The Kentucky Department for Public Health Office of Health Equity (OHE) addresses health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities and rural Appalachian populations. OHE received initial grant support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health. Currently, OHE receives funding support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
OHE supports goals- and evidence-based strategies of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities to achieve comprehensive, sustained, community-based health equity. OHE also supports activities and services to address health disparities through partnerships with health departments, universities, nonprofit organizations and private health systems.
“Attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and healthcare disparities.”
Community Health Worker Expansion Program
Appalachian Telehealth Program
SSP Harm Reduction Program
Community Health Equity Grants
- Cultural Humility and Sensitivity Training
- Health Equity Training
- Cultural Competency
CDC Health Equity Grant
Community health workers (CHWs) are trusted community members. Although they don't always have formal backgrounds in health care, they go through a rigorous training and certification process. CHWs funded through OHE work in local health departments and community-based organizations to help improve access to health care across the commonwealth. OHE funds approximately 50 CHWs in Kentucky.
Five Focus Areas and Goals
- Education and Awareness increase awareness of the significance of health disparities, their impact on the state and actions necessary to improve health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities and rural and low-income populations in Kentucky.
- Humility and Sensitivity improve the health and healthcare outcomes of racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities through evidence-based, tailored approaches that account for health disparity among different cultural and language groups.
- Community-Based Participatory Research improves coordination and use of research to advance health equity for racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities.
- Evaluation improved coordination and use of evaluation outcomes to advance health equity for racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities.
- Strengthening Partnerships strengthen and broaden leadership in Kentucky to address health disparities at all levels.
OHE provides input using a health equity lens for numerous initiatives and committees. Current involvement includes: