Dulce A. Diez, MPH, MCHES, Director
Office of Health Disparities Reduction
Division of Family Health and Preparedness
Utah Department of Health
Mailing - P.O. Box 142008
Salt Lake City Utah 84114-2008
Phone: (801) 273-4139
Fax: (801) 536-0956
Organizational Structure/History
In 1995, the Office of Ethnic Health was created in the Utah Department of Health. The Ethnic Health Advisory Committee (EHAC) was also created to provide recommendations to the Utah Department of Health on racial and ethnic minority issues. In 1997, the Utah Department of Health published the Utah Health Status Survey on Ethnic Populations--Qualitative Component and Supplemental Report. The Center for Health Data published the first Qualitative Report on Health Status by Race and Ethnicity in 1999. It published the Quantitative Report on Health Status by Race and Ethnicity in 2005 and the second Qualitative Report on Health Status by Race and Ethnicity in 2008.
In 2000, Utah’s Office of Ethnic Health was moved to the Division of Health Systems Improvement and was combined with the Office of Primary Care and Rural and Ethnic Health (OPCREH). In 2000, the Office of Ethnic Health was eliminated due to lack of funding. Responsibility for “health disparities” remained with the Division of Health Systems Improvement. In 2003, responsibility for carrying out health disparity recommendations from Healthy People 2010 shifted to the Division of Community and Family Health Services, where most direct-service public health prevention programs resided.  
In response to advocacy by the Utah population and the Multicultural Health Network, the Utah Legislature authorized funding for the Center for Multicultural Health (CMH). CMH opened in the Division of Community and Family Health Services in September 2004 with one staff member, a full-time coordinator. In 2005, CMH was awarded a State Partnership Grant by the federal Office of Minority Health and additional funding from the Utah Legislature. One part-time Health Program Specialist was hired.
In 2006, the Utah Legislature provided additional funds to CMH to develop protocols and standards for language translation and interpretation for the Utah Department of Health, local health departments, and health care providers. One full-time Health Program Specialist was hired to carry out this responsibility. Another full-time Health Program Specialist was hired to support CMH activities associated with the State Partnership Grant.
Currently, CMH is focused on building collaboration within and among Utah Department of Health programs and local health departments to improve reach to racial and ethnic minorities. This includes facilitating the implementation of policies and structures to support workforce diversity, the use of translation and interpretation services, and the training of staff on Utah’s minority populations. We maintain an online clearinghouse on minority health that includes a multilingual library, data and reports on health disparities, a technical assistance request form, our monthly newsletter, and information about Utah’s health care system. CMH loans language interpretation equipment available to state agencies and community-based organization to help increase language access for conferences, trainings, and meetings. CMH hosts biweekly brown bags, which are open to the public and to public health professionals, to provide information on health disparities, including the social determinants of health.
Purpose/Mission Statement
The mission of the Center for Multicultural Health/ Utah Office of Minority Health is to promote accessible and high-quality programs and policies that help all racial and ethnic minorities in Utah achieve optimal health. CMH accomplishes its mission by increasing public and health professional awareness of persistent race/ethnic disparities and by developing effective health policies and culturally competent programs that lead to better access and utilization of quality health care services in Utah.
The overall objective is to build infrastructure among UDOH programs, local health departments, communities, and for-nonprofit organizations in order to meet minority health needs and eliminate disparities.The vision of CMH is: A place where people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds can enjoy the best health possible, where all can live, grow and prosper in clean and safe communities.
Eliminating Health Disparities Statewide Initiatives
Advisory Boards and Minority Health Committees
TheEthnic Health Advisory Committee(EHAC)
Formed in 1999, EHAC serves as an advisory board to the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) to plan new programs and to continue existing programs that seek to increase cultural sensitivity and competence in Utah's health care system. EHAC has a membership of 18: three members at-large and three representatives of each of the following racial/ethnic groups: Black/African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. EHAC meets quarterly to discuss the concerns and issues of each racial and ethnic group. These meetings are open to the public. The Utah Department of Health is reviewing the role of the committee, its goals, and its operations to ensure that it meets the needs of the state’s changing population.
Health Disparities Work Group (HDWG)
Formed in 2006, this committee’s purpose is to establish a health disparities plan for the Health Department. It met bimonthly in its first year, and presently meets quarterly to discuss inclusion, cultural competence, and health disparity issues that CMH or UDOH management need to address. Members share resources and community networks, inform each other of activities related to reaching minority populations, and participate in research and outreach projects.
Multicultural Health Network (MHN)
In 2001, Utah Issues created the Multicultural Health Network to eliminate minority health disparities in Utah. This Network brings together the public and private health care sector and coordinates an annual summit on health disparities. Since 2005, the Multicultural Health Network has been funded through Utah’s State Partnership Grant. Comunidades Unidas and Utah Health Policy Project facilitate the Multicultural Health Network.
Interagency Cultural Competence Committee
Formed in 2007, this committee works to integrate efforts to improve cultural competence and increase workforce diversity in state agencies. Members include the Utah Department of Health, the Utah Department of Human Services, and the Utah Department of Human Resources Management. Renamed State Agencies on Minority Issues (SAMI), this committee has increased its membership to include more state agencies. Leadership has been assumed by the Office of Ethnic Affairs, which reports to the Governor. As a result, the committee has greater influence statewide. A main goal for 2009-2010 is to establish a basic cultural competence training for all state employees.
The Center for Multicultural Health’s program focus and services include:
·         Cultural competency improvement through training;
·         Online multilingual health literature library;
·         Assistance in identifying minority representatives for committees;
·         Technical assistance to UDOH programs, local health departments, and 
·         community-based organizations;
·         Policy development;
·         Support for language translation and interpretation;
·         Production of the Health Status Reports by Race and Ethnicity; and
·         Staff support to the Ethnic Health Advisory Committee.
The Center for Multicultural Health’s priority health areas are:


·         Asthma
·         Cancer
·         Cardiovascular disease/stroke
·         Diabetes
·         HIV/AIDS
·         Immunization
·         Reproductive Health (infant mortality)
Level of Funding Sources
The budget for FY 2005-2010 is as follow:

SFY 05
7/1/04 --6/30/05
SFY 06
7/1/05 --6/30/06
SFY 07
7/1/06 --6/30/07
SFY 08
7/1/07 --6/30/08
SFY 09
7/1/08 –6/30/09
$ 308,973
SFY 10
7/1/09 –6/30/10
$ 145,473
$ 308,273

CMH staff currently includes a full-time Director, one full-time Health Program Specialist, and three part-time Health Program Specialists. CMH regularly benefits from interns in the public health graduate programs at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. CMH contracts with an evaluator from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah. CMH also funds the Multicultural Health Network.
Recent Publications
INFO FOR OMH (materials created by CMH during the past year)
- Online newsletter: published monthly since July 06. All the issues can be accessed @
- Spanish language brochure explaining how to complete a birth certificate
- Spanish language brochure explaining how to protect your family from carbon monoxide fumes
- Language interpreters guide for Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, PCN and UPP.
  • The 2008 Qualitative Report: Public Health Messages from Utah’s Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations
    This report, sponsored by CMH and other Utah Department of Health (UDOH) programs, describes 17 community discussions about health with 180 members of some of Utah’s racial and ethnic minority communities: African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Pacific Islanders. Also view how UDOH employees responded to this report.
  • The Utah Health Disparities Summary each 4-page report compares health indicators of a specific minority population to all Utahns and state and national targets for the year 2010. The reports also include demographic information for context.

Pacific Islander
American Indian

Community Forums
In 2008, the Utah Department of Health, Center for Multicultural Health (CMH) funded six ethnic community organizations to conduct forums within their own communities to discuss health issues.
Health Disparities
This presentation was prepared for the Utah Legislature by the Utah Department of Health, Center for Multicultural Health and Office of Public Health Assessment. It was presented by Dr. Sundwall, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health in June 2008.
Powerpoint version: http://health.utah.gov/cmh/data/June2008Legislature.ppt
PDF version: http://health.utah.gov/cmh/data/June2008Legislature.pdf