The Kentucky Department for Public Health, Office of Health Equity (OHE) was established in September 2008 to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities, and rural Appalachian populations. Grant support has been received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health (OMH) since 2010. OHE supports goals and evidence-based strategies from the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) to mobilize a statewide, comprehensive, community-driven, and sustained approach to combating health disparities and to move Kentucky toward achieving health equity. OHE also supports a wide variety of activities and services through partnerships with health departments, universities, nonprofit organizations and private health systems.
“Attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and healthcare disparities.” - National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities, 2011.
- Continuing Education
- UAB TCC Mini-grant - The Department for Public Health Office of Health Equity (OHE) and the Kentucky Heart Disease and Stroke program (KHDSP) are collaborating to promote heart healthy interventions such as smoking cessation, physical activity, healthy eating, and prevention, as well as working to improve quality of care and address inequities within the health care system and local communities. The collaboration will focus on improving the health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities, rural, and low income populations of Kentucky.
This work is supported by the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Mid-South Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities project, an NIMHD funded initiative (U54MD008176).
- Bless Your Heart/CARE Collaborative - The Bless Your Heart initiative is part of a three piece Million Hearts Initiative comprised of a tool-kit that helps church health ministries design a program that will encourage its members to live a heart-healthy life. The Chronic Disease Branch Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program’s CARE collaborative; ( Cardiovascular Assessment, Risk Reduction and Education is designed to provide blood pressure awareness educational encounters within communities. The Bless Your Heart/Care Collaborative is a project that communities can implement to improve the health of communities across the commonwealth.
The Bless Your Heart/CARE Collaborative addresses key goals and strategies in addressing significant health disparities across the commonwealth. Those objectives of the Bless Your Heart/CARE Collaborative project are:
- Increase awareness of the risk factors of heart disease and stroke
- Educate the community on healthy living and disease prevention
- Increase capacity within the faith based communities to address health issues through established coalitions or networks
- Increase access to care for those identified as needing additional follow-up to care
Five Focus Areas and Goals
- Education and Awareness – Increase awareness of the significance of health disparities, their impact on the state, and the actions necessary to improve the health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities, rural, and low-income populations of Kentucky.
- Cultural Competency – Improve the health and health care outcomes for racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities through evidence-based tailored approaches that account for differences in culture and language.
- Research – Improve the coordination and utilization of research to advance health equity for racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities.
- Evaluation – Improve the coordination and utilization of evaluation outcomes to advance health equity for racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities.
- Strengthening Partnerships – Strengthen and broaden leadership in Kentucky for addressing health disparities at all levels.
The Office of Health Equity provides input using a health equity lens for numerous initiatives and committees. Current involvement includes: