Online Program

Disparities action network : Making the case for health equity in Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Elmer Freeman, MSW, PhD(c), Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Boston, MA
Massachusetts has a rich policy history of innovation and leadership in health care and health reform while also paying particular attention to the inequities in health and health care of its racial and ethnic minority populations. The Disparities Action Network (DAN) coalition of 75+ organizations was a formidable force in the movement to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity. It was very effective keeping the inequities in health at the forefront of debate and policy formulation as the administration and legislature moved toward health reform. This presentation focuses on the role of advocacy groups and coalitions in influencing the legislative process in the development and enactment of Chapter 58, An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care of 2006, the model legislation for the national Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. One provision in Chapter 58 established a Health Disparities Council and immediately following this victory in the next legislative session the DAN filed its bill, An Act Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in the Commonwealth, calling for establishing an Office of Health Equity; a community grants program; collection and reporting of racial and ethnic data by health providers; support for community health workers; funding for community based participatory research; health literacy; workforce development; environmental justice; and chronic disease management programs. Based on a case study developed by Families USA's Minority Health Initiatives, the DAN Steering Committee and its Co-Chairs the session will provide valuable lessons learned in policy advocacy and media relations.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Design a coalition with maximum engagement and build a consensus strategy. Demonstrate the role of advocacy groups in the legislative process. Formulate a successful media campaign to support policy advocacy for health equity.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities, Health Care Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: It is a case study of the Disparities Action Network a statewide coalition that I have been the Co-Chair of since its inception in 2006.
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.