RHECs can share information on great things that the RHEC or others are doing to eliminate health disparities - projects such as the ACA Outreach, Blog Posts, Newsletters, Links (e.g., https://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/Content/clas.asp, http://www.healthcare.gov/index.html), as well as other relevant programs and sites.

July 18 NPA Partner Webinar Featuring the National Hispanic Medical Association Heart Disease: Prevention and Access to Treatment for Minorities

posted by daniel yoo

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death for Hispanic populations. This webinar—hosted by the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) and the NPA—will provide an overview of heart disease and its impact on the Hispanic community, and it will share findings from NHMA’s Cardiovascular Disease and Hispanics Summit Series. The webinar also will describe the need for racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials of interventions for heart disease to ensure that communities of color have treatments that work for them.

Learn more and register here.

Addressing Oral Health Disparities in Urban Settings: Applying the NPA Framework to Advance Access to Oral Health Care

posted Jun 11, 2018, 11:30 AM by daniel yoo   [ updated Jun 11, 2018, 11:39 AM ]

Posted by Christine Madrid Espinel, Health Program Specialist of the Utah Office of Health Disparities (OHD) and Co-chair of the Mountain States Regional Health Equity Council (RHEC VIII). RHEC VIII is one of 10 regional health equity councils (RHECs) formed in 2011 as part of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) and encompasses Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. 

Oral health impacts our self-esteem, school and work performance, and overall wellbeing. Oral diseases are linked with chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease. Despite major improvements in oral health for the population as a whole, disparities persist. Racial and ethnic minorities, low-income individuals and families, and otherwise vulnerable populations have poor oral health outcomes and access oral health services—care of teeth, gums, and mouth—at lower rates. Increasing access to oral health services by addressing the social determinants of health is one way to close oral health gaps, according to a white paper published by my colleagues from Utah Office of Health Disparities (OHD). 

In January 2018, Utah OHD released the white paper Addressing Oral Health Disparities in Urban Settings: A Strategic Approach to Advance Access to Oral Health Care,” which documents oral health disparities and outlines efforts to increase access to oral health services in urban settings. 

Utah OHD’s strategic approach includes providing access to oral health services and a trusted provider by addressing social, economic, geographic, cultural, and linguistic barriers to care. Through its free dental day clinics, Utah OHD provides short-term access to oral health services for vulnerable populations living in urban settings. The approach also includes strategic investments in improving health literacy for vulnerable populations as well as building oral health workforce capacity to serve these communities. This work drives the focus from providing short-term services to developing sustainable, systematic solutions for long-term access to oral health care. 

Notably, Utah OHD uses the NPA’s framework of five goals to encourage adoption of approaches in areas of (1) awareness, (2) leadership, (3) health systems and life experience, (4) cultural and linguistic competency, and (5) data research and evaluation.

Utah OHD released the white paper while applying the Office of Minority Health’s National Partnership for Action (NPA) framework on the frontlines to address oral health disparities in Utah. In 2015, Utah OHD joined the State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities (SPI) and embarked on a five-year program, Bridging Communities and Clinics (BCC), in two of Utah’s most underserved communities. BCC applies the NPA’s framework to encourage the adoption of approaches in awareness and leadership, such as by facilitating dialogues between oral health providers and community members on oral health disparities. Through its free dental day clinics, the Utah OHD applies the health system and life experience approach by removing barriers to oral health care. Utah OHD promotes cultural and linguistic competency by involving providers and patients from a variety of races/ethnicities and language competencies. By utilizing Utah OHD’s approaches and application of the NPA framework, partners in other communities can also advance access to oral health care and address oral health disparities. 

On June 12, 2018, Oral Health America’s Webinar Series will host the webinar Oral Health Disparities in Urban Settings: A Strategic Approach to Access to Care, which will highlight the contents of Utah OHD’s white paper and share approaches tied to the NPA goals. To register for the webinar, visit: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4382281002999059714

New Opioid NPA Caucus Launches Website

posted Jun 8, 2018, 8:07 AM by daniel yoo   [ updated Jun 8, 2018, 8:17 AM ]


The opioid epidemic is an emerging threat to our communities, and it greatly hinders our ability to achieve health equity goals. The NPA has responded by forming the Opioid NPA Caucus. 

To learn more about the caucus and how you can get involved, please visit the newly launched Opioid NPA Caucus webpage

June 15 Webinar: Multi-Sector Collaborations to Advance Health Equity

posted May 22, 2018, 5:03 PM by daniel yoo

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), with support from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH), will host a webinar on its Introduction to Multi-Sector Intersections and Collaborations to Advance Health Equity report. The report highlights ways in which public health intersects with other governmental sectors (i.e. agriculture, economy, education, environment, housing, justice, and transportation) can address the social determinants of health and promote optimal health for all.

Register here.

May 23 Webinar Recording: Utilizing the Collective Impact Model to Address Health Disparities

posted May 11, 2018, 3:14 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Jun 1, 2018, 12:50 PM ]

This webinar highlighted Buncombe County’s (NC) efforts to use the Collective Impact Model to leverage partnerships, funding, and community-based strategies to overcome a large health disparity in diabetes mortality between African-American and white residents. The county was recognized as one of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize winners in 2014 for demonstrating the concept that improved collaboration among groups can lead to better health for residents.

View the webinar here: https://explorepsa.adobeconnect.com/pj8sezniwwa7/ 

To view/download the webinar transcript and fully accessible presentation slides (PDF format), please click on the links below.

Partnering for Health Equity: Interview with Daniel E. Dawes, JD

posted Apr 27, 2018, 2:54 PM by daniel yoo

Photo of Daniel E. Dawes, JD
Attorney Daniel E. Dawes is a nationally recognized leader in the health equity movement and has led numerous efforts to address health policy issues impacting vulnerable, under-served, and marginalized populations. Mr. Dawes is the co-founder of the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network (HELEN), a national network of health equity champions in virtually every state and territory and a partner of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA). Mr. Dawes is also the executive director of health policy at Morehouse School of Medicine, leading the institution's health policy initiatives and serves as Senior Advisor and General Counsel to the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. He serves as the series editor of the Johns Hopkins University Press special multi-disciplinary book series, Health Equity in America, and the author of a forthcoming book, The History of Health Equity in America, which will also be published by Johns Hopkins University Press. In this blog post, we interview Mr. Dawes about the health equity movement and partnership for health equity.

1. Why is HELEN partnering with the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) and its regional health equity councils (RHECs) and other NPA partners?

I fondly remember the convening on health disparities that led to the creation of the NPA. The NPA framework and its focus on community-driven solutions and multi-sector collaboration is setting the stage for the health equity movement. For instance, RHECs engage leaders and leverage expertise within regions to inform and encourage action for health equity.

At HELEN, we aim to create a national network of policy leaders that leverages and expands on the goals and work of the NPA, RHECs, and other NPA partners. Across the nation, many policymakers who are not involved with the NPA are not really familiar with health disparities and the health equity movement. Leveraging technology, HELEN creates a safe space to share information about strategies to address health disparities and promote health equity for policymakers who care about this issue, no matter their political stance. HELEN also helps leaders and scholars across the nation to collaborate and advance the health equity movement. For instance, with our interactive map of the US, if scholars need to quickly touch base with leaders in New Mexico, they can send a message asking them what they have been doing to address health equity. Also—in a library populated with policies on health equity, complementing the work of the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), an NPA partner—we are tracking what every state has done to address the social determinants of health (SDoH) and health equity.

At HELEN, we want to make sure our activities are in line with the NPA and complement the work of RHECs and other NPA partners. For example, we are currently thinking about how to align our work with the five priorities of the NPA, with a focus on the fifth priority, as we are trying to encourage leaders to use a health equity lens for their policies and programs. HELEN and the NPA can bring together leaders to coordinate efforts, as we don’t have time to waste when it comes to addressing health disparities across the nation.

2. What is your vision for how HELEN and the NPA can move forward together to mobilize a nationwide movement to combat health disparities and advance health equity?

First, it’s important to create an inclusive environment to move the needle toward health equity. We need to recognize that everyone has a perspective that can add tremendous value, and we want everyone to feel welcome in this movement, no matter their background or political stance.

Second, strengthening public-private partnerships and working with nontraditional partners will be necessary to address the SDoH that have a significant impact on health and health equity. For example, we can engage with the banking industry to determine what policies can expand economic opportunity that has health impacts. Similarly, it will be important to partner with leaders from environmental health, housing, transportation, education, and other sectors that enact policies that can promote health equity.

Last, we need to make sure we help people to see the big and narrow pictures of why health equity matters, balancing comprehensive views and narrow views. Some people can see why ensuring that all Americans have good health matters. Others have expert knowledge of specific policies and interventions to promote health equity. We need people to be adept at adopting both a bird’s eye and specific view when it comes to addressing health disparities and achieving health equity in the US.

FREE Live Webcast Series in Spanish: Bringing Behavioral Health Best Practices to Latino Communities

posted Apr 12, 2018, 3:09 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Apr 12, 2018, 3:11 PM ]

In April and May, SAMHSA, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the National Latino Behavioral Health Association will present a free, four-part live webcast series in Spanish—Nuestra Salud: Bringing Behavioral Health Best Practices to Latino Communities.
Click here for more information and to register.

Southeastern Health Equity Council (SHEC) and the Stay Connected. Stay Strong! Conference: Supporting Families Impacted by Incarceration

posted Apr 12, 2018, 1:49 PM by Tech Support

It is important to understand the ways in which incarceration impacts the health and well-being of prisoners and their children and family members. Everyone can benefit from resources and strategies for staying strong and connected during incarceration. On April 13, 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) Region IV Office of the Regional Health Administrator will host a conference titled Stay Connected. Stay Strong! Supporting Families Impacted by Incarceration at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

To learn more about the event, we spoke with two of the facilitators: Sharon Ricks, Regional Health Administrator, OASH, Region IV; and Sunny Slaughter, who co-chairs the committee on Violence as a Public Health Issue for the Southeastern Health Equity Council (SHEC/RHEC IV). The SHEC, which historically has addressed public health issues that impact vulnerable and marginalized communities in the Southeast region of the US, is one of the event partners. In addition to Ms. Slaughter, Brian McGregor, who also co-chairs the committee on Violence as a Public Health Issue for the SHEC is another speaker at the conference.

Ms. Ricks explained why leaders in the field are coming together in April 2018—National Minority Health Month that will celebrate the importance of community partnerships for health equity—to share effective strategies, tools, and resources for families impacted by incarceration. “Most of the states with the highest incarceration rates are in the South, and these same states are most impacted by health disparities. This conference will encourage impacted families and their allies to be change agents and to offer strategies that every family in the Southeastern US can use to stay connected and stay strong.”

“Staying connected is always the hardest part,” said Ms. Slaughter, “when it comes to the specific and diverse forms of trauma involved in incarceration.” She noted that the conference also will provide an unprecedented opportunity for families and children to offer testimonials. “Mass incarceration is most often about those behind the bars, but this conference will give those beyond the bars the opportunity to emerge from the shadows to be seen and heard. Their experiences matter!”

The conference also will “enable corrections officers in this region to discover new strategies and programs with proven success in improving outcomes for families and communities impacted by incarceration,” Ms. Ricks explained. She added that speakers from across the country will share their expertise on this topic. Speakers include: Sandra Kay Barnhill, JD, champion for reentry services; Kate Boccia, founder of The National Incarceration Association (NIA); Ernest Drucker, PhD, professor at the College of Global Public Health, New York University and licensed clinical psychologist; Ron and Catherine Dijerina, co-founders of TYRO Dads and The Ridge Project to build strong families; and Dominique Gilliard, pastor and author of Rethinking Incarceration. The conference also will feature graduates of the Morehouse Satcher Health Leadership Institute’s Community Health Leadership Program. Some of the event’s partners are NIA, The Ridge Project, TYRO, and HEUDIA Health.

The conference will provide a forum for collaboration and action among policy leaders, advocates, public health experts, service providers, social workers, and corrections and probation officers to support and empower families and children impacted by the criminal justice system. The emphasis of Stay Connected, Stay Strong will be on justice as “restorative and reconciling, not retributive and isolating,” as Pastor Gilliard has stated in his work dedicated to changing mass incarceration.

To learn more about the event and register, visit: https://www.2018stayconnectedstaystrong.com.

Recording Now Available: State Legislative Approaches to Reducing Behavioral Health Disparities Webinar

posted Apr 11, 2018, 7:55 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Apr 20, 2018, 12:39 PM ]

This webinar focused on the results of an OMH-supported National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) analysis of legislation introduced in 2017 related to behavioral health disparities. Presenters described behavioral health issues and challenges, key barriers to care, and factors contributing to behavioral health disparities; highlighted state actions from the 2017 legislative sessions and identified common legislative approaches; and described emerging strategies for improving access to behavioral health providers and services.

You can download it Here.

Webinar Recording_Apr10.18_National Conference of State Legislatures Webinar.wmv

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