One of four Standing Committees mentioned explicitly in Article XIII, Section 1 (b) of the By-laws of the American Public Health Association is the Committee on Equal Health Opportunity, better known as EHOC. It is charged with "...ensuring and promoting equal access for all to health services, health careers, and the opportunity to participate in the development of health policies. The method of operation includes involvement in manpower development and legislative proposals with regard to promotion of equal health opportunities; and information gathering concerning the status of activities of governments, other professional associations, and other voluntary groups with regard to equal opportunities in health." As a Standing Committee the Chair of EHOC is an ex-officio member of the APHA Governing Council and reports annually to the Council.
The Executive Board of APHA appoints the Chair each year from among its nine members, and appoints members of EHOC for three-year terms with a limit of two consecutive terms. Members are identified and nominated through the formal Membership Deployment Process of APHA used for many of its committees, boards, and task forces. As part of its operation, the EHOC coordinates a meeting each year with the special population Caucuses of APHA in order to hear from them on the issues affecting their respective populations and what APHA might do to address these issues, as well as having these Caucuses be "sounding boards" for actions EHOC would suggest that APHA might take. Past actions of EHOC have included supporting policy statements consistent with its charge; developing an "impact checklist" to be used by the APHA Joint Policy Committee to check the impact of policies on special population groups; putting together each year a program session focusing in on equal health opportunity concerns within the Annual Meeting theme; and collaborating with other APHA components on developing policy statements and/or program sessions. EHOC has been in existence since the mid-1970's and is a testament to the progressive character of APHA and its continuing sense of achieving social justice through public health.