Online Program

Role of a State Health Agency in Expanding the Understanding of What Creates Health

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:05 a.m.

Edward Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, Commissioner's Office, Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, MN

Equity is the absence of avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically (World Health Organization, 2015).  This session will focus on highlighting innovative approaches to addressing health inequities within and among states. 

Dr. Ed Ehlinger, State Health Commissioner of Minnesota, will provide a detailed description of how his health in all policies approach (HiAP) is not only transforming public health in his state, but serving as the springboard for his 2016 Association of State & Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) President’s Challenge: Advancing Health Equity and Optimal Health for All.  Dr. Ehlinger will outline his challenge and share strategies for: 1) expanding the understanding about what creates health; 2) strengthening capacity of communities to create their own healthy future; 3) implementing a Health in All Policies approach with health equity as the goal. Finally, Dr. Ehlinger will conclude his presentation by highlighting how the President’s Challenge is linking with, complementing, and stimulating other initiatives such as the CIC/SHD initiative, Healthy Heartland, Federal Reserve community development activities, CDC’s efforts on social determinants of health, IOM’s focus on HiAP, and RWJF’s Building a Culture of Health campaign.

Dr. Ehlinger will engage participants in thinking about transforming public health in new and innovative ways.  Creating a culture of health within a state or local jurisdiction will require rewriting the public health play book and casting new champions to move forward on creating conditions that improve health equity.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define the evolution of work that helped formalize the 2016 President’s Challenge. Describe how the 2016 President’s Challenge complements, stimulates, and links to other health related initiatives.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Ed Ehlinger has served as Minnesota Commissioner of Health since 2011. Dr. Ehlinger is responsible for directing the work of the Minnesota Department of Health. Prior to this, Ehlinger served as director and chief health officer for Boynton Health Service at the University of Minnesota. He also served as adjunct professor at the U of M School of Public Health and director of Personal Health Services for the Minneapolis Health Department.
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.