Hello! I am Julianne Manchester of the Community Psychology Topical Interest Group. In this discussion of reducing health disparities and achieving health equity, I’d like to focus on organizational readiness and practice as a starting point for delivering effective programs, products, and services within the context of improving healthcare access, raising standards of cultural and linguistic competency of providers, or improving community-based evaluation approaches.
Lesson Learned: It is not enough to have an organizational mission or strategic endeavor to reduce health disparities. The climate of the organization itself can further the effort through prioritizing discussion of health disparities on meeting agendas, regularly revisiting the sector makeup of stakeholder groups involved in organizational planning (boards, committees, coalitions), and including youth in planning outreach efforts.
The roots of change begin in the local communities, with local conversations. The Dayton, Ohio Local Office of Minority Health (LOMH), located at Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County (PHDMC), has adapted the National Stakeholder Strategies for Achieving Health Equity, National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (full narrative outlining five goals available online) into a checklist for completion at the organizational level. It was developed through key informant interviews with community leaders and piloted on-line in the spring of 2013.
The NPA strategies prioritize five domains of organizational activity:
- Public Awareness;
- Youth Involvement;
- Healthcare Access;
- Cultural and Linguistic Competency
- Data, Evaluation, and Research.
Rad Resource: The items on the Dayton LOMH-created questionnaire provide some operational definitions and metrics by which organizations can monitor their activities on the overarching goal statements. The tool is described in the Fall, 2014 edition of The National Partnership for Action (NPA) Quarterly Newsletter.
Rad Resource: The PHDMC developed the NPA Checklist, available for organizations to assess their strengths in the five domains of organizational activity described above.
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