271716 Role of the states and territories

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 8:52 AM - 9:06 AM

John Auerbach, MBA , Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Health disparities exist by race, ethnicity, class and other social determinants of health. The cost of the attributable preventable illnesses and injuries is enormous. This is why ASTHO launched a 2010/11 Call-to-Action to achieve Health Equity. At the 2011 ASTHO conference we summarized the breakthroughs in the last 12 months. These included collaborative efforts across ASTHO's several affiliate organizations and multiple examples of new efforts throughout the country – from anti-tobacco work in the tribal nations to “informercials” as part of popular Spanish language television shows to employee training videos on the importance of combating racism. We found that some states maintain long-established offices focusing on programs to close the health disparities gap, while others are in the midst of new public awareness campaigns to demonstrate the extent of disparities and the impact of socioeconomic determinants on health. Among the themes that emerged: make health equity an essential element in public health strategy; embed the concept of health equity in all public health programs; educate other state departments, from education to housing to transportation, on the impact of their policies on people's health; gather detailed data on sub-populations both to design and evaluate programs to reduce health disparities; and forge strong partnerships with community groups, foundations, corporations and local health departments to achieve health equity goals. We will present best practices from across the states and territories and discuss the impact of the Health Equity & Accountability Act of 2012.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify health inequities across the lifespan. 2. Describe system failures that create or allow these inequities to continue. 3. List ways to measure and communicate health equity successes. 4. Describe the benefits, and challenges, to implementing Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act. 5. Discuss what Philanthropic and Federal, State and Territorial Health Executives are doing to address the social determinants of health and health equity.

Keywords: Social Inequalities, Leadership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner where I developed new and innovative programs to address racial and ethnic disparities, wellness, and the successful implementation of health reform. I am also the Immediate Past President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers. As ASTHO President, Health Equity was my Presidential Initiative.
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.