PENNSYLVANIA






 PENNSYLVANIA

Hector Ortiz, Ph.D., Director
Office of Health Equity
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Health & Welfare Building, Room 628
625 Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17120-17108
Phone: (717) 787-4366
Fax: (717) 787-4930
Email: hectoortiz@pa.gov
Website: www.health.state.pa.us/health
 
Organizational Structure/History
 
The Office of Health Equity (OHE), created in 2006, was formally integrated into the Pennsylvania Department of Health through an executive order signed in May 2007. The Office is housed under the Health Planning and Assessment Deputate and the OHE Director reports to the Deputy Secretary.
 
Purpose/Mission Statement
 
The role of the OHE is to:
1.     Provide leadership to increase public awareness of health disparities in Pennsylvania.
2.     Advocate for the development of programs to address health disparities.
3.     Work with policy makers, insurers, health care providers and communities to implement policies and programs that result in a measurable and sustained improvement in health status of underserved and disparate populations.
 
4.     Collaborate with state agencies, academic institutions, community based organizations, health partners, providers and others in the public and private sectors to eliminate health disparities in Pennsylvania.
 
 
 
 
 
Program Focus/Activities
 
 
1) Internal Health Department Training—OHE is in the process of creating training modules for health department staff on key health equity topics such as: Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS), cultural competency, health disparities, and social determinants of health. The goal is to make these training modules mandatory for health department staff to complete, to ensure all staff are familiar with these topics. Additional optional trainings on specific populations will be developed. These optional trainings will provide background information on cultural practices, health beliefs, and the health disparities of each specific group to assist in tailoring public health programmatic outreach. Eventually, these training modules will be made available to health care providers throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
 
 
 
 
 
2) OHE Webpage—The OHE webpage contains general and population-specific information on health disparities. It provides information for health providers and the general public on CLAS, cultural competency, health equity, and the social determinants that impact health. In addition, OHE will be publishing disease-focused and population-based factsheets on the health status of Pennsylvania residents. These factsheets will provide information on health disparities within Pennsylvania for groups such as African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, rural residents, women, and LGBTQ individuals.
 
3) Health Department Program Collaboration—OHE works with various programmatic areas within the health department to advise on health disparities issues for public health programming. 
 
 
4) Refugee Health Program—The Office of Health Equity also oversees the Refugee Health Program. This program is coordinated in collaboration with the Bureau of Epidemiology and funded through a Department of Public Welfare grant from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide medical screenings and follow-up activities to newly arrived refugees in accordance with the Medical Screening Protocol for Newly Arriving Refugees. 
 
 
 
 
  
Eliminating Health Disparities Statewide Initiatives
 
OHE is collaborating with Pennsylvania academic institutions to promote health care workforce diversity. We are involved in program development and collaboration with various training programs, universities, and community organizations that are interested in encouraging minorities to pursue science and health care professional fields. 
 
We also award single-opportunity small grants to local community-based organizations located across Pennsylvania with programs promoting an increase in workforce diversity or the reduction of health disparities. 
 
Level of Funding Sources
 
FiscalYear
Federal
State
FY 2010-2011
$125,000
$137,048
FY 2011-2012
$125,000
$137,048
FY 2012-2013
$125,000
$137,048
 
Resources
 
 
The Office of Health Equity has four FTE employees, including one director, a program administrator under the federal OMH State Partnership Grant, a program administrator for the Refugee Health Program, and an administrative assistant. Also, one Epidemiologist in the Bureau of Epidemiology is dedicated to the Refugee Health Program. 

 

 

 

Hector Ortiz, Ph.D., Director
Office of Health Equity
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Health & Welfare Building, Room 628
625 Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17120-17108
Phone: (717) 787-4366
Fax: (717) 787-4930
Email: hectoortiz@pa.gov
Website: www.health.state.pa.us/health

 

 

Hector Ortiz, Ph.D., Director
Office of Health Equity
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Health & Welfare Building, Room 628
625 Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17120-17108
Phone: (717) 787-4366
Fax: (717) 787-4930
Email: hectoortiz@pa.gov
Website: www.health.state.pa.us/health

 

 

Hector Ortiz, Ph.D., Director
Office of Health Equity
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Health & Welfare Building, Room 628
625 Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17120-17108
Phone: (717) 787-4366
Fax: (717) 787-4930
Email: hectoortiz@pa.gov
Website: www.health.state.pa.us/health

 

 

Hector Ortiz, Ph.D., Director
Office of Health Equity
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Health & Welfare Building, Room 628
625 Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17120-17108
Phone: (717) 787-4366
Fax: (717) 787-4930
Email: hectoortiz@pa.gov
Website: www.health.state.pa.us/health