The Associated Press published a story on the Louisiana Department of Health’s health equity plan, which was unveiled in December to department leadership.
The plan is a top priority for implementation in 2020. You can read The Associated Press story about it here.
The plan is the most comprehensive effort in the South aimed at improving the health outcomes of vulnerable populations in Louisiana, particularly those that are experiencing disparities. Offices and bureaus throughout the Department are now required to develop health equity action teams that will convene regularly to examine data that is structured to highlight disparities and make recommendations to department leadership for adopting solutions.
In addition, the health equity plan requires offices and bureaus to conduct regular community engagement exercises that are designed to gather input from the people the department serves. That input will be used to inform new and existing programming in the department, as well as educate communities about services the Department and its partners throughout the state offer.
“To redirect its focus on combating health disparities, Louisiana looked to other states that have dedicated health equity initiatives and used two in particular as a model, Minnesota and California,” Associated Press reporter Melinda Deslatte wrote. “Louisiana's health equity initiative still is in early stages, but ideas already have emerged.
Launching a health equity plan was a top priority in the department in 2019, and was led by the newly created Office of Health Equity, Community of Partnerships. Led by Earl Benjamin-Robinson, the office supports efforts throughout the department to build capacity for equity-focused programs.
In December, The Advocate reported on an effort to deploy community health workers in underserved communities in Baton Rouge.
Benjamin Robinson, of the Office of Health Equity, said that community health workers are an excellent example of the equity work he’s seeking to expand through the Department’s Health Equity Plan.
“In the process of researching the plan, we found that there was great work being done in the Department around Health Equity, but it was often being done in pockets,” Benjamin-Robinson said. “The Health Equity plan creates a formal process for taking Health Equity work department-wide, in addition to creating stronger connections with the people we serve.”
You can find out more about the Department’s equity work in greater detail here.
For more information on the health equity plan, call Kevin Litten at (225) 436-2207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.