Indiana Office of Minority Health
Prepared by National Association of State
Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH)
Antoniette M.Holt, MPH, Director
Office of Minority Health
Indiana State Department of Health
2 North Meridian Street, 3A
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Phone: (317) 233-3006
Fax: (317) 233-7943
Nancy Jewell, MPA
Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Inc.
3737 N. Meridian Street, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Phone: (317) 926-4011
Fax: (317) 926-4037
In 1991, the Indiana State health commissioner created and staffed the Indiana
Department of Health – Office of Minority Health (ISDH – OMH). This office focuses its efforts on improving disparities in preventable health conditions among minorities
throughout the state. The OMH serves the Hispanic/Latino, Black, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and Native American Indian populations (approximately 14% of the state’s population). The Indiana State Department of Health, through the OMH, is responsible for creating, directing and achieving the Minority Health Initiatives, as directed by the
Indiana General Assembly (Appendix A: Indiana Code 16-46-11). The OMH is also responsible for publishing the yearly Indiana Minority Health Report. This report compares local and national data for ten leading causes of death among racial and ethnic groups, and reviews ISDH-OMH’s progress toward attaining Healthy People 2010 goals and objectives. Currently, ISDH-OMH is involved in a number of federally and state funded health promotion and disease activities.
To improve the health of all racial and ethnic populations in Indiana through increased awareness, partnerships, and the development and promotion of effective health policies and programs that help to reduce minority health disparities.
In addition, the office:
▪ Coordinates, facilitates, and monitors community-based programs tailored to meet the needs of these populations;
▪ Ensures that health related issues become part of the agendas of outside programs as they relate to underserved populations; and
▪ Maintains open dialogue with outside agencies in an effort to keep abreast of concerns, trends and problems as seen by these agencies which will assist in identifying gaps, barriers and duplication in services.
Health Planning and Policy Development
Annual Minority Health Report
This annual report from the Interagency Council on Black and Minority Health is a resource that gives insight to the present state of Indiana and its diverse populations. The Interagency Council on Black and Minority Health was established under the Indiana Code 16-46-6 to improve the overall health and well-being of racial and ethnic minorities in Indiana. More specifically, the Interagency Council on Black and Minority Health has been charged to do the following:
A. Identify and study the special health care needs and health problems of minorities.
B. Examine the factors and conditions that affect the health of minorities.
C. Examine the health care services available to minorities in the public and private sector and determine the extent to which these services meet the needs of minorities.
D. Study the state and federal laws concerning the health needs of minorities.
E. Examine the coordination of services to minorities and recommend improvements in the delivery of services.
F. Examine funding sources for minority health care.
G. Examine and recommend preventive measures concerning the leading causes of death or injury among minorities.
H. Examine the impact of diseases or conditions for minorities.
I. Monitor the Indiana minority health initiative and other public policies that affect the health status of minorities.
J. Develop and implement a comprehensive plan and time line to address health disparities and health issues of minority populations in Indiana.
Technical Assistance and Training
IN-OMH offers employees of the Indiana State Department of Health, and its partners, cultural competency in health training. The IN-OMH follows, and recommends to all partnering agencies, the same cultural competency guidelines used by the American
Medical Association, American Nursing Association, American Association of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association. The goal of IN-OMH’s cultural competency training service is that80% of program participants will demonstrate increased knowledge of cultural differences among minority populations and will indicate intent to apply cultural competency skills and knowledge in their professional capacity, within one year of completing the competency training.
The ISDH and IN-OMH offer language translation services referral information for health professionals and patients, for a number of different languages, to help reduce linguistic barriers to health care service. Linguistic assistance includes the maintenance of a health helpline that staffs two full-time Spanish speaking operators and provides bilingual information on where to find health coverage, and where patients can find health care facilities that meet their specific needs.
Impact of Program Activities in Communities
Black & Minority Health Fair
Each July, ISDH-OMH sponsors the INShape Indiana Black and Minority Health Fair, which provides free health screenings, education, resources, and consultations valued at $1,000.00 per participant, during Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration. The core goal of the health fair is to increase minority awareness of chronic diseases, and how to prevent them. Increasing minority awareness of diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and cancer is not just the goal of the Office of Minority Health or of the Health Fair. The goal is also at the heart of the Indiana State Department of Health’s mission, which is to support Indiana's economic prosperity and quality of life by promoting, protecting and providing for the health of Hoosiers in their communities.
Identifying and assessing the health needs of minority populations who experience problems in gaining access to preventive and basic health care helps all of Indiana’s citizens.
The Partners Recruiting Opportunities for Minority Student Education (PROMiSE) project was formed in order to eliminate health disparities, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, infant mortality, and mental health, from Indiana’s underserved communities. The reversal of these disparate trends in health care service comes from the focused efforts of INShape Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Health - State Office of Minority Health (ISDH, SOMH), the Indiana Minority Health Coalition (IMHC), the Indiana Area Health Education Center (IN-AHEC), and the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).
Although the overall health of the nation has improved, many racial and ethnic groups continue to experience the devastating effects caused by inadequate access to health care. The consequence of this is that minority groups are more likely to suffer from chronic disease and poor health. The good news is that, according to findings in the National Healthcare Disparities Report, targeted improvement interventions could significantly reduce healthcare disparities. Clearly, the lack of adequate minority health professionals in Indiana is a significant barrier towards the elimination of health disparities.
Black/African American and Hispanic minorities constitute approximately 12% of Indiana’s population base, but only 9.4% of practicing physicians and registered nurses in 2001, according to the 2001 Registered Physician Survey.
In order to address these disparities the PROMiSE project will:
· Improve coordination and collaboration among state and local public health agencies, as well as organizations that seek to improve minority health and contribute to eliminating health disparities.
· Improve statewide coordination, collaboration, and linkages among public and private entities to specifically address minority health and health disparities.
· Improve state planning focused on minority health and health disparities
· Dedicate state leadership and staffing to: support planning and coordination; promote and support evidence based innovative approaches and disseminate information focused on improving minority health and eliminating health disparities.
· Increase statewide efforts to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities through the support of community programs.
· Establish or enhance multicultural coalition-building efforts within communities of color to collaboratively address health issues impacting minority communities.
· Implement evidence-based strategies to improve diversity in the health care workforce.
· Mobilize communities, coalitions, and networks through formed groups, and local or regional networks, in order to promote improvements in minority health.
· Enhance infrastructure to improve the capacity for addressing minority health at the state, county, and local levels.
· Increase knowledge and awareness to effect change in the local minority communities’ attitudes regarding health care issues through local youth health champions promoting health education in their neighborhoods.
Minority Health Month
In an effort to reduce health disparities and improve the health status of Minority populations, the 107th Congress, in H. Con. Res. 388 agreed on October 3, 2002 to establish a National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month. Many states and organizations are celebrating National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month in April. National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month is raising the awareness surrounding minority health issues. Minority Health Month is a state level version of the National Minority Health Month.
1st Annual Minority Health Conference
What You Don’t Know, Can Kill You! Minority Health Conference is the first of its kind in Indiana. The purpose is to educate, empower, and equip those individuals who serve minority communities or are a part of minority communities of public health issues that are not necessarily mainstream, but are import to community wellness and health. In August, 2009, The conference took place in Indianapolis, IN. The three focus areas were Preparedness, Environmental Health, and Minority Health (Leading Causes of Death). This conference was sponsored by the ISDH-OMH and its Minority Health Partners.
Minority Health Partnership
In order for the ISDH-OMH to be most effective, the office strongly relies on its ties and partnerships with national, state, and local organizations. Every 2-3 months ISDH-OMH meets with several organizations to get feedback of what is going on in different communities and creates an opportunity for minority leaders to meet and network and collaborate on projects to help eliminate health disparities and raise awareness. Partners include, but are not limited to:
- Indiana Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs
- Asian Services of Indiana
- Office of Refugee Health
- Marion County Ryan White Project
- Office of Minority Health
- Indiana Latino Institute
- Indiana Minority Health Coalition
- County/ Local Minority Health Coalitions
- American Indiana Center
- Marion County Minority Health Coalition
- St. Vincent Center for Cancer Care
- Clarian Cardiovascular Surgeons
- Fit City
- FSSA (Mental Health/ Aging)
- Social Status of Black Males
- Healthy East Chicago
- Allen County Health Disparities Coalition
- Physicians, Community Advocates, etc…
To Sweet for Your Own Good
Is a Diabetes Initiative that takes place in Marion County and Lake County. It is an all day conference were we along with national, state, and local partners, educate, empower, and equip diabetics, their care givers, and those interested in learning about the disease information regarding Diabetes Management.
National Association of State Offices of Minority Health’s Guiding Principles (NASOMH)
- Eliminate health disparity for affected communities and nations through vigilant monitoring, regulation, and investigation of the determinants of disease and injury.
- Build capacity of national, state and local government to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate high quality cultural competence standards in all domains of public health, including policy, funding and programs.
- Engage and empower affected communities and nations in innovative ways to support individual and community efforts.
ISDH-OMH adopted NASOMH’s Guiding Principles (established in November 2005) as a tool to guide the actions of the office. These actions include: eliminating Health Care Disparities through our commitment to encourage and promote health equity in all communities; building the capacity of national, state, and local government to develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate high quality cultural competence strategies for all domains of public health, including policy, funding, and programs; empowering communities by engaging and encouraging community involvement and decision making in communities of color, tribal organizations, and other nations to create innovative ways to support its communities; and encouraging commitment to the principle of community
responsibility and good stewardship to ensure accountability of both private and public funds by adhering to all laws, policies, and regulations.
Healthy Baby Begins With You Campaign
A Healthy Baby Begins with You – is a national campaign to raise awareness about infant mortality with an emphasis on the African American community - as one of our efforts to end health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. In Indiana, the infant mortality rate is more than doubled that of the state average. For African Americans, it is 18.2 per 1,000 live births. Indiana’s average infant mortality rate is 7.9 per 1,000 live births. (Indiana Mortality Report, 2006)
Two of our larger counties in Indiana had infant mortality rates for African Americans as high as some third world countries. (31.1 per 1,000 live births in Allen County/ 30.1 per 1,000 live births in St. Joseph County). With this increase, the ISDH-OMH is working with Indiana Maternity and Child Health Department to address infant mortality in these two counties and throughout Indiana. One of the programs we both promote and utilize is the health baby campaign initiative through the DHHS-OMH.
Indiana Minority Health Coalition (IMHC)
Through community partnership, grants and budgetary allocation from the state), the IN-OMH provides the funding to the IMHC to support the implementation of the legislatively mandated Minority Health Initiative. These dollars are used to support coalitions to provide some local health programs in communities throughout the state of Indiana. The IN-OMH also collaborates with IMHC to provide technical assistance and training to various faith-based and community-based organizations.
INside Out Student Challenge
Since January 2007 the project team has been working with the ISDH Coordinated School Health Program to offer minority students participating in INSight Youth Corps (Indiana’s Network of Students Inspiring Good Health Today) and PROMiSE the chance to participate in a new program called INside Out. The program is an optional, health education enrichment exercise. Students who participate will write, produce and direct one-minute INShape Indiana television commercials, radio spots, or jingles. The projects will promote INShape Indiana’s three focus areas of better nutrition, increased physical activity and avoiding tobacco.
Black & Minority Health Fair
By tracking self-reported race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, health behaviors and risk factors researchers can determine causative agents or reasons that morbidity, chronic illness, and mortality differ between particular racial and ethnic subgroups. This allows state health representatives to formulate programs to address these health disparities.
INShape Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair works towards raising public awareness of the health issues that disproportionately affect minorities. It works, by helping the state collect important data on at-risk populations. It works, by offering a wealth of information to pharmaceutical companies on how to better serve the minority community. And, most importantly, it works towards directly improving the health and well being of the Hoosiers who attend
Health Disparities Epidemiologist
The ISDH-OMH has been provided an epidemiologist that focuses primarily on minority health and health disparities. The health disparities epidemiologist serves as resource on minority population social issues and health data for Indiana and the United States for ISDH, other agencies, and individuals. Extracts, interpret,, and analyzes health data as requested from ISDH divisions, other state and local agencies, and individuals. Develops, implements, and analyzes evaluations and data for ISDH Office of Minority Health (OMH) for the Black and Minority Health Fair at Indiana Black Expo, Grants, Internal and external data request, and produces evaluations and reports.
Minority Health Report Card
The ISDH/OMH will start utilizing a state minority health report card. This report will be a vital tool for evaluating and promoting state policies to help eliminate health disparities. “Healing the Gap” is a major challenge facing Indiana and its neighboring states. Since the causes of health disparities are multifaceted, the recommendations and interventions designed to eliminate health disparities will require diverse strategies and approaches. The report card will rate the state on four broad measures:
A. Equity in insurance coverage between whites and minorities.
B. Establishment of a diverse health professions workforce.
C. Collection of health data with detailed race/ethnicity categories.
D. Creation of specific initiatives dedicated to reducing disparities.
State Master Minority Health Epidemiology Plan
Vision: Existence of a strong epidemiological research network to support efforts to eliminate health disparities.
Mission: Establish a consortium of key researchers to better understand and address the health disparities.
Develop a functioning inventory of data
Monitor prevalence, incidence and trends of health outcomes
Develop and test interventions and strategies to reduce disparities
Translate research findings into practice
Jointly apply for funding to address disparities
ISDH Chronic Disease Burden Report
OMH will be contributing to the Chronic Disease Burden Report by developing the Minority Health/ Health Disparities Section. To be released November 2009.
ISDH-OMH - The ISDH in conjunction with the Indiana Minority Health Coalition administers the Minority Health Initiatives funding. In addition, several key ISDH programs serve a significant number of minority clients such as Maternal and Child Health (MCH); Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and HIV/AIDS. The director uses her background in planning, developing, implementing and assessing curriculum and programs to focus the office’s efforts on the reduction of racial and ethnic disparities in Indiana’s health care system. Supporting staff includes: one administrative assistant, one contracted program coordinator, and one epidemiologist.