerless- ness and lack of access to quality education." Failing to make progress harms us all. The United States ranks 43rd in the world on the health indicator of average life expectancy at birth. Up to a seven year difference in life expectancy exists within the U.S. between racial and ethnic populations. In order for the U.S. to become the healthiest nation, we must advance equity.