Georgia Office of Minority Health
Prepared by National Association of State
Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH) 

Romero M. Stokes, MPA, Program Manager
Office of Health Equity
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree Street,  Suite 16-462
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 657-6637
Fax: (404) 657-2769
Email: rmstokes@

Organizational Structure/History
The Georgia Office of Minority Health (GA-OMH) was first established as a minority health unit of the Office of Policy and Training within the Department of Human Resources (DHR), Division of Public Health in 1991. Downsizing due to budget reductions led to the elimination of the unit. After three years of inactivity, the Georgia Office of Minority Health was re-established February 16, 1996 as a collaboration of Public Health and Medicaid and was administratively attached to the Director’s Office within the Division of Public Health in the Department of Human Resources. In July 1999, the Department of Community Health (DCH) was established, and GA-OMH was transferred to DCH in the fall of 1999. GA-OMH operates as a division of the Department of Community Health.
Purpose/Mission Statement
The mission of the Georgia Office of Minority Health is to lead statewide public and private sector efforts to impact policy, strategic planning and program development to eliminate disparities, improve access to healthcare, and provide minority health data and information.
The GA-OMH vision is to achieve optimal levels of health and wellness for ethnic minorities and underserved populations in Georgia. The office provides an organized discrete focus serving to:
▪Identify, assess and analyze issues related to the health status of minority populations and to communicate this information where needed.
                        Develop and coordinate a state minority health plan, minority health needs
                        assessments, service strategies, and minority health data.
                        Provide reference and resource information on minority health issues.
                        Engage internal and external entities to support initiatives that address specific
                        minority health needs including targeting health care program resources to meet
                        these needs.
                        Monitor Department of Community Health programs, policies and procedures
                        for inclusiveness and responsiveness to minority health needs.
                        Facilitate the development and implementation of research and scientific
                        investigations to produce minority-specific findings.
Program Focus/Activities
The GA-OMH is engaged in strategic planning, policy and program development, data development and analyses, increasing public awareness and providing information and services to help eliminate the existing gap in health status.
Eliminating Health Disparities Statewide Initiative
The Georgia Health Equity Initiative (2006-present)
Racial and ethnic disparities in health have been well-documented across a broad range of medical conditions and for a wide range of ethnic and racial groups. These differences have been noted in health outcomes, such as quality of life and mortality; processes, quality, and appropriateness of care; and the prevalence of certain conditions or diseases. The Georgia Office of Health Improvement (OHI) and its Office of Minority Health (OMH) has selected to focus on efforts to reduce and eliminate health disparities for cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, HIV/AIDS, as well as, co-morbidities associated with these chronic diseases such as hypertension, stroke and obesity. These illnesses and conditions have the highest incidence, prevalence, mortality and place extreme burden of disease among Georgia’s minority populations, the uninsured and the medically underserved.  
Phase 1: Health Disparities Report 2008: A County-Level Look at Health Outcomes for Minorities in Georgia(Released April 2008) is a comprehensive report that provides background information on health disparities in Georgia and summarizes data by identified health indicators for each of Georgia’s 159 counties. The report was produced by the Minority Health Advisory Council in conjunction with the Office of Minority Health. 
Phase 2: Georgia Health Equity Grant Program – Office of Minority Health has appropriated $1,000,000.00 to develop a statewide grant program to:
1)         Reduce and eliminate racial and ethic health disparities;
2)         Promote the health and quality of life of individuals and communities;
3)         Build on community strengths and assets to address health issues;
4)         Develop effective working relationships among community members and the      organizations and leaders who serve them; and
5)         Focus on prevention and early detection.
Seventeen projects were funded throughout Georgia in amounts ranging from $75-100K; they focus one or more of our four core areas of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, Diabetes, Cancer, and HIV/AIDS. 
State Action Evaluating the Healthy People 2020 Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Agenda
The OHI and its Minority Health Advisory Council (MHAC) was awarded $37,000.00 to fund the “Communities Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities (CARD) Initiative to mobilize select communities that have expressed a desire to collaborate and form health equity coalitions to reduce health disparities in their local areas/regions. Portions of this project will focus on collecting data developing a supplemental report on Asian Pacific Islander populations that will allow the state to develop tailored initiatives specific to the population’s needs.     
The Georgia Breast Cancer License Tag Fund monies are managed under the OMH whereby it is responsible for the management, review, and evaluation of grantees who are recipients of the funds that were generated from the revenue received from the sale of Breast Cancer License Tags.
HIV/AIDS Project TAKE (Take Action, Keep Educated)
Community Partnership Grant
▪           Building a Georgia HIV/AIDS Community of Practice (CoP) to address and improve the continuum of care and prevention for HIV/AIDS. The CoP has resulted in improved partnerships between state, county and local government agencies, Hispanic/Latino community-based service organizations, and other community and faith based organizations.
▪           Capacity building with minority community-based organizations providing training, linkages, information, technical assistance, strategic planning.
▪          Selected analyses and data reports, including the “Georgia HIV/AIDS Among Minorities Report” which may be accessed at
Collaborative Technical Assistance and Capacity Development
Project Stronger Together
·               A collaboration between the HIV/AIDS TAKE Project and three community partners to provide technical assistance to increase, develop , and improve the prevention and treatment/care service delivery capacity of minority community-based organizations in metropolitan Atlanta and surrounding areas. 
Other Activities
Partnerships with community-based organizations to implement local and regional strategies to address minority health issues, such as:
▪           Provides interpreter services for health care to migrant and seasonal farm workers in south Georgia; co-funded medical interpreter training; funded translation of health careers training resources for Hispanic youth and parents. (2001-present)
▪           Provide outreach to increase HIV/AIDS awareness among Asian populations and promote HIV/AIDS prevention; provide counseling and testing services; and establish linkages to culturally competent service providers. (2003)
▪           Provide vision screenings, eye examinations and eyeglasses, if needed, for uninsured migrant and seasonal farm workers. (2004)
▪           Develop a health wellness and training program for African American men and train trainers to initiate and facilitate discussions about men’s health in faith-based and other community organizations. (2001-2004)
▪           Increase awareness and access to care for Hispanics and African Americans in designated rural communities. (on-going)
▪           Provide information and referral services for the Vietnamese population as a result of a Health Disparities print ad campaign. (2003).
▪           Train barbers and beauticians to conduct blood pressure screenings, provide health awareness information, and monitor progress for African Americans. (2003-2005)
▪           Partnership with African American faith-based entities to encourage enrollment of potential eligible people into the state’s PeachCare for Kids and Medicaid programs. PeachCare for Kids™ is a comprehensive health care program for uninsured children living in Georgia. The health benefits include primary, preventive, specialist, dental care and vision care. The dental services were limited in FY05. However, at no additional costs, comprehensive dental services will be restored statewide in accordance with the Georgia Health Families roll-out. PeachCare for Kids™ also covers hospitalization, emergency room services, prescription medications and mental health care. Each child in the program has a Georgia Healthy Families Care Management Organization (CMO) who is responsible for coordinating the child's care.
▪           Annual coordination of Minority Health Month activities statewide and calendar. (2001-2006) 
Georgia Department of Community Health-Office of Minority Health Campaign Summary (2006
•       Thirty second radio message campaign aired on Georgia Clear Chanel networks and other  affiliates to provide education and awareness to minorities in Georgia. Health Topics  covered were in both English and Spanish included the following:
“Opening Doors to Healthier Living, Healthier Lifestyles” (April 2006)
“Health Disparities Among Minority Women” (May 2006)               
            “Men’s Health Month” (June 2006)
            “Hot Fun in the Summertime” (July 2006)
“Food Choices for Diabetics at Summer Gatherings” (August 2006)
            “Back to School Immunizations” (September 2006)
            “Prostate Cancer” (October 2006)
            “World AIDS Day” (November 2006)
            “Obesity” (December 2006)
            “Healthy Living in the New Year” (January 2007)
            “HIV/AIDS and STDs” (February 2007)
            “HIV/AIDS and STDs” (March 2007)
Lifeline to Health (2001-2005)
                    Monthly, live, statewide one-hour minority health radio broadcast of health news, features and guest panel interactive discussions with callers. Dedicated Web site contains health resources, health literature and program broadcast archives.
Diabetes Lifestyle for Better Health Initiative (2002-2004)
•           Faith-based prevention education seminars and clinic-based instruction and care program of lifestyle and behavioral change.
•           Special six-months radio feature series on managing diabetes and the development of an audio-based learning module that anchors a community outreach project to train trainers and facilitate program replication in local communities.
Health Education and Health Promotion Presentations, Health Fairs, and Product
Programs include: The Community Health Guide for African Americans; “This is for Real” radio public service announcements for the African American and Hispanic (Esta es la Realidad) communities; and print media messages for Asian communities in Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese distributed through various media outlets across the state.  Specific initiatives include:
•           Since 2000, office has funded onsite interpreter services for health intensives for migrant and seasonal farm workers in three rural regions of Georgia.
•           Coordinated statewide efforts in the development of processes to qualify/certify medical interpreters.
•           Promoted healthy living, risk reduction and disease prevention through series of: 30 second audio messages and short print ads. Messages distributed via radio and print media targeted the African American, Latino and Asian communities. The audio messages for the campaign, called “This is For Real” can be heard on the GA-OMH Web site in both English and Spanish.
•           Produced “Live Healthier! A Prescription for Healthy Living for the African American Community,” a booklet that gives African Americans in Georgia information on specific conditions, local resources, action steps to prevent illness or injury and how to manage and improve their health.
•           Provided leadership and worked with various partners to develop and implement efforts to increase awareness and to reduce the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the African American community. These efforts resulted in billboards in 54 counties across the state; bus cards on Atlanta public transportation buses; movie theater preview promotions; a community forum; training public health staff; and work with faith community leaders to inform and engage them and to develop a toolkit for use by the faith community. The toolkit is currently under development.
 •          Program on diabetes—A Lunch and Learn—was initiated for Capitol Hill employees. An informational awareness session focused on increasing awareness about diabetes, followed by a four-week series of diabetes self-management classes on site during the workday for diabetic employees.
•           Facilitated community-based efforts to address the delivery of culturally competent health care services and to improve access to health care for minority populations. Provided leadership to the development of a departmental policy for language access to persons with limited English proficiency. Also funded onsite interpreter services for three health intensives for migrant and seasonal farm workers in three rural regions of Georgia. Partnership with a local foundation funded a medical interpreter-training program.
•           Working with several faith community groups to develop initiatives for outreach to increase awareness in the African American community of PeachCare, Georgia’s CHIP program.
                        •           The GA-OMH was awarded a $450,000, three year grant from the federal
                                    Office of Minority Health for the State and Territorial HIV/AIDS Program
                                     Demonstration Grant. Through this grant, GA-OMH has established a
                                     minority community based organizations network and worked with these
                                     organizations to increase their organizational competencies, to facilitate
                                     linkages to federal resources and technical assistance, and to develop
                                     minority population specific data analyses. (2000-2006)
•           Produced a Georgia Minority Health Status assessment, a minority HIV/AIDS data report and conducted an environmental scan of minority health data in GA.
•           Developed a sickle cell disease initiative to increase community and provider awareness and to develop funding for clinical services to uninsured adults.
•           Offers multilingual Web pages at The site includes minority health issue information pages and an e-mail link for inquiries, information and referral and correspondence. The site includes a minority health resource center providing linguistically and culturally competent health reference and resource information.
Level of Funding Sources
Year                             Federal                         State                          

FY 2006
FY 2008
FY 2009

GA-OMH is staffed with a Director, Lead Person/Program Consultant 2; a Program Consultant and two HIV/AIDS Project staff members - HIV/AIDS TAKE Project Coordinator and HIV/AIDS TAKE Project Public Health Planner.