The Kentucky Department for Public Health, Office of Health Equity (OHE) addresses health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities and rural Appalachian populations. OHE receives grant support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health.
OHE supports goals and evidence-based strategies of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities to achieve comprehensive, sustained, community-based health equity. OHE also supports activities and services to address health disparities 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.”
UAB TCC Mini-grant - The Department for Public Health Office of Health Equity and the Kentucky Heart Disease and Stroke program collaborate to improve health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities and rural and low-income populations of Kentucky. Activities focus on promoting heart-healthy interventions such as smoking cessation, physical activity, healthy eating and prevention. OHE also works to improve quality of care and address inequities in the health care system and communities.
This work is supported by the University of Alabama at Birmingham 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 the Million Hearts Initiative which distributes a tool-kit to help faith-based health ministries encourage members to live a heart-healthy life and promote community blood pressure awareness.
The Bless Your Heart/CARE Collaborative works to achieve key goals in addressing significant health disparities across the commonwealth:
- Increase awareness of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke
- Educate the community on healthy living and disease prevention
- Increase capacity in faith 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 actions necessary to improve health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities and 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 health disparity among different cultures and language groups.
- Research – Improve coordination and use of research to advance health equity for racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities.
- Evaluation – Improve coordination and use of evaluation outcomes to advance health equity for racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities.
- Strengthening Partnerships – Strengthen and broaden leadership in Kentucky to address 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: