NEW HAMPSHIRE






 

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Office of Minority Health
Prepared by National Association of State
Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH)
 
Trinidad Tellez, MD, Director
Office of Minority Health and Refugee Affairs
New Hampshire Department of
Health and Human Services
97 Pleasant Street, Thayer Building
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-8459
Fax: (603) 271-0824
Email: trinidad.tellez@dhhs.state.nh.us
Website: www.dhhs.nh.gov/omh-index.htm
 
Organizational Structure/History
 
The New Hampshire Office of Minority Health (NH-OMH) was established in October 1999 as a part of the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner’s Office. In 2006, the OMH was organizationally transferred to the NH Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) to continue working toward the reduction and elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. In 2009 NH-OMH was transferred back under the Commissioner’s Office and continues working towards reducing health disparities and improving access to DHHS services for cultural and linguistic minorities, as well as those with functional needs. There are three primary areas of responsibility for the NH-OMH:
 
  • Provides a sustained focus on the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to NH's residents by DHHS;
  • Maintains communication with racial, ethnic and other medically underserved populations to create partnerships to enhance the overall health of the communities by developing combined opportunities and resources to address health disparities; and;
  • Collaborates and partners with federal and regional state minority health offices and NH health and community agencies regarding various regional, national and state health disparity initiatives.
 
Purpose/Mission Statement
The New Hampshire Office of Minority Health does not have a separate mission statement; instead, it is guided by the mission statements of both the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ mission is to join communities and families in providing for citizens to achieve health and independence. Additionally the mission of the Division of Public Health Services is to assure the health and well being of communities and populations in NH by protecting and promoting the physical, mental and environmental health of its citizens, and by preventing disease, injury and disability.
Program Focus/Activities
The State Partnership Grant: the grants’ activities are designed to meet the three primary areas of responsibility previously listed. The State Partnership Grant to Improve Minority Health ($735,000) occurs over a period of five years; this year (2009/2010) marks the fifth and final year of this federal grant. Specific State Partnership Grant activities include the following:
Capacity Building:

One of the goals of NH-OMH was to increase the capacity of the office by applying State Partnership Grant funding towards two full time positions. The office had been comprised of a Director and a Health Program Specialist. In 2006 a full time Administrative Secretary and State Partnership Grant Coordinator were hired to increase the OMH capacity to four full-time staff.
 
Changes in this staffing occurred in 2007 when the Grant Coordinator left. The 17-month vacancy remained unfilled until January of 2009 when a new coordinator was hired. The NH-OMH Director retired in June of 2009 resulting in the NH-OMH staffing level to remain at three. In the interim, the DHHS Deputy Commissioner will act as Interim Director. Despite staffing changes OMH continues to work with other departments within DHHS and Public Health to examine and assess the degree of culturally and linguistically appropriate services currently being delivered and to establish strategies for increasing its capacity. Partnerships and leveraging resources for activities with community-based organizations will continue to improve our ability to build organizational capacity and reduce health disparities in NH. 
 
NH Community Activities/PartnershipsThe Office of Minority Health continues to work with several community committees and organizations, below are some of the key initiatives:

The Department of Health and Human Service, Division of Public Health, Vulnerable Populations Group - this group joins together members from the Division of Public Health’s main health divisions such as Maternal Health, Diabetes, Tobacco, Oral Health, HIV as well as Elderly Services and Office of Minority Health. Collaborations are aimed to help streamline internal resources and leverage funds to better target external health priorities for all vulnerable populations of NH. OMH hopes to assists with informational exchange among inter-departmental programming and external communities to address health disparities and disease prevalence in minorities and vulnerable groups.

 
The Nashua Gate City Health and Wellness Immigrant Integration Initiative - focuses on immigrants, refugees and receiving communities. This initiative supports two main objectives 1) to develop of a process for municipal, social and health care agencies to work together with new arrivals to navigate health and social service systems and 2) to share a collective responsibility in the development of strategies to reduce social and cultural barriers to health, well being and economic mobility through healthy community connectedness.
 
The State Advisory Council for Juvenile Justice and Subcommittee on Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) - partnerships help leverage resources to raise awareness about DMC and begin to develop data collection and meaningful initiatives to address root causes and understanding of health and social impacts resulting from youth that come into contact with the justice system. A holistic model incorporating community mentors, parents, youth, law enforcement justice system, schools and health/support agencies work strategically together to improve the outcomes for youth and communities who come into contact with law enforcement and the juvenile justice system.  

The Concord Coordinating Council - this community group is concerned with domestic violence. The group provides educational sessions in the schools, advises law enforcement, and does other related presentations by request.

 
The Hispanic Network - was originally created by the NH OMH Multicultural Specialist whose position is no longer funded by DHHS. The hosting of the monthly meetings was passed on to the community. A nutritional educator for the Nashua NH community currently manages this group. The monthly meetings focus on connecting the Hispanic and other minority communities to health, housing, employment, and financial and legal resources. 
 
The Refugee Advisory Committee - is hosted by the NH Office of Refugee Resettlement and primarily focuses on all aspects of refugee resettlement. The committee is comprised of the voluntary organizations that case manage refugees during resettlement process, state and local government organizations, and faith-based organizations.
NH OMH has active involvement in initiatives and dialogue focusing on the development of mental health resources for refugees experiencing effects of torture and trauma. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, DHHS Behavioral Health, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, The NH Endowment for Health and Community Mental Health programs continue to work together to develop creative programming for youth and adults. Our focus is primarily on increasing resources tools and knowledge capacity for NH Mental Health Providers.
 
The Language Access Task Force –comprised of NH DHHS, New Hampshire Hospital Acute Psychiatric Unit (APS), and this task force primarily focuses on solving language access issues and developing policies, resources and education opportunities aimed at providing language access for clients of the APS at NH Hospital.
 
Workforce Development

A State Partnership Grant initiative to help increase efforts in increasing minority participation in the health care industry is the Nursing Summer Day Camp program. In collaboration with Lamprey Health Care this camp is targeted toward middle school youth with an emphasis on schools with significant racial and ethnic students. Two one-week programs were taught by nursing and other Allied health professionals at a large urban hospital with utilizing a curriculum that includes overview of nursing and other medical careers; CPR certification; and site visits to key medical faculties and assistive living centers, to name a few.
 
Utilizing Community Input

NH DHHS, along with the OMH, has taken several meaningful actions to better serve NH citizens by increasing the cultural and linguistic resources available in the delivery of services. The NH OMH continuously joins with the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic communities across NH to create opportunities for all NH citizens to provide input and dialogue for improved services. This was facilitated by the increased capacity provided by the five-year state partnership grantand continues through OMH staff participation in committees and task force initiatives statewide focusing on data, socials factors, identification of health determinants, gaps in preventative health, and disparities for minority populations.
 
 
The Communication Access Plan: The NH DHHS Communication Access Plan (CAP) was launched August of 2009. The CAPexplains the NH Department of Health and Human Services' policy and commitment to providing meaningful communication assistance and access resources and protocols for New Hampshire's diverse populations. The CAP was created through partnerships with internal DHHS partners and external community stakeholders. Training on the CAP is being launched to target DHHS personnel at all levels. The curriculum will include input from internal and external partners and will provide information on language resources, working with interpreters, and Title VI and ADA communication requirements. The training will begin in September of 2009. A plan for evaluation on the effectiveness of the training, materials and monitoring of the CAP are being developed.
 
The DHHS and the OMH are committed to addressing diversity on individual, interpersonal and organizational levels.  The Cultural Competency: A Way of Life document continues to be an available resource that focuses on specific areas that include continued assessment of DHHS service levels and delivery methods. This document was a result of internal and external input and serves to provide awareness training to include: cultural differences, changing attitudes & behaviors, cultural competency and sensitivity to aid in providing barrier-free access to departmental programs and services.
 
The Diversity Task Force (DTF) serves as an OMH community and networking meeting and as an advisory body through its subcommittees to the DHHS and OMH. The DTF vision is to increase awareness of diversity issues in NH through collaboration, advocacy and education. DTF aims to promote a healthy environment for individuals, families and communities. Input from external and internal partners has prompted OMH to change the structure and direction of the DTF – evaluation, feedback and facilitation will be implemented to strengthen the group and develop refocused subcommittees.
The NH-OMH continues to be an active on many other external boards and planning committees. The OMH works on local and regional conference development and issues such as Diabetes and Cardiovascular, Disproportionate Minority Contact, childhood lead poisoning, immigrant health, refugee resettlement and mental health, domestic violence, disaster planning and many other areas that have an impact on minority health and the general health of our communities.
 
Eliminating Health Disparities Statewide Initiatives
The state plan to reduce and eliminate health disparities is a dynamic plan that is drafted and by the Office of Minority Health and the NH community stakeholders. The OMH plans to use the strength and diversity of the DTF and the expertise of the DHHS Division of Health Statistics to move forward with creating a comprehensive state plan to Reduce and Eliminate Health Disparities. OMH hopes to apply grant money towards the development of the formalized NH State Plan in year five.
The topics listed in Table 1 below had their beginnings at the New England Regional Minority Health Conference. The topics are the guiding themes for the interventions that the community and the OMH will likely base their activities to reduce and eliminate health disparities for NH. This plan continues to be in process for NH.
TABLE 1
 
Actionable plan using data
Education of health administration
Community education
Reporting status
Data collection
Social marketing
Medicaid – Medicaid drug benefit
Leadership Development
Education validation & medical training program
Develop nursing workforce
Assessment of patient education by providers
Agency ownership of cultural competency
Looking at issues of uninsured & underinsured (Mental Health & Behavioral Health)
Enforcement of OMB requirements
Strengthen Office of Minority Health
Outcome studies to address Institutional Racism
Shortage of bilingual providers
Native American activities dialogues – develop conference with Native Americans
Develop technical assistance for new refugee groups so they can navigate the system
Kindle fires within agencies
OMH subgroup on workforce in the medical field/nursing
GLBT issues mental health
Website work
Disabilities
Definition of disparities
Discrimination Vs Racism
Youth involvement & leadership activities
Education & prevention
Increase mental health staff to work with refugees
A component of the Diversity Task Force should always address behavioral health & cultural competency
 
 
 
 
Level of Funding Sources
 

Federal
 Federal
Grant
Federal
General
Total
Budget Year
Budget
Period
Number
Fund
Budget
Funds
Budget
OMH
Budget
01
 
9/1/05 –
8/31/06
1-STTMP051012-01
 
$147,696
 
$7,796
 
$155,492
02   
9/1/06 –
8/31/07
5-STTMP051012-01

$158,122

$36,200

$194,322
03   
   9/1/07 –
8/31/08
STTO51012A

$162,872

$40,000

$198,122
04
9/1/08 –
8/31/09
STTMP051012-04
$238,515
$272,220
$510,735
05
9/1/09 –
8/31/10
STTMPO51012-05
$135,122
 
$0
 
$0
 
 
 
TOTAL
$707,205
$587,372
$1,294,577
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Resources
 
OMH Personnel (four FTEs)
Interim Director
State Partnership Grant Coordinator
Health Program Specialist
Administrative Secretary
 
 
Publications
 
·         The NH Ethnic and Racial Data Review – October 2002
·         Connecting Communities – Newsletter (quarterly publication)
·         Communication Access Plan