FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/5/13) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health’s (DPH) Office of Health Equity has awarded three local health departments with grant funding to support projects that focus on the advancement of health equity and the elimination of health disparities in their communities.
The awards, mini-grants of $4,000 each, run through June 30, 2013, and have been distributed to the Clark County, Franklin County and Northern Kentucky District health departments.
“The causes of health disparities and the barriers to good health and health care are multiple and overlapping,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield. “These grant awards demonstrate the need for innovative approaches to erase the gaps observed in the health status of Kentuckians. We are excited to support the creative strategies designed by each of these local health departments.”
Health equity is defined as the attainment of the highest level of health for all people. According to data gathered and analyzed by DPH, numerous disparities – or gaps in health equity – exist in Kentucky, such as the rate of diabetes among the state’s Hispanic population or infant mortality among African-Americans.
Projects that will benefit from the grants include promotion of physical activity and a plan to provide more access to physical activity in rural areas of Clark County; additional clinics to screen for sexually transmitted diseases among minorities in Franklin County; and outreach to promote awareness and clinical services for Hispanic males in northern Kentucky.
The Office of Health Equity sought applications from local health departments that could address disparities, including race or ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, geographical location and underserved populations. Applicants were encouraged to include any plans to promote partnerships with community agencies, increase awareness of health disparities, strengthen and broaden leadership and improve data collection.
“All three projects demonstrate an understanding of health disparities within the respective communities, as well as a plan to effectively address these issues,” said Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, manager of the Health Equity Program for DPH. “In Kentucky, various health disparities affect a variety of populations from minority health issues to rural health issues. All three projects illustrate the diverse needs of our state, as well as the ability to effectively reach populations within communities that are underserved and lack equitable access to care.”
Public health, local health departments, health care professionals and other community partners are working together to address these issues, help eliminate barriers and improve access to care. For more information about health disparities or the Office of Health Equity, visit http://www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/OfficeofHealthEquity.htm.
Information provided by Beth Fisher
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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