256241 Addressing disparities beyond race/ethnicity - low SES, LGBT, rural and urban, and persons with disabilities: Minority health programs can play a key role

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 5:10 PM - 5:30 PM

Mari Gasiorowicz, MA , AIDS/HIV Program, WI Division of Public Health, Madison, WI
Fabienne Ouapou-Lena, MD , Office of Policy and Practice Alignment, WI Division of Public Health, Madison, WI
Margaret Schmelzer, RN, MPH , Office of Policy and Practice Alignment, WI Division of Public Health, Madison, WI
Patricia Guhleman, MS , Office of Policy and Practice Alignment, WI Division of Public Health, Madison, WI
BACKGROUND Populations that are of low socioeconomic status, LGBT, very rural or inner-city, and those with disabilities often experience significant health disparities; however, rarely does state government devote a structure to addressing the needs of these populations. Minority Health (MH) Programs, historically designed to address disparities experienced by racial/ethnic populations, can strengthen their own work, as well as public health more broadly, by expanding their scope to address a variety of populations experiencing health disparities. This session describes the Wisconsin MH Program's efforts to broaden the scope of “minority” health.

ADDRESSING DISPARITIES BROADLY Community leaders participating in Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 advocated for addressing disparities experienced by populations beyond race/ethnicity. Wisconsin's MHP became the institutional home to do so. The MH 2012 report is organized by health focus area, in contrast to the previous organization by racial/ethnic group, and provides data (where available) regarding each population experiencing disparities. The structure offers benefits: 1) it highlight disparities in various population groups, drawing attention to groups (e.g. LGBT persons) about which persons working in specific focus areas (e.g. tobacco) may not be aware; 2) it points out areas in which data collection needs to be expanded in order to document disparities; 3) it acknowledges that individuals may be members of multiple groups that experience health disparities.

COMMUNITY RESPONSE Community response to obtaining early input and buy-in to proposed changes in scope, addressing multiple populations, restructuring the MH report by health topic, and presenting findings in user-friendly formats has been very enthusiastic.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
OBJECTIVES 1. Make the case that minority health is strengthened by addressing multiple populations experiencing health disparities; 2. Present data illustrating health disparities in multiple populations; and 3. Describe community/state partnerships that expand the definition of health disparities in the state’s 2020 planning process.

Keywords: Minority Health, Healthy People 2000/2010

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist and I coordinate of the data portion of the Wisconsin Minority Health Report which is based on the structure and guiding principles of Healthiest Wisconsin 2020.
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.