203826 Public Health Experience with Health Disparities: An accessible national inventory for the practice community

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, RN , Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA
Bobbie Berkowitz, RN, PhD, FAAN , Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA
Background:. While the National Association of County and City Health Official's (NACCHO's) 2005 Operational Definition of a local public health department (LHD) expects that LHD's address health disparities and the socio-economic issues that impact the health of their populations, local public health approaches vary widely across the U. S. Public health leaders and policy makers, therefore, are eager for evidence related to how to address health disparities with an effective preventive approach.

The Project: This project represents Robert Wood Johnson (RWJF)-funded work of researchers from the University of Washington (UW) School of Nursing to inventory current local public health programs and structures designed to eliminate health disparities. Their findings will populate an electronic database of indicators relevant to health disparities programs and structures that is accessible to the public.

Outcome: Data from NACCHO's 2008 Profile of Local Health Departments,a UW survey and key informant interviews were collected, organized and compiled into a searchable data base for use by the public health community in identifying replicable existing programs and evidence-based practices for reducing health disparities and addressing health inequities. Data gathering has also revealed common themes among those with the most innovative strategies addressing health inequalities in their communities and indicate that NACCHO leadership and California Newsreel's Unnatural Causes video series have had a significant role in providing support and momentum for LHDs in addressing health disparities.

Implications: The data base provides the public health community with a comprehensive set of tools from which to plan interventions, programs and structures.

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe the need for public health professionals to be able to access existing information regarding effective local public health approaches toward eliminating disparities and impacting health inequities. 2)Describe how the searchable data base is accessed and examined for information regarding specific innovative public health programs that are focused on disparities and impacting health inequities. 3)Describe characteristics and structures of LHDs and their related programs that have been particularly innovative in their efforts to eliminate disparities and impact health inequities.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Information Databases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: years of experience in public health practice and research numerous national research presentations multiple publications in the juried literature
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.