Online Program

From Grassroots to Grasstops: How the Minnesota Food Charter Creats Systems Change to Advance Health Equity

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Nhia Daryoushfar, BA, Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan, MN

Minnesota is one of­ the healthiest, most prosperous states in the nation. However a closer look reveals significant health, income, and other social disparities for communities of color, tribal nations, women, and rural seniors. A landmark legislative report published in 2013 by the Minnesota Department of Health identifies structural racism as a primary factor in these health disparities. This report, coupled with existing evidence, and related policy and systems work nationally on structural inequality and the food system, has Minnesota primed to address disparities and increase the health and prosperity of all its communities. One of the tools it is using to achieve this is the Minnesota Food Charter.

The Food Charter is a shared roadmap to guide food policy and planning at local, regional, and state levels toward greater access to healthy, affordable, and safe food for all.  Health equity was a primary principle used throughout the development of the Food Charter from the community engagement process involving thousands of stakeholders statewide, to draft development, and finally implementation. The Food Charter aims to advance health equity across Minnesota by (1) using intercultural competency-based communications strategies; (2) ensuring diverse representation in governance with leadership from those communities facing the greatest disparities; (3) incorporating policy and systems change strategies throughout the Charter designed to address health equity; and (4) fostering collaboration and synergies with existing health equity related initiatives at community, regional, statewide, and national levels.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe troubling health disparities in Minnesota and their connection to the design of the food system Explain statewide commitment to health equity and how the Minnesota Food Charter models equity Explain health equity-related barriers and strategies elicited through a widespread public engagement process and how they are addressed in the Minnesota Food Charter Discuss how strategic communications can be used as a tool to build intercultural competency and advance a health equity-focused agenda for policy and systems change

Keyword(s): Public Health Movements, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Nhia Daryoushfar (Sr. Health Improvement Project Manager, Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota) works with organizations on equity-focused policies and systems addressing tobacco use, healthy food, and physical activity. She has a Bachelors degree from Augsburg College and is currently pursuing a Masters degree.
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.