183078 Boston Disparities Project: Action Plan for Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:30 PM

Meghan Turnier Patterson, MPH , Disparities Project, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MED , Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
The Boston Disparities Project (Project) was developed by the Boston Public Health Commission and Mayor Thomas M. Menino to address the key social determinants that lead to worse health outcomes for Boston's residents of color. The Project has granted over $2 million to more than 100 community organizations to work towards achieving this goal. The Project is innovative in that it recognizes many elements, from environmental and social, to economic and academic, factor into health inequities. In 2005 Boston issued a health equity agenda, making Boston among the first communities in the U.S. to establish a city-wide blueprint for addressing inequities in health. This blueprint includes a comprehensive data report of health disparities among residents, recommendations for healthcare institutions, and recommendations from industry and community leaders that engage multiple sectors in addressing health inequalities. Key elements of Boston's health equity agenda have sought to address the social determinants of health through a focus on five key levers for change including: funding opportunities, active engagement in city and state legislative priorities related to disparities, data collection, diversifying the healthcare workforce, and public awareness and education to mobilize and build capacity for residents and organizations to address disparities. After five years, the Project has concrete, positive results that can be replicated as well as key lessons learned related to institutionalization, coordination, and sustainability. We hope to share practical approaches with health and other organizations across the country on creating and immplementing innovative, coordinated, and systematic strategies to eliminate inequities in health.

Learning Objectives:
1.Recognize how health departments can play a key role in developing a health equity agenda to eliminate health disparities. 2.Identify key strategies in creating an innovative, coordinated, and systematic health equity agenda. 3.Understand the institutional challenges faced and lessons learned as related to institutionaliztion, coordination, and sustainability.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Director of the Disparities Project, I oversee the project outlined in the abstract submission.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.