204426 Building New York state public health infrastructure: A policy approach to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in public health programs and services

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:05 PM

Theresa N. Paeglow, BS , Disability and Health Program, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Barbara A. Dennison, MD , Division of Chronic Disease Prevention & Adult Health, NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Community Chronic Disease Prevention, Albany, NY
Barbara S. Devore, MPA , Center for Community Health, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Meaghan Rosenthal, MPH , Bureau of Injury Prevention, New York State Department of Health, Menands, NY
Objective: Implement a policy approach within the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to integrate persons with disabilities in public health initiatives.

Disability is a major public health concern. Disability is often equated with inferior health status and persons with disabilities are traditionally underserved in public health programs. Management of the primary disabling condition is frequently the overriding concern, with little attention paid to recognized standards of health promotion, screening and disease prevention. Accordingly, effort needs to be directed to integrate persons with disabilities in health promotion and health risk reduction programs.

To advance integration efforts within the NYSDOH, the Disability and Health Program (DHP) developed an inclusion policy which became a requirement for procurements released by the NYSDOH Center for Community Health. The NYSDOH CCH typically has 3,100 contracts competitively procured to fund public health programs, with an approximate aggregate value of $1.03 billion/year. The policy requires programs to incorporate strategies throughout procurements to ensure persons with disabilities are integrated in funded initiatives.

In implementing this policy, the DHP is proactively providing assistance to support inclusive procurement development. Assistance includes meeting with individual programs, providing statistical profiles and demographics; promoting evidence-based and promising practices; and identifying resources applicable to a program's initiative.

This policy approach is innovative because it requires identification of methods to integrate persons with disabilities in the initial stage of procurement development. Programs designed to be inclusive at the outset expand reach, ensure accessibility and are more cost effective than retrofitting or modifying inaccessible programs.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of including persons with disabilities in public health programs and services Identify strategies for creating inclusive programs and environments Discuss challenges and advantages of policy approaches

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Public Health Infrastructure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Pivotal role in the CDC funded New York State (NYS) Disability and Health Program since 1989. NYS Program Director since 2003. Nearly 20 years experience in the field of disability and health. Responsible for all aspects of program implemention, including the development and implementation of the inclusion policy described in the abstract submitted for this meeting.
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.