Ohio To Address Racial Heath Disparities

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A group of Ohio public health officials and community workers on Wednesday met to discuss strategies to address racial health disparities in the state and also to develop a plan of action, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. The "Local Conversation on Minority Health" event was organized by the Akron Health Department's Office of Minority Health.

The group made several recommendations, including creating better collaboration among local agencies, improving health care work force diversity, and developing better education and public awareness campaigns. The group will send the recommendations along with other notes from the event to the Ohio Commission on Minority Health by the end of the month.

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According to the Beacon Journal, addressing racial health disparities is a challenge because there is "no single reason why they exist," but experts contend that a number of factors can contribute, such as social, economic, educational, cultural and racial issues. Health insurance status, trust of the medical system, personal choices, health care quality, poverty and neighborhood environment also play significant roles, according to the Beacon Journal.

Daisy Alford-Smith, CEO of Girls Scouts of Northeast Ohio and the former director of Summit County, Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services, said, "We know what the contributing factors are. We know that health gap continues to widen. We know disparities still exist," adding, "We need more than just strategies but a detailed plan of how to implement them" (Wheeler, Akron Beacon Journal, 9/11).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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