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Disparities State Profiles

State Profiles: Minority Health and Health Equity Offices  

Updated September 2010

All 50 states have a minority health or health equity office or entity (usually a point of contact). These offices have various titles; some are established as official minority health entities (such as an office, commission, council, center, branch, project or other unit) by the governor, legislature, or, in the case of one state, the federal Office of Minority Health. All of these offices share a common goal to improve health disparities within their state. However, each state has a unique way of addressing issues that are most pressing among their needy populations. Many states are moving toward the idea of health equity instead of health disparities in hope to put a more positive spin on addressing health care and ultimately, eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health. Below is the contact information for directors along with a detailed description of state actions that created these offices.


State Actions Creating Offices and/or Commissions on Minority Health 


Alabama
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State Contact Information

Description

Alabama

Updated September 2011


Department of Public Health
Office of Minority Health
The RSA Tower
201 Monroe Street, Suite 710
Montgomery, AL  36104
Phone: (334) 206-5226
Toll Free: 1-800-255-1992
Fax: (334) 206-5173
Acting Director: Jessica Hardy, RN, MPH

In May 1991,  Alabama State Health Officer established the Minority Health Section within the Alabama State Department of Primary Care and Rural Health to facilitate local and state level partnerships addressing health disparities in Alabama. In July 2006, the Office of Minority Health was formed as an expansion and status elevation of the Minority Health Section that had been created in 1991. The new Office of Minority Health is located within the Bureau of Professional and Support Services within the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

A Minority Health Advisory Council was established in 1999 to advise the AL-OMH on policy issues, health planning and strategies for the elimination of health disparities. In 2007 the Council transitioned into a Health Disparities Advisory Council within the Alabama Department of Public Health structure. The membership composition consists of program management staff such as chronic disease directors, maternal and child health directors, a communicable disease staff and an emergency preparedness staff. In November 2010, a Statewide Health Disparities Task Force was formed to combine the ADPH Health Disparities Advisory Council with external stakeholders and partners to finalize the Preliminary State Plan of Action to Reduce and Eliminate Health Disparities in Alabama.

 

State plan to reduce disparities
In October 2008, a draft version of the Preliminary State Plan of Action to Reduce and Eliminate Health Disparities in Alabama was released. The plan was prepared by the Health Disparities Advisory Council and funded by the Office of Minority Health. Click here to view the draft of the plan.

 The Alabama Health Disparities Status Report 2010 was released in January 2011. The report compiles data and information from a variety of sources to provide a description of the health, lifestyle, and social and economic conditions which can often contribute to health disparities affecting multi-cultural populations in Alabama. Click here to view the report.

 

Access
For information on Alabama's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Alaska

Updated September 2011

 

1. Department of Health and Social Services
Health Planning and Systems Development
Alaska Primary Care Office
Phone: (907) 465-3091
Fax: (907) 465-6861
Health Program Manager: Mark Millard,LCSW
Alaska Office of Rural Health
Phone: (907) 465-8618
Fax: (907) 465-6861
Director: Pat Carr

2. Department of Health and Social Services
Office of the Commissioner
Tribal Health Program
P.O. Box 110601
Juneau, Alaska 99811
Phone: (907) 465-3030
Fax: (907) 465-3068
Director: Renee Gayhart

Health Planning and Systems Development, a division of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, is responsible for programs that provide increased health care access to underserved areas of the state. The Alaska Primary Care Office and the Alaska Office of Rural Health are both Health Planning and Systems Development programs.

The Department of Health and Social Services created the Tribal Health Program within the Office of the Commissioner. The goal is to assist with maximization of Medicaid revenue generation and expand Medicaid service delivery within the tribal health care system.
 

State plan to reduce disparities
Alaska addresses health disparities in a variety of statewide plans. Click here to view a list of Alaska State Health Plans and Special Reports from their Department of Health and Social Services.

 

Access
For information on Alaska's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Arizona
Department of Health Services
Health Disparities Center
150 N. 18th Ave, Suite 300

Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 542-1219
Fax: (602) 542-2011
Office Chief: Zipatly Mendoza

In 1993, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) established a liaison position to address minority health issues in Arizona. It was intended to act as a link between the community and ADHS in the development and implementation of programs, services and policies with particular regard to cultural awareness. However, this position was never a full-time funded position and eventually lost its alternative sources of funding. The Center for Minority Health (CMH) was re-established in February 2004 within the Office of Health Systems Development (OHSD) to coordinate statewide efforts and implement work activities specific to minority health. In September 2006, CMH changed its name to the Arizona Health Disparities Center (AHDC).
 

State plan to reduce disparities
In 2001, the Arizona Department of Health Services created Healthy Arizona 2010: Collaborating for a Healthier Future- A Strategic Plan. Click here to view the 2005 report “Health Disparities in Arizona’s Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations,” a follow up report to Healthy Arizona 2010. 

The ADHS's strategic plan for fiscal years 2010-2014 includes reducing health disparities in its guiding principles. In addition health disparities is included as one of the plan's focus areas. Click here to view the plan.

The AHDC worked with the vital statistics division of the ADHS to create statistical profiles for different race/ethnic groups. These profiles help the ADHS and the ADHC to determine priority areas of focus, and create programs to address those areas. Click here to view the profiles.

During the last few years, a number of health equity initiatives have emerged within ADHS, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and among community partners. With so many initiatives, the AHDC acknowledged the need to develop a shared vision and direction as the state continues to move forward in achieving health equity and reducing health disparities. Therefore, the AHDC convened a steering committee, comprised of community leaders from throughout Arizona, to develop a statewide strategic plan for health equity.

The AHDC is working to develop a strategic plan which will serve as a roadmap for stakeholders in the public and private sector. In addition, it will facilitate the identification of partners and opportunities to collaborate on concrete strategies and action steps. The strategic plan will also serve as a measure of Arizona’s progress toward achieving health equity and reducing health disparities. Moreover, the strategic plan will align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health’s National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities initiative.

 

Access
For information on Arizona's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Arkansas
1. Department of Health
Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities
4815 W. Markham Street, Slot 22
Little Rock, AR 72205
Phone: (501) 661-2622
Fax: (501) 661-2414
Director: Christine Patterson 
 

2. Arkansas Minority Health Commission 
1123 S. University Ave. Suite 312
Little Rock, AR 72204
Phone: (501) 686-2720
Fax: (501) 686-2722
Director: Idonia L. Trotter, JD, MPS.

Email the Minority Health Commission

Ark. Public Act 1571 (2003 SB945) requires the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the Department of Health, and the Minority Health Commission to study disparities in health and health care between minority and majority communities.

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 25-10-122 (1991) creates an Office of Minority Mental Health within the Division of Mental Health of the Department of Human Services. The head of the Office of Minority Mental Health shall be appointed by the director of the Department of Human Services.

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 25-10-102 (1991) establishes the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. There will be 12 members who have actively participated in health issues for minorities or have special knowledge or experience with minority health issues.
 

Health Reform
In March 2010, after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Minority Health Commission released a statement in regards to the new law, click here to read the full press release.
 

State plan to reduce disparities
In 2001, the 76th General Assembly proposed an interim study to describe the differences in health outcomes by race and ethnicity in Arkansas and the factors that contribute to the observed health and healthcare disparities. The study is used by the state Minority Health Commission to develop initiatives that reduce the disparities found in the study. Click here to view the study conducted in 2004.

In 2009, the Minority Health Commission released a follow up to the 2004 study. The follow up study was titled Arkansas Racial and Ethnic Health Disparity II: a Minority Health Update. Click here to view the follow-up study.

 

Access
For information on Arkansas' access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

California
Department of Public Health
Office of Multicultural Health
P. O. Box 997413, MS 0022
Sacramento, CA 95899-7413
Phone: (916) 440-7560
Fax: (916) 440-7565 
Office E-mail
Chief: Laura Hardcastle

Cal. Chapter No. 713 (2003 SB 853) took effect on January 1, 2009 and requires health, dental and specialty insurers to provide members with interpretive services when needed. The bill was originally signed in 2003 but implementation was stalled while insurer concerns over costs were addressed. The Department of Managed Health Care will oversee implementation of the law including the launching of a campaign to increase awareness of the new services.
Cal. Health and Safety Code § 150-152 declares that the health status of California's racial and ethnic communities is poor relative to the health status of the white population. The law established the Office of Multicultural Health in statute to close the gaps in health status and access to care among the state's diverse racial and ethnic communities. The OMH was established as a shared office between the Director's Office of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

The OMH has a 25 member Council on Multicultural Health, which is responsible for advising both the CDPH and the DHCS, and serving as a link between the departments and California's racial and ethnic communities. The council is made up of members from these diverse communities, with varied professional experience.

Cal. Health and Safety Code § 106000-106036 (2003 AB9) establishes the Urban Community Health Institute at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; creates centers to eliminate health disparities, to address disparities in the delivery of health services to multicultural populations in specified areas of Los Angeles County; provides that the institute would consist of 3 clinical centers and a shared resource core.
 

State plan to reduce disparities
The Office of Multicultural Health hopes to release their plan to reduce disparities by the summer of 2009. In 2008, the Department of Public Health created a strategic plan with goals to improve overall health. The first goal in the plan is to increase quality and years of healthy life, reduce disparities and promote health equity. Click here to view the Department of Public Health Strategic Plan.

 

Access
For information on California's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Colorado

Updated September 2011


Department of Public Health and Environment
Office of Health Disparities
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
Phone: (303) 692.2087
Fax: (303) 691.7746
Program E-mail
Director: Mauricio Palacio

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-2204 (2007 SB 242) concerns the statutory creation of the existing Office of Health Disparities in combination with the Minority Health Advisory Commission and the Interagency Health Disparities Leadership Council  in the Department of Public Health and Environment.

The Minority Health Advisory Commission works with the Office of Health Disparities to identify and address specific needs in minority communities. The Commission conducts open meetings in various locations in Colorado. The Commission also works with the Board of Health to make funding recommendations for the Health Disparities Grant Program, established with funds appropriated from the Amendment 35 tobacco cash fund. This program provides financial support for local and statewide initiatives that address prevention, early detection, needs assessment, and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease (including diabetes), and pulmonary disease in minority populations.

The Office of Health Disparities coordinates the Recruiting and Retaining Youth of Color into the Health Professions Task Force. Recruiting and Retaining Youth of Color (RRYOC) consists of students and professionals from education, health, and environmental sciences. The intent of the taskforce is to lead a statewide collaboration for recruiting and retaining youth of color, grades K-20, in the health professions. By recruiting and retaining youth of color in health professions, Colorado will cultivate and sustain racially and ethnically diverse health professionals to serve the needs of diverse communities. RRYOC is charged with advocacy for educational reform/policy change, acting as a clearinghouse, and providing technical assistance to existing programs, initiatives, and organizations that addresses the needs of youth of color interested in health professions in Colorado. 
 

State plan to reduce disparities
The Interagency Health Disparities Leadership Council, with the help of a wide range of community stakeholders, developed the Colorado Health Disparities Strategic Plan. This strategic action plan stems from work originally begun at the 2006 Colorado Health Disparities Conference where participants developed strategies for extending the state-level health disparities strategic plan to communities and addressing determinants of health disparities. In August 2007, a group of interested stakeholders was once again brought together to further inform and develop the goals and strategies to be included in the strategic plan. This completed plan is the product of these processes and was created with the goal of developing specific and tangible strategies that government agencies, community and other organizations can implement in working towards the elimination of health disparities across Colorado.

Health Disparities Report

In 2009, the OHD released Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Colorado 2009. Click here to view the report.

 

Access
For information on Colorado's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Connecticut

Updated September 2011


Department of Public Health
Office of Multicultural Health
Health Disparities Project
410 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06134-0308
Phone: (860) 509-8098
Acting Director: Meg Hooper, MPA

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 19a-4j (1998) established the Connecticut Department of Public Health's Office of Multicultural Health (OMH) to improve the state’s health status by eliminating preventable differences in disease, disability, and death rates in ethnic, racial, and cultural populations.

The Connecticut General Statutes also directs the OMH to monitor health status of African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. The Department is also required to compare selected populations with the health status of non-Hispanic Caucasians to assess preventable health disparities. In addition, OMH assesses the health education of and resources for ethnic, racial and cultural populations, as well as maintain a directory of multicultural and multi-ethnic health resources in Connecticut. 

 

State plan to reduce disparities
In 2009, the Connecticut Health Disparities Project released the 2009 Connecticut Health Disparities Report. Click here to view the report. The Connecticut Multicultural Health Strategic Plan was also released this year for 2009 and 2010.  

In 2009, the OMH presented their Five Year Activities Report to the Connecticut General Assembly. The report recounted the actions the OMH had taken to reduce health disparities from 2004-2009. 

 

Access
For information on Connecticut's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Delaware
Department of Health and Social Services
Delaware Office of Minority Health
417 Federal Street
Jesse Cooper Building
Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 744-4700
Fax: (302) 739-6659
Interim Director: Dr. Herman Ellis 

In 1994, Governor Thomas Carper signs an executive order which establishes the Minority Health Services within the Division of Public Health.
 

State plan to reduce disparities
The 2008 Delaware Racial and Ethnic Disparities Health Status Report Card was created in hopes to build collaboration on addressing health disparities among state law makers, officials and the state health department. The Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Public Health will establish a plan as a result of the report card. Click here to view the report card.

 

Access
For information on Delaware's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Florida
Department of Health
Office of Minority Health
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin # A25
Tallahassee, FL  32399-1746
Phone: (850) 245-4941 
Fax: (850) 245-4124
Office E-mail
Director: Emile Commedore, M.D., J.D.
Contact Phone for Director: (850) 245-4444, ext. 4074

Fla. 2008 HB 7009 This appropriations bill includes a line item reduction in funding for minority health initiatives. 

Fla. Stat. § 20.43 (2004) establishes the Office of Minority Health within the Department of Health.

Fla. Stat. § 14.27 creates the Florida Commission on African-American Affairs within the Executive Office of the Governor. The commission is assigned to develop strategies and plans to address the economic, social, educational, health, and welfare needs of Florida's African-Americans.

Fla. Stat. § 381.7353 redesignated the existing Minority Health Affairs Council to the Minority Health Affairs Commission. The law creates the commission, outlines the appointment of members and officers, establishes the powers and duties and terminates it on October 1, 2004.

Fla. Stat. § 381.7353 created the Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Advisory Committee to support the "Closing the Gap" program. In 2007, the committee released a report which analyzed data from the program and used that data to make suggestions to further reduce health disparities. Click here to view the 2008 Closing the Gap Evaluation Report.

Fla. Stat. § 381.7351  created The Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities "Closing the Gap" grant program. The state office of Minority Health is required to provide workshops and conferences on innovative and evidence based approaches to equip projects and the community on methods to identify, address and eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. Click here to view the Projects Report.
 

State plan to reduce disparities

In 2008, the OMH released the Florida Health Disparities Strategic Plan 2008-2011, which outlines the actions that the OMH, DOH and their community partners must take to reduce health disparities. Click here to view the report.

 

Access
For information on Florida's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Georgia
Department of Community Health
Office of Minority Health
2 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 463-4013
Fax: (404) 657-2769
Executive Director: James T. Peoples

Ga. Code Ann. § 31-5A-4 (2004 SB 503) relating to the powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities of the Department of Community Health, so as to create the Office of Minority Health within the Department of Community Health; to provide for an advisory council to be appointed by the Governor; to provide for the functions and duties of the Office of Minority Health; to provide for a full-time executive director; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

The OHI and its Office of Minority Health Implemented the Health Equity Grant Initiative in April 2009 by investing 1M in state dollars to support programs and initiatives to improve minority health outcomes and address health disparities.  The eight grantees, representative of local, private/public sectors, community-based organizations and academia, have reached more than 200,000 Georgians.   
 

State plan to reduce disparities
Georgia Department of Community Health developed the Health Equity Initiative which is a state initiative to improve long-term outcomes of racial and ethnic disparities in health. Click here to view the 2008 Georgia Health Disparities Report created by the Georgia Department of Community Health, Health Equity Initiative.

As an ongoing effort of the larger Georgia Health Equity Initiative, the OHI has also addressed Asian American communities in Georgia through the collection of data and collective input from the target community, in partnership with the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS), the leading organization of the Georgia Asian Pacific Islander Community Coalition (GAAPICC), the Minority Health Advisory Council initiated the Georgia Asian American Health Access Survey (GA-HAS). An executive summary and full report entitled the Health Disparities Addendum 2010: Asian Americans in Georgia is scheduled to be released in Fall 2010.

 

Access
For information on Georgia's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Hawaii
Department of Health
Office of Health Equity
1250 Punchbowl Street, Room 257
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 586-4646
Fax: (808) 586-4444
Office E-mail
Interim Coordinator: David (Kawika) Liu

The Office of Health Equity (OHE) was established in 2000 under the direction of Dr. Chiyome Leinaala Fukino, Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health. OHE is not mandated by state statute nor is it currently part of the Department’s formal organizational chart.  Fukino has begun the process of establishing the Office as part of the Department’s organizational chart where it will be placed in the Office of Planning, Program and Policy Development. OHE focuses on health disparities among Hawaii's indigenous population. As of February 2009, the Office of Health Equity is under reconstruction, a plan to eliminate disparities is to be released after the office's relaunching conference in August of 2009.

State plan to reduce disparities
The Hawaii Office of Health Equity hopes to release a statewide plan to reduce disparities by fall 2009 after a conference of Health Equity in the state is held in August.

 

Access
For information on Hawaii's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Idaho
Department of Health and Welfare
State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
450 West State Street- 4th floor
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0036
Phone: (208) 334-0669
Fax: (208) 332-7262

Office Email
Contact: Mary Sheridan

Idaho does not have a designated state office of minority health, multicultural health or an office of health disparities. Although data and programs exist inside and outside of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, there is no central repository for identifying, cataloguing or disseminating minority health or health disparity data and information. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare conducts its minority health and health disparity activities through the State Office of Rural Health & Primary Care (SORH), located within the Bureau of Health Planning and Resource Development in the Division of Health.
 

State health disparities reports

In 2007, the SORH released the report Profile of Idaho Health Disparities, which compared risk factors for Iowa adults based on a series of factors, including race and ethnicity. 

In 2007, the SORH also released the report Determining the Need and Effectiveness of Current Linguistic Services in Idaho's Health Care System. The Report was based on survey data regarding language services currently offered by Idaho health care providers and the need for additional language services not currently offered.

 

Access
For information on Idaho's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Illinois
Department of Public Health
Center for Minority Health Services
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone: (217) 782-4977
Fax: (217) 782-3987
TTY: 800-547-0466 
Chief: Doris Turner

Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 20, § 2310-215 (1991) establishes a Center for Minority Health Services. The center will advise the department on matters pertaining to the health needs of minority populations and recommend treatment methods and programs that are sensitive and relevant to minority populations.

Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 20, § 2310-210 creates an Advisory Panel on Minority Health consisting of 25 members appointed by the Director of Public Health. The members shall represent health professions and the General Assembly.

State plan to reduce disparities
Illinois Center for Minority Health Services is currently in the process of creating a state plan to reduce health disparities.

 

Access
For information on Illinois' access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Indiana
State Department of Health
Office of Minority Health
2 North Meridian St, Suite 3A
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 233-7596
Fax: (317) 233-7943
Director: Antoniette Holt

Ind. Code § 16-46-6 creates the Interagency State Council on Black and Minority Health consisting of 17 members from the legislature, the governor's office, state agencies and departments, health care providers and state organizations concerned with the health, economic, social or educational needs of minorities. The council will identify and study the special health care needs and health problems of minorities as well as the factors that contribute to these problems.

Ind. Code § 16-46-6-2 adds Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander to the definition of minority under the interagency state council on black and minority health; changes council membership; requires the council to develop and implement a plan to address health disparities of minority populations in regards to objectives including mental health and substance abuse.

Ind. Code § 16-46-6 which created the Interagency Council on Black and Minority Health produced a report in 2007. The report outlines key data findings of the council as well as three critical health focus areas to be addressed. These focus areas for improving minority health will act as a launching pad for action within Indiana on every level - residents, public health providers, community organizations, policymakers, and other stakeholders - to address health inequities and improve the health and environment of all Indiana residents. Click here to view the report.

Ind. Code § 16-46-11 made the Indiana State Department of Health, through the OMH, responsible for the Minority Health Initiative, including implementation of the Strategic Plan on Minority Health. The law requires the OMH to partner with the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, an independent non-profit. The OMH provides funding to the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, which works in coordination with the OMH, to implement the Minority Health Initiative.


State plan to reduce disparities
In April 2003, the Indiana Department of Health created a Minority Health Plan for the state, the plan included focal objectives. Click here to view the Healthy Indiana Minority Health Plan.

In 2008, the Interagency Council on Black and Minority Health released a new report. Click here to view the report.

 

Access

For information on Indiana's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Iowa
Department of Public Health
Office of Minority and Multicultural Health
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(515) 281-4904
Fax: (515)242-6013
Executive Director: Janice Edmunds-Wells, MSW

Iowa Code § 135.12 establishes the Office of Multicultural Health within the Department of Public Health's Division of Health promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention and assigns duties the office shall be responsible for.
 

State plan to reduce disparities
The Iowa Department of Public Health's Office of Multicultural Health Strategic Plan for FY2007 to FY 2011 created in 2007 invited 21 representatives, key informants throughout the state, and five state personnel to help chart a strategic map for the state OMH staff as the office strengthens its infrastructure over the next few years. Click here to see the strategic plan.

 

Access
For information on Iowa's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Kansas

Updated September 2011


Department of Health and Environment
Center for Health Disparities
Curtis State Office Building
1000 SW Jackson Suite 300
Topeka, KS  66612-1365
Phone: (785) 296-0781
Fax: (785) 296-1562
Director: Aiko Allen


 

In September 2005, The Kansas Department of Health and Environment under the direction of Secretary Roderick L. Bremby established a Health Disparities Advisory Board in whose focus would be to help establish a strategic framework and direction for the Office of Minority Health. Specifically, the group was directed to help institute a framework aimed at addressing and eliminating health disparities for racial and ethnic populations in the state.

In 2005, the Kansas Health Institute released the report Racial and Ethnic Minority Health Disparities in Kansas: A Data and Chartbook. The report identified the lack of available data regarding health disparities. 

The KDHE released the report Working Together for a Healthier Kansas: A Status Report on the Social Determinants of Health in Kansas, which focused on health disparities that resulted from socioeconomic factors such as income level and quality of education. 
 

State plan to reduce disparities
In 2007 the Kansas Center for Health Disparities Strategic Plan was created to develop, improve, and implement effective methods to increase access to culturally and linguistic competent health care for all racial/ethnic populations statewide. Click here to view the plan.

 

Access
For information on Kansas' access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Kentucky
Kentucky Department for Public Health
Office of Health Equity
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: (502) 564-3527 ext. 4072  
Director: Torrie T. Harris, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

 

In September 2009, Kentucky received funding from the Office of Minority Health to establish the Office of Health Equity functioning through the Commissioner of the Public Health Office at the Kentucky Department for Public Health. The focus of the office is to eliminate health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities, rural and low-income populations. Since the office is not currently mandated, the director has submitted an executive order to the governor, which is pending. The Office of Health Equity will release the state plan to address health disparities in the summer of 2010.

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 216.2929 requires the Cabinet for Health Services to prepare biennial reports on the special health needs of the minority population. The report will contain an overview of the health status and morbidity rates on minority Kentuckians and will make recommendations to meet the identified health needs of the minority population.

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 200.700 establishes the Early Childhood Development Authority in the Office of the Governor which, among other things, is created to oversee activities to reduce the disparity in maternal and child health status among selected populations.

On January 5, 2000, Chief Justice Lambert and Executive Director Cicely Lambert created the Office of Minority Affairs. This office is responsible for developing diversity outreach programs. The Minority Affairs Office is now available to help anyone who has questions about the court system, especially questions involving minority and diversity issues, however there is not a specific focus on Minority Health.

 

Access
For information on Kentucky's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Louisiana
Department of Health & Hospitals
Bureau of Minority Health Access
628 N. 4th Street
P.O. Box 629 (Zip 70821-0629)
Baton Rouge, LA  70802
Phone: (225) 342-9509
Fax: (225) 342-5568
Director: Durand Rudy Macklin

In 1999, the Bureau of Minority Health Access (BMHA) was established by the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Minority Health Affairs Commission to serve as an infrastructure for addressing public health issues related to minority populations.

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:1299.181 (1999) redesignated the existing Minority Health Affairs Council to the Minority Health Affairs Commission. The law creates the commission, outlines the appointment of members and officers, establishes the powers and duties and terminates it on October 1, 2004.
 

State plan to reduce disparities

In 2009, the BMHA released the report Eliminating Health Disparities from a Grass Roots Perspective. The report outlines the Bureau's progress in creating a state action plan to eliminate disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in Louisiana.  

 

Access
For information on Louisiana's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Maine
Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Minority Health
Key Plaza, 8th floor
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Phone: (207) 287-4844
Fax: (207) 287-9058
TTY: 1-800-606-0215
Director: Lisa Sockabasin

 In 2006, the Maine Office of Minority Health was established within the Administration of Maine's Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is currently funded through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

 

State plan to reduce disparities
Maine's Office of Minority Health has created a model for a state plan and hopes to release a finalized plan by summer 2009.

 

Access
For information on Maine's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Maryland 
State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 
Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities
Health Disparities Initiative
201 W. Preston Street, Rm. 500
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: (410) 767-7117
Fax: (410) 333-5100
Office E-mail
Director: Carlessia A. Hussein, R.N. DR. P.H.
Deputy Director: Ms. Arlee W. Gist,

Md. Chapter No. 443 (SB 177) establishes the Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; requires the Director of the Office to report to the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene; establishes the duties and responsibilities of the Office; requires the Director to promote health and prevention of disease among members of specified groups.  

Md. Chapter No. 14 (HB 452) alters the membership of the Procurement Advisory Council by the Special Secretary for the Office of the Minority Affairs.

Md. Chapter No. 74 (SB903) designates the Special Secretary for the Office of Minority Affairs as head of the Office; provides for the appointment, powers, and duties of the Special Secretary; requires a request for proposals, an invitation for bids, and a responsive bid to include information about minority business enterprise participation; etc.

Md. Chapter No. 453 (HB 883) requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with the Maryland Healthcare Foundation, to develop a state plan to reduce health care disparities. With the passing of HB 883, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene created the Secretary's Task Force on Eliminating Health Disparities, which serves as an internal advisory group for the department.

Md. Chapter No. 497 (HB 1455) requires the Family Health Administration in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, to provide technical assistance to specified community-based entities for a specified pilot program that addresses the cultural competency training of specified health care providers and specified health outcomes.

In 2007, the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities released Best Practices in Capacity Building and Disease Management and Prevention to Address Minority Health Disparities. The report focused on community-based activities, operational procedures and capacity building approaches that had been effective in reducing health disparities in the state of Maryland. 

In addition, the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities has a Health Disparities Data Program which collects, analyzes, and reports data on disparities in Maryland. 

 

State plan to reduce disparities
In March 2010, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released the Maryland Plan to Eliminate Minority Health Disparities, Plan of Action (2010-2014), published by the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities. The plan incorporates lessons learned from the 2006-2010 plan of action and acknowledges that new action plans to eliminate health disparities will have to include health system changes that will come about through the Affordable Care Act enacted by Congress and President Obama in March 2010.

Maryland Chapter No. 443 which established the state Office of Minority Health mandated a plan to eliminate health disparities in the state. The Maryland Plan to eliminate Minority Health Disparities created in 2006 covers professional education, health disparities data, resources for reducing disparities, and access to quality care. The plan is called a work in progress and is to be used as a framework. Click here to view the plan for 2006-2010.

 

Access
For information on Maryland's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Massachusetts
Department of Public Health
Office of Health Equity
250 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 624-5990
Fax: (617) 624-6062
Director: Georgia Simpson May

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 6A, § 16O  established a Health Disparities Council, located within, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. The council shall make recommendations regarding reduction and elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in health care and health outcomes within the commonwealth. The council shall address diversity in the health care workforce and shall make recommendations on methods to increase the health care workforce. The council may also make recommendations on other matters impacting upon and relevant to health disparities.

 

State plan to reduce disparities

The Health Disparities Council created a framework, based around six goals, to assist in planning, implementing and evaluating future efforts to reduce health disparities. Click here to view the framework.

The Massachusetts Office of Health Equity Director hopes to release their plan in Spring 2009.

 

Access
For information on Massachusetts' access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Michigan

Updated September 2011


Department of Community Health
Capitol View Building
201 Townsend Street
Lansing, Michigan 48913
Phone: (313) 456-4421
Fax: (313) 456-4428
Director: Olga Dazzo

 

 

Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section
3056 W. Grand Blvd.

Suite 3-150

Detroit, MI 48201

Phone: (313) 456-4377
Fax: (313) 456-4427

Manager: Sheryl Weir

 

 

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 330.1162 et seq. (1990) creates the Office of Multicultural Services within the Department of Mental Health to assess the mental health needs of multicultural populations in the state, recommend culturally sensitive and relevant treatments and programs, provide consultation and reference materials on multicultural services, promote awareness of multicultural mental health concerns, provide opportunities for multicultural populations to express their views on policies and programs, and request funds from the department.

In 1988 the Michigan Office of Minority Health was established by Executive Order as a result of a 1987 minority health task force that produced a report on minority health and made recommendations to create an office of minority health.

 

State plan to reduce disparities

Public Act 653was published. The report provides a framework and five strategic recommendations for improving the social and health status of racial and ethnic populations in Michigan. of 2006 mandated the Michigan Department of Community Health to develop and implement a structure to address racial and ethnic health disparities in the state. In 2010 the Michigan Health Equity Roadmap

Roadmap Recommendations:

1. Improve Race/Ethnicity Data Collection/Data Systems/Data Accessibility

2. Strengthen the capacity of government and communities to develop and sustain effective partnerships and programs to improve racial/ethnic health inequities.

3. Improve social determinants of racial/ethnic health inequities through public education and evidence-based community interventions.

4. Ensure equitable access to quality healthcare.

5. Strengthen community engagement, capacity, and empowerment.

Current Initiatives:

Capacity Building Grant Program

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)

Health Equity and Social Justice Training Initiative

Michigan Health Equity Data Project

Market Research Data Grant

BRFSS Oversampling of Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations

 

Access
For information on Michigan's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Minnesota
Department of Health
Office of Minority and Multicultural Health
Freeman Building, 5C
625 Robert St. N
PO Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
Phone: (651) 201-5813
Office E-mail
Director: Jose L. Gonzalez

Minn. Chapter Law 358 (2007 S.F. 3780) addresses the Statewide Health Improvement Program. By January 15, 2011, the commissioner of health can determine whether specific funding should be distributed to community health boards and tribal governments to address health disparities. Require that the commissioner establishes standards for health care homes that provide care that is appropriate to the patient's race, ethnicity and language. It also outlines the health care home reporting requirements including the number of enrollees with complex or chronic conditions, listed by income, race, ethnicity and language and the estimated impact on health disparities. The bill allows for the commissioner of human services to establish performance measures, relevant to racial or cultural groups, that may be underrepresented by traditional long-term enrollment measures. 

In 1993, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, created an Office of Minority Health (OMH). The office is part of the organizational structure of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Community and Family Health Promotion Bureau. In 2001 the name changed to the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health to reflect the growing racial and ethnic groups and the vast cultural factors in Minnesota.

 

State plan to reduce disparities
Minn. § 48 [145.928] (2001) created the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) which provided funding and goals for the state to eliminate disparities by 2010. The EHDI is administered through the OMMH. In 2008, a report was prepared for the MDH and the OMMH, to show the accomplishments of the 52 grantees funded by the EHDI. Click here to view the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative Report I. The OMMH is responsible for producing a report on the progress of the EHDI for the Minnesota State Legislature. They released an updated report in 2009, click here to view the report.

 

Access
For information on Minnesota' access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Mississippi
Department of Health
Office of Health Disparity Elimination
570 East Woodrow Wilson Ave. Suite 120
P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS  39215-1700
Phone: 601-576-8102
Medical Director: Lovetta Brown, M.D. M.P.H. 

The governor established the Minority Health Care Task Force in 1992 as a result of the findings presented in the 1990 "Report on Minority Health in Mississippi," by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). The Task Force was organized to assess the health status of the racial and ethnic minority populations in the state of Mississippi. The Task Force studied the committees’ recommendations and set forth a number of recommendations that, if implemented, would greatly reduce the health disparities among racial and ethnic populations.

In December 1998, the state health officer authorized the formation of a steering committee to develop a structure for an Office of Minority Health within the MSDH and to implement the Task Force recommendations. As a result, activities under minority health were initiated in March 2000, but no funding was appropriated. Subsequently, in September of 2003, the State Health Officer established the Mississippi Office of Health Disparity Elimination (MS-OHDE).
In November 2008, the Mississippi Legislature established the Select Committee on Health Disparities designed to evaluate the state's issues and resources on health disparities. Ultimately, the committee is working to establish strategies to ensure comprehensive health coverage and a better health prognosis for all Mississippi residents.

 

State plan to reduce disparities
The Director of the Office of Health Disparity Elimination hopes to release a work in progress plan by early 2010. 

 

Access
For information on Mississippi's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Missouri 
Department of Health and Senior Services
Office of Minority Health
PO Box 570
Jefferson City, MO  65102
Phone: 573-751-6064
Fax: 573-522-1599
Chief: Cheryl Avant

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 192.083 (1999) establishes an Office of Minority Health within the Department of Health. The office, among other things, will monitor the progress of all programs in the department for their impact on eliminating the health status disparity between minorities and the general population.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 208.533 (1999) establishes a twenty-member "Commission on the Special Health, Psychological and Social Needs of Minority Older Individuals" under the division of aging. The law outlines membership and responsibilities of the commission and requires the commission to submit an annual report for the governor, the general assembly and other appropriate state agencies.

 

State plan to reduce disparities
In May 2008, The Missouri Office of Minority Health released the State of Missouri Health Disparities Report titled Promoting Health Equity and Reducing Health Disparities in Missouri. The report looks at key health indicators in disparities and is intended to help communities in planning and implementing sound approaches to reduce health inequaties among ethnic/racial and other vulnerable populations in the state. Click here to view the report.

In 2006, the Department of Health and Senior Services released the Missouri Plan for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention 2005-2010. The plan focused on reducing disparities in cardiovascular disease mortality rate in Missouri. Click here to view the report.

 

Access
For information on Missouri's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Montana 

Updated September 2011


Department of Public Health and Human Services 
Public Health & Safety Division
Cogswell Building, Room B102
1400 Broadway
P.O. Box 202951
Helena, MT 59620
Phone: (406) 444-4542
Fax: (406) 444-1861
Point of Contact - Administrator: Jane Smilie

Montana currently has a Minority Health contact person within the Montana Public Health and Safety Division.

State health disparities report

In 2006, the Montana Public Health and Safety Division released Major Prevention Opportunities to Improve health in Montana. The report highlights the health disparities that exist in Montana, specifically for the state's Native American population, and is currently being updated.  In addition, the Montana Public Health and Safety Division produces a variety of reports on health behaviors and health issues that address disparities, in particular among the Native American population.  For example, these include reports on tobacco use, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and more.

 

Access
For information on Montana's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Nebraska
Updated September 2011

 

Division of Public Health

Community Health Planning and Protection Unit

Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity

PO Box 95026
Lincoln, NE 68509-5026
Phone: (402) 471-0152 
Fax: (402) 472-2342    
Office E-mail
Administrator: Susan A. Medinger (interim)

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-1628.07 requires the establishment of a satellite Office of Minority Health in each congressional district to coordinate and administer state policy relating to minority health. Each office will implement a minority health initiative in counties with a minority population of at least 5% of the total population of the county as determined by the US census. The focus of the initiative will include infant mortality, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and asthma. Each office shall prepare an annual report regarding the implementation of the minority health initiative in the prior fiscal year. The report shall be submitted to the department by October 1. The department shall submit the report to the Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature by December.

 

 

Neb. LB 374 (2011) includes an appropriation to operate a satellite offices of minority health in the second and third congressional districts. Also included is an appropriation for minority public health services in counties having a minority population equal to or exceeding five percent of the total population of the county in the first and third congressional districts and an appropriation for federally qualified health centers in congressional district two during the State Fiscal Year 11-12.  There is also funding for medical research with a portion set aside for research on improving racial and ethnic minority health.

 

State plan to reduce disparities
In 2006, the Nebraska Office of Minority Health created a Strategic Plan and titled it Equalizing Health Outcome and Eliminating Health Disparities. The plan developed goals for the office and focused on improving the status of minority populations within the state. Click here to view the plan.

 

Access
For information on Nebraska's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Nevada 

Updated September 2011

Office of the Governor, Consumer Health Assistance

Nevada State Health Division
Office of Minority Health
4150 Technology Way, Ste 110
Carson City, NV 89706
Phone: (775) 684-4232
Fax: (775) 486-7281
Acting Director: Janet Serial, Program Manager

 

Nev. AB519 (2011) transfers the Office of Minority Health to the Director's Office of Health and Human Services and places it under the umbrella of the Office of Consumer Health Assistance. 

Nev. Rev. Stat § 232.467-484 (2005 AB580) Creates the Office of Minority Health in order to improve the quality of health care services for members of minority groups, increase access to health care services for members of minority groups and to disseminate information to and educate the public on matters concerning health care issues of interest to members of minority groups. The bill also creates an Advisory Committee, composed of nine members reflecting the ethnic and geographical diversity of Nevada.

 

Access
For information on Nevada's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

New Hampshire

Updated September 2011


Department of Health and Human Services  
Office of Minority Health & Refugee Affairs
97 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH  03301
Phone: (603) 271-3986     
Office E-mail  

Director: Trinidad Tellez, MD                      

In 1999, DHHS created the Office of Minority Health to help ensure that all residents of New Hampshire have access to DHHS services and to improve the health of minorities.

In 2010, The Refugee Program moved from the Governor's Office (Office of Energy and Planning), to the Department of Health and Human Services, into the Office of Minority Health. The office name has changed to Office of Minority Health and Refugee Affairs (OMHRA) to reflect this valuable addition. The Refugee Program's major goal is to assist refugees in achieving economic self-sufficiency and social adjustment. This fits well with the social determinants of health frame used by OMHRA to achieve its objectives of reducing disparities and promoting health equity.

The Office of Minority Health & Refugee Affairs has three primary areas of responsibility: providing a sustained focus on the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to NH's residents by DHHS; maintaining communication with racial, ethnic and other medically underserved populations to create partnerships to enhance the overall health of the communities by developing combined opportunities and resources to address health disparities; and collaborating with federal and regional state minority health offices and NH health and community agencies regarding various regional, national and state health disparity initiatives.

 

Access
For information on New Hampshire's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

New Jersey
Department of Health and Senior Services
Office of Minority & Multicultural Health
John Fitch Plaza
PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Phone: (609) 292-6962
Fax: (609) 292-8713
Office E-mail
Acting Executive Director: Colette Lamothe-Galette

N.J Rev. Stat § 26:2-167 (AB 655) Establishes "Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative" in the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health to develop a comprehensive, coordinated plan to reduce health disparities between white and racial and ethnic minority populations in the state in the treatment of certain conditions or diseases.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:2-161 to 26:2-165 (1991) establishes the New Jersey Office on Minority Health in the Department of Health and the Minority Health Advisory Commission. The office, among other things, will provide grants to communities to conduct research and evaluate projects; develop and implement model public and private partnerships in minority communities for health awareness campaigns; serve as an information and resource center; review, recommend and develop culturally appropriate health education materials; and develop a statewide plan for increasing the number of minority health care professionals in the state. The law also establishes membership guidelines and responsibilities of the advisory commission.

 

State plan to reduce health disparities

In 2007, the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health released the Strategic Plan to Eliminate Health Disparities in New Jersey. The plan, created by a Health Disparities Work Group as part of the Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative, is a comprehensive strategy to address health disparities in the state. 

In 2010, the Strategic Plan to Eliminate Health Disparities in New Jersey: Update and Addendum was released. The follow up report provides an update on the progress made since the initial report was released and also adds new medical areas to the plan, as mandated by the 2004 legislation. 

 

Access
For information on New Jersey's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

New Mexico
Department of Health
Office of Policy and Multicultural Health
Office of Health Equity
1190 S. St. Francis Dr., South 4260
Santa Fe, NM 87502
Phone:(505) 827-2056
Fax: (505) 827-2942   
Director: Paul Romero

In July 2005, the New Mexico Department of Health created the Office of Policy and Multicultural Health in order to create innovative approaches to improve the overall health of New Mexicans and to address multicultural disparities. The same year, the Department of Health also created the Health Disparities Advisory Committee to serve as a link between the Department and communities in New Mexico. The committee makes recommendations to the Division of Policy and Performance on disparities issues.

In 2007, the New Mexico Department of Health renamed the Office of Policy and Multicultural Health to the Division of Policy and Performance. An Office of Health Equity, responsible for reducing disparities, was created within the Division.

 

State plan to reduce disparities
In 2008, the Department of Health released the State of New Mexico 2008 Comprehensive Strategic Plan. The first chapter of the plan is titled Health Inequities and recommends actions that can be taken by stakeholders throughout the state to achieve the goal of decreasing health inequities. 

The annual Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in New Mexico Report Card monitors the state's progress toward reducing disparities and identifies health areas where gaps continue to exist, the most recent report was released in 2009.

 

Access
For information on New Mexico's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

New York 
State Department of Health
Office of Minority Health
ESP-Corning Tower Building, Room 780
Albany, NY 12237
Phone: (518) 474-2180
Fax: (518) 474-4695
Office E-mail
Director: Wilma E. Waithe, RD, CDN, PhD

N.Y. Public Health Law § 241 to 243 (1992) creates an office of minority health within the department of health. The law outlines the duties and responsibilities of the office. The law creates a minority health council and outlines appointment of members and the powers and duties of the council.


State plan to reduce disparities
In 2007, the Office of Minority Health released the New York State Minority Health Surveillance Report. The report is intended to raise awareness about minority health and health disparities in the state and to provide the data necessary to develop evidence-based interventions to improve health. 

 

Access
For information on New York's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

North Carolina

Updated September 2011


Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities
1906 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1906
Courier #56-20-11
Phone: (919) 707-5040
Fax: (919) 676-6145
Office E-mail
Director: Barbara Pullen-Smith

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 130A-33.43 and 130A-33.44 establishes the Minority Health Advisory Council (MHAC) within DHHS. The law outlines the duties and responsibilities of the council and the rules for member selection and council business. The law requires that two members of the state House of Representatives and two members of the state Senate serve on the council.

DHHS also has an Eliminating Health Disparities Steering Committee that includes representatives from 12 divisions in the Department. The committee focuses on disparities issues throughout DHHS. Each representative is also responsible for submitting a report to OMHHD, detailing the progress their division has made on its own health disparities reduction plan.

Every year, MHAC identifies legislative priorities and makes funding recommendations to the legislature. Click here to view MHAC's legislative priorities of the 2009-2011 session of the General Assembly.

 

State health disparities report
In 2010, OMHHD released the Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in North Carolina - Report Card 2010. The report card measures the health indicators in North Carolina, showing the progress the state has made and highlighting areas where gaps still exist.

 

Access
For information on North Carolina's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

North Dakota
Department of Health
Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities
600 East Boulevard Ave - Dept
301, Bismarck, ND 58505-0200
Phone: (701) 328-2372
Fax: (701) 328-4727
Director: Phyllis Howard

During the 2007 legislative session, the North Dakota Department of Health was authorized to establish an Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities (OEHD), within the newly created Special Populations Section, as of the beginning of the next biennium, July 1, 2007. The legislature approved 1.5 full time equivalent employees and spending authority for the office.

The Health Disparities Committee was formed as part of the Healthy North Dakota project in order to coordinate the state's efforts in addressing disparities. In 2007, the committee voted to change its name to the Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities Work Group, to reflect the creation of the new office.

 

State health disparities report

The OEHD released an American Indian Community Health Profile, highlighting health statistics and risk behaviors for American Indians, North Dakota's largest minority population. 

 

Access
For information on North Dakota's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Ohio
Commission on Minority Health
77 S. High St., 7th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 466-4000
Fax: (614) 752-9049
Executive Director: Cheryl A. Boyce, M.S.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3701.78 (1987) creates the commission on minority health to promote health and the prevention of disease among members of minority groups. The law outlines membership and responsibilities of the commission. The commission is required to include two members of the State House of Representatives, each from different parties and two members of the state Senate, each from different parties. The commission works closely with the Ohio Department of Health's Office of Healthy Ohio, which lists the elimination of health inequities as one of its primary goals and has a Health Equity Coordinator on its staff.

 

State plan to reduce disparities

In 2009, the Ohio Department of Health released the Ohio Department of Health Strategic Plan SFY 2009 to SFY 2011. The plan listed eliminating health disparities and pursuing health equity as one of its priorities. 

 

Access
For information on Ohio's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Oklahoma 

Updated September 2011


State Department of Health
Office of Minority Health
1000 N.E. 10th Street, Suite 211
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299
Phone: (405) 271-1337
Fax: (405) 271-9228

Office E-mail
Director: Demetrio Gutierrez

Okla. Sat § 63-1-560.1 (SB 680)  Creates the Legislative Task Force to Eliminate Health Disparities; modifies goals of task force; increases membership of task force modifying report requirements.

1993 Okla. Sess. Laws, Chap. 269 (HB 1830) requires the Department of Health to conduct a statewide study of all services and programs for minority health, rural health, social initiatives, and eldercare, and to make recommendations that would eliminate any overlap and duplication of services. The study must include an evaluation of existing program deficiencies and recommendations for changes to improve services and programs for minority health, rural health, social initiatives, and eldercare.

Created in 1994, the Oklahoma Office of Minority Health addresses health disparities among racial and ethnic populations in Oklahoma. It continues to work with a variety of partners within the agency and outside the agency to improve the health of racial and ethnic populations. Includes funding opportunities provided from the federal Office of Minority Health. The OMH currently works with the Health Equity arm of the OSDH.

In 2007, the State Board of Health created a special office of Health Equity and Resource Opportunities (HERO), in the State Department of Health's Community Development Service, to address inequities that are a result of the social determinants of health. HERO works in conjunction with the Oklahoma Office of Minority Health.

Executive Order 2007-8 creates the Governor’s Task Force to Eliminate Health Disparities to continue the work of the Legislative Task Force. Emphasizes 6 major areas of chronic diseases ranging from cancer to tobacco use and data. Health Department tasked with carrying out recommendations and directives.

 

State plan to reduce disparities

In January 2010, the Governor's Task Force on the Elimination of Health Disparities released its final report from its work from 2008-2010. The report offers recommendations focused on the interaction between direct and indirect influences on health and health care issues. Click here to view the report.

 

Access
For information on Oklahoma's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Oregon
Department of Human Services
Office of Multicultural Health
800 NE Oregon St. Suite 550
Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (971) 673-1240
Fax: (971) 673-1128
Administrator: Tricia Tillman

Executive Order 99-07 creates the Racial and Ethnic Health Task Force to review, analyze, and recommend changes as needed in State of Oregon Agencies, including but not limited to the Department of Human Resources and other state programs with the goal of improving the individual and community health status for people of color and ethnic populations. The executive order requires six members of the task force to be state legislators, three of which are members of racial or ethnic groups.

Oregon Rev. Stat § 409.615-625 requires the Department of Human Services to establish, subject to available funding, a program for the certification of health care interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency.

 

Access
For information on Oregon's access programs, click here
 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Pennsylvania 
Department of Health
Office of Health Equity
Health and Welfare Building
7th & Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 787-4366
Fax: (717) 783-4790
Director: Jamahal C. Boyd, Sr.

Executive Order 2007-04 creates, within the State Department of Health, a state office of Health Equity and the Office of Health Equity Advisory Committee. The executive order outlines the responsibilities as they are to help eliminate health disparities within the state.

 

State plan to reduces disparities

In July 2006, the Pennsylvania Department of Health released the State Health Improvement Plan - SHIP 2006-2010. The plan lists eliminating health disparities as one of its priorities

 

Access
For information on Pennsylvania's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Rhode Island 

Updated September 2011


Department of Health
Office of Minority Health
3 Capitol Hill, Room 304
Providence, RI  02908
Phone:  (401) 222-5940

Fax: (401) 222-1442
Chief: Rilwan K. Feyistan, Jr.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-1-43 instructs the director of health to establish a minority population health promotion program to provide health information, education, and risk reduction activities to reduce the risk of premature death from preventable disease in minority populations.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-64-1 et seq. creates the Minority Populations Health Promotion Act, which establishes the minority population health promotion program, to be funded by a tax on tobacco.

 

Access
For information on Rhode Island's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

South Carolina
Department of Health and Environmental Control
Office of Minority Health
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 898-3808
Fax: (803) 898-3810
Director: Shauna P. Hicks, MHS, CHES

The South Carolina Office of Minority Health (SC-OMH) was established administratively by the Commissioner of the state’s public health agency, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in February 1990. Prior to that, in 1989, the Commissioner created the South Carolina Task Force on Minority Health to examine minority health issues. The creation of an Office of Minority Health was one of the recommendations that resulted from the efforts of the Task Force.

 

Access
For information on South Carolina's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

South Dakota 
Department of Health
Minority Health Coordinator
600 E. Dakota
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-5303
Fax: (605) 773-5683
Contact: Jacy Clarke

South Dakota currently has a Minority Health Coordinator within the State Department of Health.

The State Department of Health also has an internal Multicultural Health Infrastructure Building Workgroup, which is responsible for developing the department's capacity to address health disparities.

 

Access
For information on South Dakota's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Tennessee

Updated September 2011


1. Department of Health
Division of Minority Health and Disparity Elimination
425 5th Avenue North
3rd Floor, Cordell Hull Building
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: (615) 741-9443
Fax: (615) 253-8830
Director: Cherry Houston, Ph.D., MPH, RN
 

2. Tennessee General Assembly
Health Equity Commission
320 - 6th Avenue North
8th Floor, Rachel Jackson Building
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615-741-3553
Fax: 615-253-0313
Director: LaTonya Ellis

In 1994, the Office of Minority Health was established within the Tennessee Department of Health, and serves as a central point for the Department on minority health issues. Recently the Office of Disparity Elimination and the Office of Minority Health have been combined.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-1-2201 to 2204 (2004) Creates the Minority Health Act of 2004 in order to educate the public concerning health issues regarding the minority populations in the state and to advocate initiatives to enhance the quality of life and address any disparity of health services available for minorities in the state; creates an advisory council on minority health. (HB 3500)

Tenn. Code Ann. § 3-15-401 to 3-15-404 (1990) creates, within the legislative department, the Health Equity Commission. The law establishes the membership, powers, duties and tasks of the commission. The commission membership includes six members of the state Legislature, three Senators and three Representatives, appointed by the Speakers of each house.The contact information is also provided for the Health Equity Commission.

The Health Equity Commission was abolished by HB 1097 / SB 0725.

 

State health disparities reports

The Office of Minority Health released the Populations of Color in Tennessee: Health Status Report. The report provides an assessment of the health status of the state's minority population and offers recommendations for reducing health disparities in Tennessee. 

In 2009, the Tennessee Health Equity Commission released the Health Disparities Elimination Report 2009. The report identifies disparities in the state and actions the Commission has taken to reduce those disparities.

 

Access
For information on Tennessee's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Texas

Health and Human Services Commission
Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities
4900 N. Lamar Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78751
Phone: (512) 424-6509
Fax: (512) 424-6537

Office E-mail
Director: Kimberly McCoy-Daniels, M.S.P.H., C.H.E.S
 

 

 

 

 

Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. § 12.081 to 12.084 (1993 HB 1510) requires the department of health to establish and maintain an office of minority health to assume a leadership role in working in developing minority health initiatives, including bilingual communications. The law establishes the powers of the office, funding and requires a report to the legislature.

Tex. Education Code Ann. § 63.301 and 63.302 (1999) creates a permanent fund for minority health research and education in the treasury outside the general revenue fund. The law also outlines the administration and use of the fund.

HB 757 (2001) (See link in notes) establishes the Health Disparities Task Force to eliminate health and health access disparities in Texas among multicultural, disadvantaged, and regional populations.

Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. § 107A.001 to 107.008 (2007 HB 1396) requires the Health and Human Services Commission to maintain an office for the elimination of health disparities to assume a leadership role in working or contracting with state and federal agencies, universities, private interest groups, communities, foundations, and offices of minority health to develop health initiatives to decrease or eliminate health and health access disparities among racial, multicultural, disadvantaged, ethnic, and regional populations, including appropriate language services.
 

State health disparities report

The Health Disparities Task Force is responsible for creating a biennial report for the Texas Legislature, detailing the Task Force's progress toward eliminating health disparities. The 2008 report focuses on the best practices to reduce disparities and suggests that the Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities and the Health and Human Services Commission adopt these practices. Click here  to view the 2008 report.

 

Access
For information on Texas' access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Utah

Updated September 2011


Department of Health

Office of Health Disparities Reduction
Division of Family Health and Preparedness

3760 South Highland Dr, 5th Floor
Salt Lake City, UT PO Box 84114-2008
Office: (801) 273-4139
Fax: (801) 536-0956
Office E-mail
Director: Dulce Diez, MPH, MCHES

Utah. Code Ann § 26-7-2 (2004) creates, within the Utah Department of Health, the Center for Multicultural Health to reduce health disparities amongst multicultural populations and address minority health issues. The law outlines the duties of the center.

In compliance with Senate Bill 33 passed in the 2011 Legislative Session, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), the Center for Multicultural Health has been replaced with the Office of Health Disparities Reduction (OHD). This bill modifies the Utah Health Code to address the Center for Multicultural Health and provide for an American Indian-Alaskan Native Health Liaison.

 

State plan to reduce disparities

In 2010, the Utah Department of Health released the Health Status by Race and Ethnicity Report  and the Moving Forward 2010 Report-Progress Towards Health Equity by Race and Ethnicity in Utah. These reports serve as a guide for Utah Department of Health programs and other with interest in reducing health disparities, so that they may make evidence-based decisions on their priorities and future activities designed at improving health status in Utah populations. Additionally, the Office of Health Disparities Reduction is convening a Health Disparities Advisory Council that will provide a formal mechanism for community members to give input on health programming to the Utah Department of Health; assist in the planning and implementation of action plan to address health disparities; make recommendations to the UDOH/Office of Health Disparities Reduction (OHD); and advocate for initiatives, projects and programs aimed to eliminate health disparities in Utah. The new Office of Health disparities Reduction plan will be released in Fall 2011.

 

Access
For information on Utah's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Vermont
Department of Health
Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities
108 Cherry St; P.O. Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402
Phone: (802) 527-5582
Fax: (802) 527-5405
Office E-mail
Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Minority Health: Judy Ashley-McLaughlin

In 1992, the Vermont Department of Health created the Office of Minority Health in response to community requests to address persistent gaps in health status and access to care among minorities in Vermont. The Vermont Department of Health Office of Minority Health was established in order to improve the health status of underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minorities.

 

State plan to reduce disparities

In December, 2007, the Office of Minority health released its Strategic Plan for 2007-2009. The plan focuses on policies, programs and services that can be used to improve the health of Vermont's racial and ethnic minorities. Click here to view the plan.

In 2010, the Office of Minority Health and health Disparities released The Health Disparities of Vermonters. The report identifies health disparities that exist in Vermont and recommends step that can be taken to reduce those disparities.

 

Access
For information on Vermont's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Virginia 
Updated September 2011

 

Department of Health
Office of Minority Health and Public Health Policy
Division of Health Equity

109 Governor Street
P.O. Box 2448
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 864-7435
Toll Free: 800-694-7349
Fax: (804) 864-7440
Director: Michael Royster, M.D., MPH

1999 Va. Acts, House Jt. Res. 647 establishes a task force to review and examine the health status of African-Americans. The resolution requires the state health commissioner to submit the finding and recommendations of the task force to the board of health, the joint commission on health care, the governor and the general assembly.

1997 Va. Acts, Sen. Jt. Res. 355 directs the joint commission on health care in cooperation with the office on minority health in the department of health to study the health status and conditions of African-American citizens in the commonwealth.

The Virginia Office of Minority Health and Public Health Policy has added a Division of Health Equity to permanently change conditions of health disparities. The Division of Health Equity serves as the designated State Office of Minority Health.

 

State plan to reduce disparities

In 2008, the Office of Minority Health and Health Policy released the Virginia Health Equity Report 2008. The report highlights health inequities in Virginia and is intended to serve as a baseline for a plan to reduce inequities.

The 2011 version of the report will be released during the summer of 2011. 

The Office of Minority Health and Health Policy Strategic Plan details the actions that can be taken by the Office and its divisions to promote health equity in Virginia.

 

Access
For information on Virginia's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Washington

Updated September 2011

 

State Board of Health
Governor's Interagency Council on Health Disparities  
101 Israel Road S.E.
PO Box 47990
Olympia WA 98504-7990
Phone: (360) 236-4110
Fax: (360) 236-4088
Office E-mail
Point of Contact: Christy Curwick Hoff, MPH

Chapter No. 239 (2007 SB 6197) creates the Governor's Interagency Council on Health Disparities to create an action plan and statewide policy to include health impact reviews that measure and address other social determinants of health that lead to disparities as well as the contributing factors of health care that can have broad impacts on improving status, health literacy, physical activity and nutrition.

 

State plan to reduce disparities

In June, 2010, the Governor's Interagency Council on Health Disparities released its State Policy Action Plan to Reduce Disparities. The plan contains policy recommendations focused on five priority areas: health insurance coverage, health workforce diversity, obesity, diabetes and education.

 

For information on Washington's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

West Virginia
Department of Health and Human Resources
Office of Epidemiology and Health Promotion
Minority Health Program
350 Capitol Street, Room 206
Charleston, WV  25301
Phone: (304) 558-0644
Fax: (304) 558-1553
Director: Charlene Hickman

In 1998, the Office of Community and Rural Health Services established the West Virginia Minority Health Program. In October 2005, the Minority Health Program was relocated from the Office of Community Health Systems (formerly Office of Community and Rural Health Services) to the Office of Epidemiology and Health Promotion within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. In November 2005, the Office of Epidemiology and Health Promotion hired a program manager to run the Minority Health Program. In March 2006, at the recommendation of the Minority Health Advisory Council, the Minority Health Program was designated as the Office of Minority Health by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources.

 

Access
For information on West Virginia's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Wisconsin
Division of Public Health
Minority Health Program
P.O. Box 2659
Madison, WI 53701-2659 
Phone: (608) 267-2173
Fax: (608) 264-7720
 

Wis. stat § 250.20 lists responsibilities the department shall do in relation to Minority health.

In 2007, the Department of Health created the Wisconsin Minority Health Leadership Council to advise the Department, the Governor, the legislature and the Minority Health Program on the health needs of the state's minority populations.

 

State health disparities report
In 2008, the Minority Health program released the Minority Health Report, 2001-2005. The report contains health statistics for Wisconsin's minority populations and is designed to serve as a resource for groups that are working to reduce health disparities.

 

Access
For information on Wisconsin's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

Wyoming
Department of Health
Rural and Frontier Health Division
Office of Multicultural Health
6101 Yellowstone Road, Suite 510
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-5601
Fax: (307) 777-8545
 

In 1996, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) Director appointed a Minority Health Coordinator (MHC). In 1998, There was a Minority Health Advisory Committee (MHAC) established, and consisted of members from Wyoming’s minority communities along with state program directors and employees.  In 1999, the Minority Health Coordinator’s position was funded by Wyoming Department of Health and identified as a program within the Community and Family Health Division (CFHD). In June 2006, the Wyoming Department of Health elevated the Wyoming Minority Health Program (WMHP), through directive process, to the Wyoming Office of Multicultural Health (WOMH). 

 

State plan to reduce disparities

In September 2007, The WOMH released the Health Disparity State Plan. The plan is designed to coordinate the efforts of state agencies, academic institutions, and community groups with the goal of eliminating health disparities in Wyoming.

 

Access
For information on Wyoming's access programs, click here

 

Primary Care
For more information on state primary care programs, click here

 

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Funded by: Office of Minority Health 


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