HARTFORD — The Connecticut Department of Public Health last Wednesday announced a new Office of Health Equity.
Officials said that the office is established to improve the health of all Connecticut residents by working to eliminate differences in disease, disability and death rates among ethnic, racial and other population groups that are known to have adverse health status or outcomes.
Such population groups may be based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic position, immigrant status, sexual minority status, language, disability, homelessness, mental illness or geographic area of residence.
The office’s name and mission statement was adopted by the Connecticut General Assembly as Section 5 of Public Act 14-231 “An Act Concerning The Department Of Public Health’s Recommendations Regarding Various Revisions To The Public Health Statutes,” which was signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on June 13, 2014.
The office replaces the former DPH Office of Multicultural Health.
“This office emphasizes the principle of health as a human right and social good for all people,” said Malloy. “It reflects the ongoing commitment of this administration to advance the principles of health equity and allow all Connecticut residents to be as healthy as they can be.”
The Office of Health equity will support and further recent efforts at DPH, including the department’s strategic plan, which identified “champion health equity” as one of six agency goals; and the State Health Improvement Plan, in which health equity and the social determinants of health are overarching themes for the entire plan.
“Promoting health equity is central to our mission at the Department of Public Health,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “This office will provide support and resources to all our programs so they can incorporate health equity into their everyday work.”
The DPH Office of Health Equity is staffed by two epidemiologists and a research analyst, and is supported by staff across the agency.
For more information, visit www.ct.gov/dph/healthequity.