Survey Highlights Available Health Resources For Men, Women
The survey, a national phone and direct mail effort, was administered to the Secretary/ Director of 50 State Department's of Health (DoH) (including Washington, D.C.) and the Governor's Office, where appropriate. The survey findings were presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in San Diego on October 26th, 2008 and are available at MHN's booth #1303.
Of those states responding, 42 indicated that they've established an office or coordinator for women's health. Twelve have an office or coordinator for men's health. All 50 and D.C. have a website with information specifically related to women's health. Fourteen (including D.C.) have a website with information specifically covering men's health. Thirty-three have a commission to study and make recommendations regarding the health or general status of women. Four have a comparable entity for the health or general status of men. All states have women's health coordinators and representatives organized through the federal Office of Women's Health within DHHS. There is no federal Office of Men's Health.
"Survey results emphasize the high quality of health resources and supportive infrastructure generally available for women while highlighting the need to establish similar resources for men," explained Scott Williams, VP, Men's Health Network
This effort to explore available gender based health services and the degree to which women's and men's health is institutionalized was undertaken in the summer and fall of 2008. The survey, conducted by MHN, may provide useful data and information for Healthy People 2020 developer discussions and objective development.
State DoH provide this nation's communities and citizens with critical access to care, health information and services, and educational outreach programming. Survey results highlight the need for concrete plans and policies to address unmet needs and underserved populations. Prospects exist to address the gender gap within state DoH relating to education, outreach, services, and access to care. It is imperative to perform a comprehensive environmental scan of current women's and men's health tools, resources, and infrastructure by state.