The office has a multi part mission. When we look at the mission there are five aspects to our mission. 1. We leverage resources of the department. 2. We also want to provide some guidance to the department relative to policy decision. 3. Strategic initiative influencing the strategic direction of the department. 4. We want to engage in what we call health equity consultation. As well as 5. external communication. Our vision is to really ensure that health across all population groups in Maryland is equal and that people are enjoying their daily life and enjoying wellness in Maryland" Noel Brathwaithe, PHD, MSPH.
From the perspective of how we approach understanding minority health disparities, it comes from the way we look at the data. We can think about four layers, in which we can use data to kind of understand the flow from health to disease within any population. We can track the disparities on all of those four levels. The end point level is essentially, things like death rates and hospitalization rates, the kind of pain, suffering and disability that people experience from having different disease and other bad health outcomes" David Mann, MD, PhD.
The Diabetes Prevention Program DPP, is a national program provided through the CDC, the state of Maryland has been really champions of this where they've deployed this program throughout the state. We have within our office, the Minority Outreach Technical Assistance program. That is a program where we fund local community based organizations. If you look at the structural level of government, we're the state and most times the state funds the local health departments. What we've decided to do is to bypass the local health department, in this particular initiative, and really fund those community based organizations" Stephanie Slowly, MSW, LCSW-C.
Language and language barriers play a role in health disparities in Maryland. Understanding that Maryland has a very diverse population, we need to meet our clients where they are. In addition to providing medically trained interpreters during medical appointments and translating medical information our office has specially undertaken several projects and initiatives that will work with healthcare providers and those that are working with these communities i.e our MOTA program" Kimberly Hiner, MPH.
Links: MOTA | Health Equity Internship Program | Cultural & Linguistic Competency | Data