Health Equity Resources
During the 2008 Washington State legislative session,
Substitute House Bill 2722, which addressed the academic achievement gap
for African American students, was passed and signed into law. The bill
authorized the Center for the Improvement of Student Learning at the Office
of Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene an advisory committee to
conduct a study of the academic achievement gap and develop recommendations
for closing the gap.
Similar provisions were included in the supplemental
Substitute House Bill 2687), which authorized the Governor's Office of
Indian Affairs, the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, and the
Commission on Hispanic Affairs to study and create recommendations to reduce
the academic achievement gap for Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander,
and Hispanic students, respectively.
Since health and education are so closely associated,
it is important for the Council to be aware of this important and parallel
piece of policy work.
The Council received an initial briefing on the academic achievement gap
studies at its May 29 meeting. At that meeting, it learned about the
legislative mandates, some similarities and differences between the studies,
as well as progress toward each study. The Council also heard from
Commission representatives about their commitment to work collaboratively as
they continue with their work. At its September 25, 2008 meeting, the
Council received an update on progress to implement these important studies.
The achievement gap reports were completed in December 2008
and the Council received briefings on the key results and recommendations at
its February 5, 2009 meeting.
- African American Students
- Native American Students
- Latino Students
- Asian American Students
- Pacific Islander Students
Each Student Successful Summit: Exploring
Policies to Address Health Disparities and the Academic Achievement Gap
~ May 18, 2007
The purpose of the Each Student Successful Summit: Exploring
Policies to Address Health Disparities and the Academic Achievement Gap was
to bring together policy makers, educators, public health professionals,
parents, students, academic experts, and community organizations to discuss
policy and system changes needed to promote good health and to narrow the
academic achievement gap. The Washington State Board of Health along with a
summit advisory committee planned and implemented the one-day summit that
took place on May 18, 2007. The summit included national and local speaker
presentations, a policy briefing, and participatory discussion groups. These
sessions provided opportunities to hear the ideas of a variety of
constituencies regarding health disparities and the academic achievement
More information about the Summit, its
presenters, handouts, and the final report is available at
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Pregnancy & Birth
Outcomes Among Native American Women
At its January 2008 meeting, the American Indian Health
Commission (AIHC) received a presentation on the alarming health disparities
faced by Native American pregnant women and infants.
As a result of that presentation, a number of delegates
and representatives from AIHC member tribes and organizations convened a
workgroup to continue to discuss the problem and identify action steps. One
logical next step is to raise awareness of these disheartening health
statistics among health agencies and organizations.
At its May 29, 2008 meeting,
the Council received a briefing on pregnancy and birth outcomes among Native
American women, including recommendations for how the data could guide the
Council as it proceeds with its work to develop a statewide action plan to
eliminate health disparities.
Healthcare Professional Demographics Survey
2SSB 6193 and
ESB 6194 authorized the Department of Health to conduct surveys
of licensed health care providers to obtain demographic information
and to develop a multicultural education program for health care
At its February 8, 2007 meeting, the Council received a
briefing on the Department's plans to implement these two important pieces
of work. The Council recognizes that collecting demographic data on the
health care workforce is of critical importance in the development,
implementation, and evaluation of programs to increase workforce diversity.
Further, a culturally competent health care workforce is a necessary step to
ensuring equitable health care for all of Washington's diverse communities.
Therefore, the Council discussed its desire to continue to follow the
progress of these two activities and heard updates on both at its September
25, 2008 meeting.
licensed practical nurses, and
hygienists have been completed. These three professions comprise about
half of all licensed healthcare professionals.
The Department of Health has developed a Web site
where a public use dataset is available:
Education Efforts at Community and Technical Colleges
Increasing the diversity and cultural
competence of Washington's health care workforce is clearly one
strategy among many that are needed to eliminate the health care and
health disparities faced by communities of color in this state.
At the Council's November 28, 2007 meeting, the
Council received a briefing on efforts being
made at Washington's community and technical colleges to incorporate
multicultural education and awareness into the curriculum of their health
Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
Unnatural Causes is a documentary series and
public impact campaign aimed at raising awareness and mobilizing action to
address the socio-economic and racial inequities in health faced by our
At its November 28, 2007 meeting, Council staff
provided an overview on the Unnatural Causes series and campaign.
Following the overview, the Council was briefed on the
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's efforts
to organize a town-hall meeting to promote the series and raise local
awareness of health disparities.
To learn more about the series, please visit:
Multicultural Health Communications Directory
The Washington Multicultural
Health Communications Directory, produced by the Council in May
2009, provides county-level information regarding where racial/ethnic
communities reside, community organizations, and other trusted sources
that can serve as information conduits, and specific cultural and
linguistic needs of the communities.
for Developing Collaborative Project & Grant Proposals
the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, a very good primer on
developing and writing grant proposals: http://njms.umdnj.edu/research/orsp/DevelopingAndWritingGrantProposals.htm
grants.gov, a library with full details about applying for federal
grants through their main system. It has tips, forms, and tutorials:http://www.grants.gov/applicants/resources.jsp
simple five-step proposal writing process, in plain talk, from the
Appalachian Regional Commission:
writing tip sheets from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Some
information is specific to NIH funding opportunities. However there are
excellent coaching ideas and additional links available from this site.
Developing Competitive SAMHSA Grant Applications. The manual was
created to help grantees acquire the skills and resources needed to
plan, write, and prepare a competitive grant application for SAMHSA
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RACE – The Power of Illusion
How valid are your beliefs about the human species? Where did the idea of
race come from? If race is just an illusion, then why should it matter?
Race – The
Power of Illusion is a three-part documentary about race in society,
science, and history. The online companion to the documentary series
provides information to help navigate through the myths and misconceptions
about race. Included in the online companion is information on the
documentary series, background readings, questions, and answers from a panel
of experts, and a number of interactive resources to help you learn and
reflect on what race is and how it affects us all.
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Think Cultural Health
Think Cultural Health
offers the latest resources and tools to promote cultural competence in
health care, including free online courses accredited for continuing
education. If you are a physician, nurse, first responder, administrator, or
other health care professional, this Web site provides the tools to help you
and your organization promote respectful, understandable, and effective care
to your diverse patients.
Health Equity and Prevention Primer –
The Prevention Institute
Health inequities are more than disparities or differences in health and
safety outcomes. Inequity describes unfairness and the systematic nature of
Health Equity and Prevention Primer (HEPP) serves as a web-based
training series for public health practitioners and advocates interested in
policy advocacy, community change, and multi-sector engagement to achieve
health equity. The Primer helps practitioners integrate a health equity lens
into their initiatives in pursuit of overall health and safety.
Cultural Competency in Health
Services and Care—A Guide for Health Care Providers
The Washington State Department of Health has released a new resource to
help health care providers serving diverse populations of patients. A
Washington law passed in 2006 requiring all licensed health care providers
to receive multicultural health awareness education and training. The
Cultural Competency in Health Services and Care – A Guide for Health Care
Providers is a tool in that effort.
This guide is intended to increase the knowledge, understanding, and
skills of those who provide health care in cross-cultural situations.
National Association of State Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH)
NASOMH’s mission is to promote and protect the health of racial and
ethnic minority communities, tribal organizations and nations, by preventing
disease and injury and assuring optimal health and well-being. For more
information, see the NASOMH Web site: