Wednesday, April 15, 2015

30 Years of Advancing Health Equity

(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health Office of Health Disparities (OHD) is commemorating National Minority Health Month throughout April with a series of community-based programs that include preventive screenings and a new birth outcomes pilot program that highlights health disparities affecting the growing number vulnerable populations.

OHD has partnered with three community agencies in Provo and Salt Lake City – Centro Hispano, Hui Hawai‘i o Utah Hawaiian Civic Club, and the Somali Community Self-Management Agency – to provide free screenings for cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure at sites in Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Provo.  
The OHD also recently partnered with the Queen Center on a pilot program to address the high infant mortality rate among Utah Pacific Islanders. This program is the first of its kind in the state to offer culturally responsive workshops and activities to teach Pacific Islander families about the seriousness of infant mortality. The program also educates participants about factors that help promote healthy pregnancies and births, including prenatal care, maternal wellness, family communication, and stress management.

According to facilitators and more than 30 participants, the six-week pilot program was a success. The OHD focus going forward will be to collaborate with the Bureau of Maternal and Infant Health to improve upon and expand similar interventions with Pacific Islander communities.   
The theme of this year’s National Minority Health Month is “30 Years of Advancing Health Equity,” which highlights the first US Department of Health and Human Services report on minority health, known as the “Heckler Report,” in 1985.

More information on National Minority Health Month can be found at

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The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public's health through
preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death, assuring access to
affordable, quality health care, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Media Contact:
Jake Fitisemanu
Office of Health Disparities
Outreach Coordinator