244155 Role of State and Territorial Health Officers

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:10 PM

John Auerbach, MBA , Executive Director/President, The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Paul Jarris, MD , The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Health equity occurs when all people have the opportunity to attain their full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their socially determined circumstance, be it pay inequity, eco-inequity, or racial/ethnic disparities. There is a social cost to not addressing Health Equity. Between 2003-2006, health disparities cost America 1.24 Trillion Dollars, but eliminating health inequalities would have reduced indirect costs by more than 1.0 Trillion Dollars. Last year, ASTHO presented its ground-breaking Strategic Plan to Address Health Equity at APHA. In December, ASTHO's President challenged the state and territorial health officers to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity in the United States, and forged a partnership with the US DHHS Office of Minority Health to create a nationwide initiative that would promote health equity. Phase 1 of ASTHO's 50-state and territorial strategy, case studies of states employing a wide range of strategies (e.g., collecting SDH by race, ethnicity and language; engaging diverse/vulnerable populations in targeted campaigns and policy actions/papers; and partnering with non-health organizations to change conditions in people's lives)and programs that close the gap to promote ethnic, racial and gender equity will be presented. Leveraging front-end solutions like the Affordable Care Act can also help. As every state faces financial challenges, it is incumbent upon the states to take actions that reduce the preventable burden of disparities, by adopting at least one strategy to reduce health inequities in home states and territories.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1) Describe impact of ASTHO’s national efforts to affect policy and funding. 2) List steps related to how communities, and state and territorial health officials, can work to achieve health equity. 3) Describe at least one strategy used by a state to close the equity gap.

Keywords: Leadership, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Paul Jarris, MD, MBA is the Executive Director of ASTHO
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.