Center for Health Disparities
Prepared by National Association of State
Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH) 

Aiko Allen, MS, Director
Office of Minority Health
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Division of Health, Curtis State Office Building
                           1000 SW Jackson, Suite 540                            
Topeka, Kansas   66612-1368
Phone: (785) 296-0781
Fax: : (785) 296-1562
Cell: (785) 289-3166

Organizational Structure/History
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE - CHD) established the Kansas Center for Health Disparities (KDHE-CHD) in the fall of 2005. The Center is charged with a leadership role in the mobilization of available health resources, programs, and healthcare initiatives to address health disparities and access to quality care for African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders, Immigrants, Migrants, and residents with Limited English Proficiency in the State of Kansas. The primary impact of the Center is building cultural and linguistic competence by advocating for and coordinating access to primary and preventive healthcare services that will promote and improve the health and wellness of racial/ethnic and special populations statewide. The Center places a strong emphasis on eliminating health disparities and on establishing a culturally competent public health network that is focused on building the infrastructure and operational capacity of the program.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Center for Health Disparities (Formerly known as the Kansas Office of Minority Health)
    Engaged in State Infrastructure Building Project funded by the National Office of Minority Health.
•    Data collection, monitoring, and management are a key priority in the strategic plan for the program area of Health Promotion and Wellness
•    Currently developing an implementation plan to conduct a centralized, comprehensive study of identified health disparities impacting racial/ethnic populations from archival data sources to address HK2010 Indicators. HK2020 Indicators.
•    To clearly identify gaps and establish baseline data to address HK2010 Indicators, KDHE -CHD has utilized the comprehensive report by the Kansas Health Institute entitled “Racial and Ethnic Minority Health Disparities in Kansas:  A Data and Chartbook” released in April 2005. This report clearly documents the lack of available data regarding disease specific health disparities for racial/ethnic and special needs populations. (This report can be found at: www.minorityhealthks.org)
Health Disparities Advisory Committee
The Health Disparities Advisory Committee was established in September 2005 under the direction of Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The primary function of the Advisory Committee is to help establish a strategic framework and direction for the Center for Health Disparities.  Specifically, the Advisory Committee was directed to help institute a framework aimed at addressing and eliminating health disparities for racial/ethnic and tribal populations in the state. This framework would allow the office to build capacity and resources in a targeted and outcome-focused manner.
The Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from identified health disparity areas: public, private, and community health providers in medical, mental health, and substance abuse; individuals from the target population; state and local public health partners; disease specific health and treatment programs; and community members. The Advisory Committee will act as an advocacy group to address unique health issues impacting racial/ethnic populations, including access to health care, disease specific health disparities, and culturally appropriate and linguistically competent health care programs. The Advisory Committee’s ongoing role will focus on providing advice and consultation relative to those initiatives, as well as on identifying resources to build the capacity of the office. 
Purpose/Mission Statement
The mission of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Center for Health Disparities is to promote and improve the health status of racial/ ethnic and tribal populations in Kansas by advocating for and coordinating access to primary and preventive health services that are effective, efficient and culturally competent. The Center’s vision is to eliminate health disparities among racial/ethnic and tribal populations, and in doing so to foster the well being of all Kansans.
Practical Vision - The practical vision of KDHE-CHD is to establish a comprehensive program to eliminate health disparities that will serve as the focal point for advisement, guidance and promotion of culturally competent policies and practices that support individual and community health efforts serving racial/ethnic and tribal populations statewide.
Guiding Principles - Guiding principles of the KDHE-CHD have been implemented to demonstrate its commitment to promote and improve the health status of all racial/ethnic and tribal Kansans.  
·         Providing public health advocacy for health equity;
·         Providing capacity building to provide cultural and linguistically appropriate services
      (CLAS) in all areas of public health;
·         Promoting health awareness, prevention initiatives and access to quality healthcare;
·         Creating linkages and establishing networks through collaboration among local, State and national and federal entities;
·         Providing technical assistance to existing agencies/organizations that provide services to racial/ethnic and tribal consumers in the utilization of data to develop targeted, culturally specific programs and/or services;
·         Identifying resources and developing effective programs;
·         Monitoring health status of populations of color through data collection, analysis and dissemination;
·         Providing social Marketing through media and awareness campaigns to improve public awareness about health disparities;
·         Providing Policy Leadership to advocate for changes in policy, practices and programs.
·         Advocate for the utilization of CLAS standards in all levels of public health service delivery; and
·         Coordinating and sponsoring an annual statewide conference focused on health disparities impacting racial/ethnic and tribal populations to educate and promote awareness amongst public health partners.  
Eliminating Health Disparities Statewide Initiatives
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Center for Health Disparities’efforts to eliminate health disparities for racial/ethnic and tribal populations will be focused on the following strategic areas:
·         Strategic Area 1: Health Planning and Policy Development - Health planning is the process of defining community health challenges, identifying needs and resources, establishing priority goals and setting the administrative action needed to reach those goals. Policy development is a course of action chosen to support and ensure the goals of eliminating health disparities are met.
·         Strategic Area 2: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention – Health promotion and disease prevention is the process of enabling people to take control over and improve their health. Empowering citizens to change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health and wellness, thus increasing their quality of life.
·         Strategic Area 3: Education, Training and Technical Assistance – Education, training, and technical assistance is the process that increases the skills and knowledge of collaborative partners to understand program goals and objectives in the elimination of health disparities and to provide culturally and linguistically competent health care services.  
·         Strategic Area 4: Building Cultural Competency - Cultural competency is defined by the US Department of Health and Human Services as “the level of knowledge-based skills required to provide effective clinical care to patients from a particular ethnic or racial group.”
Through internal restructuring the Strategic Areas have been realigned to include Strategic Area 1 and 2 as priorities for FY 2010.
Core Functions
All strategic areas include core functions that are focused on building the infrastructure and operational capacity of KDHE-CHD to successfully facilitate and establish a public health network to address racial and ethnic health disparities in Kansas. KDHE-CHD core functions include:
·         Policy Leadership
·         Advocacy
·         Data Management
·         Community Capacity Building
·         Public Education and Awareness
·         Annual Health Disparities Conference
·         Training and Development
Opportunities for new Programs
Media and visibility campaign that includes professional and community level presentations to promote awareness regarding health disparities and current needs.
Funding through National Office of Minority Health to partially fund and facilitate five community health initiatives during FY2007 in identified health disparity areas (including Wichita, Garden City, and Kansas City) for disease-specific health disparities (i.e. Diabetes, Cancer, Immunizations, HIV/AIDS, Maternal Child Health, Cardiovascular Disease, Mental Health) impacting racial/ethnic populations (This initiative is currently undergoing programmatic changes and will be released during FY 2008).
The program is currently under programmatic changes with the restructuring in the division of health and is anticipated to be released FY 2010.
Developing community partnerships for health promotion and wellness for disease-specific health disparities within target populations at health fairs and educational events with national, state, local, public, and private entities.
Current initiatives include:
Latino Health for All targeting Latino population in Wyandotte County Kansas.
Native American Youth Obesity Initiative in partnership with the Prairie Band Pottawatomie Nations Health Center.
Pass It Forward HIV Prevention Program for Girls
Faithbased Prevention Initiative
REACH Foundation Cultural Competency Initiative 
Organizational assessment of internal and external partners to identify strengths and weaknesses to build successful program collaborations and data collection standards to ensure that an infrastructure is sustained to support the healthcare needs of racial/ethnic and tribal populations in Kansas.
Community Access Project that includes focus groups and health information and preferences survey within target populations in health disparity areas to assist with completing population assessments, developing culturally and linguistically competent health programs/interventions, and providing technical assistance to healthcare providers.
Annual Health Disparities Conference encourages public health professionals to effectively address health disparities of racial/ethnic populations during public health priority setting, decision-making, and program development. The conference provides a centralized, educational forum on health disparities to increase the level of knowledge among public health professionals. 
Black Infant Mortality Initiative is being developed to address the increasing rates of infant mortality within the African American population. The Center will engage in a comprehensive, collective effort with KDHE Maternal Child Health and other stakeholders to address this critical issue.
The Center is currently engaged with the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Infant Mortality which ahs been charged to review data and model programs to make recommendations in the upcoming legislative session.
Level of Funding Sources
Year                 Federal              State            Private  

FY 2006-07

FY 2009 -10    budget decreased to 50% state general funds
The Center will continue to research and apply for outside funding sources for
program sustainability.
Program staff to be determined with restructuring within the Division of Health.