Office for Civil Rights
OCR Promising Practices: Grassroots Outreach Efforts to Reach African American Communities about Health Disparities, Race Discrimination, and Title VI
Report Completed May, 2006
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) educates and trains individuals and communities about rights and duties under the variety of civil rights laws we enforce. As part of this mission, OCR is engaged in efforts to promote equal access to health care and eliminate health disparities. Through its ten regional offices and two regional satellite offices, OCR reaches out to African American communities at the local level, to provide information on rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This report collects and describes examples of these activities, and then provides analysis of strategies used by OCR staff to identify and prioritize these outreach efforts, and includes recommendations for enhancing our work in this area.
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt's 500-day plan calls for the commitment of leadership and resources to: "Supporting community-based approaches to closing the healthcare gap, particularly among racial and ethnic minority populations... ." OCR's efforts to prevent and eliminate health disparities support this goal as well as a department-wide initiative, Healthy People 2010. HP2010 provides funding to community-based organizations for health education and other activities to eliminate disparities in priority areas such as infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, and mental health. OCR's work in grassroots and community outreach also furthers the goals and objectives of the HHS Strategic Plan FY 2004 � 2009, for promoting increased access to health care and eliminating health disparities. In providing information about rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to persons who may face healthcare access barriers due to discrimination, OCR outreach is an integral element of the HHS mission to eliminate health disparities.?
Promising Practice: Working with Churches and Faith-Based Organizations
OCR is working with black churches and faith-based organizations to provide outreach on Title VI race discrimination to African American communities. Working within this sector of our society has been an effective approach for outreach because: 1) an increasing number of faith-based organizations are devoting resources and staff to the issue of health disparities, and 2) the message of health disparities is welcome in many churches by ministries concerned with the high rate of health conditions that affect their congregation.
OCR Region 4 states that its best outreach to communities on Title VI and health disparities has been through black churches. Region 8 OCR says that its participation in a Denver-based Black Church Initiative, formed to decrease health disparities for African Americans, has been crucial to the region's efforts to reach out to African-American communities with information about civil rights. The following are examples of OCR activities provided by these and other OCR regional offices.
Region 2 in Traditional, Small Places of Worship:
OCR Region 2 has had good success in 2005 breaking ground and receiving invitations to meet with non-traditional, small places of worship, i.e., local community and sometimes store front churches or faith institutions. For example, the Southeast Queens Ecumenical Council invited Region 2 staff to three events this year, and has continued to request information on health disparities. As a result of these meetings, Region 2 has received calls seeking information on discrimination laws.
Region 4 Partnerships with African American Churches:
Region 4 OCR has cultivated long-standing relationships with African American churches and minority faith-based organizations, as well as partnerships at the state level to collaboratively reach and educate black churches. Through these efforts, Region 4 integrates civil rights and health disparities issues within the broader work of its partners who may be working to improve access to services or health status in African American communities. OCR Region 4 is currently involved in the following outreach activities:
Annual Church Symposium on Capitol Hill in Nashville: OCR Region 4 is part of the steering committee for this annual conference, in partnership with the Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus on Health Care and the Civil Rights Unit of the TennCare Bureau, the state's Medicaid agency. The symposium is an opportunity for black churches throughout the state to talk with their legislators. Region 4's involvement enables OCR to educate as many Black churches as possible in one setting on civil rights regarding nondiscriminatory access to health care. Each year, Region 4 assists the planning committee by providing outreach to black churches and technical assistance and training on health disparities issues.
Health Disparities Outreach in Partnership with TennCare: Region 4 OCR's partnership with TennCare, the Tennessee Medicaid program, evolved as a result of OCR's oversight of the Bureau and technical assistance in reaching communities of color less likely to seek benefits in the State's managed care system. Region 4 is working closely with TennCare to reach black churches throughout the state to educate their membership about racial and ethnic health disparities and the role of civil rights compliance activities in narrowing health disparities. Additionally, the regional office is developing plans, in conjunction with the state's Department of Health and the state's Civil Rights unit, to travel to Black churches throughout Tennessee to educate Black congregations about the Early Periodic Screening and Diagnostic Testing Program (EPSDTP) for children and young adolescents.
Training for Health and Outreach Ministries: OCR Region 4 has three projects underway with Flat Shoals United Methodist Church in Decatur, Georgia, the Atlanta Church of All Nations in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and the Common Ground Outreach Ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Through these projects, Region 4 OCR provides training for health and outreach ministries on the various civil rights authorities enforced by OCR, including OCR's enforcement of Title VI to reduce health disparities. A special emphasis is placed on civil rights challenges faced by persons with HIV/AIDS or substance abuse issues in need of health, social, and welfare services. The training and outreach efforts include information and contacts for assistance with housing, clothing and food.
National Family and Community Partnership Conference in Atlanta: OCR Region 4 participates on an ongoing basis in this annual conference's outreach to health ministries and provides guidance on how to develop nondiscriminatory "Promising Practices" in health-related and welfare services. This work exemplifies Region 4's ongoing collaboration with the Alliance of Black Churches, an organization that sponsors a faith-based initiative focused on selected health issues.
Regions 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 Presentations at Fairs and Conferences:
Regions 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 have reached black churches, faith-based organizations, church members, and community residents through participation in community fairs, health fairs, and conferences. OCR regional offices use these opportunities to sponsor information booths, disseminate information packets and fact sheets, participate in workshops, and network with community agencies to forge relationships that will result in future collaborative outreach activities similar to the following:
Bethel AME Church HIV/AIDS Disparities Workgroup: In 2006, Region 3 OCR established a new relationship with Bethel AME Church of Lancaster, PA. OCR participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the church's newly created risk reduction outreach team, UJIMA, to inform members of ways OCR can assist Lancaster's African-American community in confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through this effort, Region 3 fostered closer relationships with several community leaders and the regional office of Public Health and Science which are expected to lead to future collaborations to address African-American health disparities in Pennsylvania.
Cedar Park Presbyterian Church African American History Month Program: In 2006, OCR Region 3 participated in this Philadelphia church's annual program highlighting historical events in African American history. The office disseminated general education materials regarding OCR's purpose, authorities and initiatives as well as specific information about Title VI and health disparities issues. This program also provided Region 3 OCR with opportunities to network and build relationships with members of other local congregations and faith-based and grass roots organizations.
Beloved St. John Evangelistic Church Community Information Fair: In September 2005, OCR's Region 3 participated in this community information fair, held in Philadelphia's Logan Section, a predominately African American community. Feedback from the community and organizers was extremely positive. OCR staff has been invited to participate in next year's Annual Let's Love Logan Unity in the Community Festival.
Health Fair and Training Symposium: Zion Hill Baptist Church Health Ministry: Region 4 OCR is a standing member and participant in this Atlanta, Georgia annual health fair and training symposium for church members, community residents, health advocates, and professional associations. In addition to sponsoring an information booth and participating in roundtable discussions, OCR collaborates with Federal agencies such as the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and others, to provide a one-stop forum for communities to receive outreach material and information regarding the activities being undertaken by each agency to address racial/ethnic health disparities.
African American Churches & Health Annual Conference: In April 2002, OCR Region 6 participated in this Houston, Texas conference which reached faith-based organizations, state agencies, and advocacy groups. Region 6 disseminated information packets with OCR's fact sheets and conducted a workshop on health disparities.
St. Stephen's Baptist Church Health Fair: OCR Region 7 sponsored an information booth at this Kansas City, Missouri health fair which drew approximately 75 people, including church members and African American community residents.
Metro Denver Black Church Initiative and the Faith and Health Ministries Collaborative Health Fair: The Metro Denver Black Church Initiative's Faith and Health Ministries was launched in 2001 to actively improve the health status of and to decrease health disparities for African Americans in the Denver metro area. Through partnerships with black churches and major health education and delivery organizations, the Faith and Health Ministries promotes healthy behaviors and provides culturally appropriate health education and screenings to approximately 15,000 African Americans each year.
Region 8 OCR is regularly invited to participate in the Initiative's events, such as sponsoring a booth at the Faith and Health Ministries' Annual Collaborative Health Fair. In 2004, Region 8 attended the Initiative's conference, providing information and fact sheets to the participants. The dinner, with a keynote speech from Dr. Louis Sullivan on health disparities affecting African Americans, drew more than 500 attendees.
Promising Practice: Working with Community Groups, Local Task Forces, and Congressional Offices
OCR has partnered with community based organizations, coalitions, and networks to inform African American communities of their Title VI rights. Regional staff attends local fairs, town hall meetings, and planning meetings of organizations to provide information about OCR's work on health disparities and stay abreast of upcoming activities and issues.
Cherishing our Hearts and Souls, Black History Month: In February 2006, OCR Region 1 staffed a booth at the first annual Black History month event hosted by a local community based coalition. Cherishing our Hearts and Souls is a collaborative effort to improve the health of African Americans in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. The event titled, "The African-American Health Experience: Framing our Past and Claiming our Future," was attended by approximately 200 people. The guest speakers for the event were Drs. Michael Byrd and his wife Linda Clayton, authors of "An American Health Dilemma: Race, Medicine, and Health Care in the U.S. 1900-2000."
Congressional District Town Hall Meeting: OCR Region 5 participates annually in the 7th Congressional District's Town Hall Meeting in Chicago held by Congressman Danny K. Davis. According to the Census 2000, the district includes 175,000 people living at or below the poverty level, and 65 percent of its residents are African American. The Region 5 office is located within this Congressional district. Over 1000 people attend the event each year which provides the Region with a good opportunity to increase its visibility by organizing workshops and exhibitions.
African American Health Coalition's Annual Wellness Village: The African American Health Coalition engages in advocacy, research, and health education and promotion, with a focus on health disparities issues, in the Portland, Oregon area. Their annual Wellness Village, held recently at the Boys and Girls Center, a location conveniently accessible to the African American community, is attended by 400-500 Portland-area residents, community leaders, and health care professionals. Along with more than 50 organizations, OCR staffs an information booth and provides information and packets to residents and community groups. OCR Region 10 received its first invitation to the Wellness Village three years ago from the regional HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH).
Black Community Health Task Force on King Drew Medical Center: In 2003, this task force composed of community residents, health facility consumers, Black community groups, and hospital staff convened a number of meetings to discuss Los Angeles County's proposed closure or reduction of services at King Drew Medical Center, a facility built to serve the local Black community. OCR Region 9 was invited and participated in two meetings to listen to concerns of the task force and to explain OCR's jurisdiction.
Town Hall Forum on Black Women and HIV/AIDS: In April 2003, Region 9 OCR spoke at this Town Hall Forum in Los Angeles co-sponsored by the California Black Women's Health Project (CBWHP) and the Minority AIDS Project. CBWHP is funded to address the health concerns of Black women, including those with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. Region 9 distributed fact sheets and complaint forms and described its jurisdiction and complaint process. At least 50 people attended the town hall forum, including service providers, advocates, and at least 35 Black women with HIV, a remarkable turnout.
African-Americans Building a Legacy of Health (AABLH) Progress Meetings: The African-Americans Building a Legacy of Health coalition, a grassroots project of Community Health Councils, receives funding from HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) 2010 Initiative to improve health care access and outcomes for African Americans living in three target areas: south and southwest Los Angeles, north Long Beach, and east Inglewood. AABLH's campaign convenes individuals and organizations working to reduce disparities in cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Region 9 OCR occasionally attends AABLH's quarterly progress update meetings to listen to the coalition's concerns and explain OCR's jurisdiction and enforcement process.
Promising Practice: Major Forums Hosted by OCR
OCR hosts major forums to bring attention to the issue of health disparities. Often organized in collaboration with Federal, state, and local partners, forums have enabled OCR to engage consumers, patients, community-based organizations, health care providers, and health care advocates. In addition to providing information on OCR's role in addressing health disparities, these forums encourage more in-depth discussion and exchange of research findings, resources, promising practices, and recommendations.
Region 5 OCR hosted a dynamic and groundbreaking symposium entitled, "Zero Health Disparities: Building Capacity through Empowerment." Each year, OCR Region 8 partners with Federal and state agencies in hosting a health disparities forum.
Zero Health Disparities: Building Capacity through Empowerment: OCR Region 5 collaborated with HHS' Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and Office of Minority Health (OMH), the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Healthcare Consortium, the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, and the Minority Health Association to present this symposium in Chicago in May 2004. The day and a half event was organized to: (a) share research and resources that address racial disparities in health; (b) discuss potential civil rights implications of health disparities; (c) share promising practices at local, state and national levels; and (d) facilitate networking, enabling participants to replicate successes.
The symposium was born out of the OCR's review of the landmark report, "Unequal Treatment," which was commissioned by Congress and released by the Institute of Medicine in April 2002. The report assessed research into differences in the types and quality of health care received by racial and ethnic minorities and non-minorities and provided a blueprint for mitigating racial and ethnic health disparities. Because the report's contents were not widely known within the healthcare community or the general public, Region 5 OCR decided to conduct the symposium. With a keynote speaker and community-based, state and national presenters of best practices, the conference was attended by 129 individuals.
Roundtable Discussion on Kidney Transplant Disparities: OCR Region 5 organized a roundtable discussion in April 2001 in Chicago, and presented preliminary findings of its study of racial disparities in kidney transplantation. OCR's presentation addressed the high incidence of renal failure in African American communities, the low rate at which African Americans are placed on waiting lists for kidney transplants, the length of time African Americans must wait to receive kidney transplants, and the quality of life of African Americans who undergo renal dialysis. During breakout sessions, participants discussed preliminary recommendations proposed by OCR, and reported their own recommendations for next steps to address each of the four areas.
Over 60 people attended the discussion, including kidney patients, representatives of interested community groups, the National Kidney Foundation, transplant surgeons, dialysis staff, social workers, the Chicago Transit Authority and others involved in the transportation of patients to and from dialysis centers, researchers, and staff from OCR and other HHS components, including CMS, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Regional Health Administrator, and Regional Director's Office.
National Minority Donor Awareness Day Exhibition: Since August 2002, OCR Region 5 has partnered with the African American Task Force of the Gift of Hope, formerly the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois, the Illinois Kidney Foundation, and the Illinois Secretary of State's Office in organizing the "National Minority Donor Awareness Day" Exhibition. The display, in the atrium of the Thompson Building in Chicago, provides information on the process of organ donation and its benefits to raise visibility in the public of the dire need for minority organ and tissue donation.
Annual and Bi-annual Health Disparities Forums: OCR Region 8 sponsored its first health disparities conference in 2000, which became an annual event due to its success and the partnerships formed with community-based organizations and other Federal and State agencies. By 2002, the conference had become a two-day event that included regional as well as national speakers. In 2003 the planning committee determined it would hold bi-annual conferences. In September 2004, OCR, together with Federal, State and advocacy civil rights organizations, co-sponsored a successful half-day Civil Rights Summit in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The range of topics was expanded but still addressed health disparities. Partners have begun planning for the 2006 summit. Although events are not sponsored each year, current and former partners continue to seek OCR's participation in health disparities related activities.
OCR Civil Rights Forums: In 2001 and 2002, OCR Region 9 staff organized civil rights forums in Los Angeles and San Diego which drew members of the public, community based organizations, advocates, and HHS recipients. The forums were an opportunity to increase awareness of OCR's issues, including its role in eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.
Promising Practice: Participation in State and Local Health Disparities Conferences
OCR regional office staff attend state and local health disparities conferences which reach community residents, patients, grassroots and faith-based groups, as well as Federal and State partners, and health care professionals. For example, the Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural Medicine hosted a Summit in New York in May 2005 attended by OCR in which over 60 percent of the participants were non-government and non-research affiliated.
Health Summit: This conference, sponsored by the Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural Medicine in May 2005, was the first health disparities conference in New York in which over 60 percent of its participants was non-government and non-research affiliated. Attendees came from four public housing projects, seven store-front churches, three sororities, the Masons, three community health networks, three senior citizens organizations, two county child and family services agencies, the Balm in Gilead, the American Cancer, Heart Associations and the Queens HIV Care Network. OCR Region 2 served as a panelist at the conference, and met a wide range of neighborhood community organizations beginning their first involvement in health disparities issues. OCR's invitation to serve as a panelist came as a direct result of its involvement with two store-front churches.
California REACH 2010 Conferences: Each year since 2000, a coalition of California grantees of the HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) 2010 initiative has organized a statewide conference to build the state's capacity to address health disparities among racial and ethnic communities. At the conference, which brings together the coalition's grantees and partners, OCR Region 9 has participated in workshop panels and staffed exhibit booths. The conference presents an opportunity for stakeholders to seek assistance from OCR and OCR's regional staff maintains ongoing communication with staff from a number of the REACH 2010 grantees and partners.
Local conference on HIV/AIDS in communities of color: In September 2005 in Marlborough, Massachusetts, OCR Region 1 participated in a small, local conference focused on HIV/AIDS in communities of color, titled "Bringing it Home-Mobilizing and Creating Change." Region 1 presented a workshop to eight representatives from faith-based and local organizations as well as health care providers. Workshop participants shared stories about the challenges faced when working with immigrant and African American populations on the issues of HIV/AIDS and Title VI. One such challenge is the fear and distrust that many have of government agencies.
Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved: In 2005, OCR Region 8 participated in the Eighth Annual Caring for Colorado's Medically Underserved conference, held in Denver. OCR presented a workshop on health disparities and sponsored an information booth. A notable outcome was the formation of a partnership between OCR, Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment, and Colorado's law schools to collaboratively plan a health disparities and legal issues forum.
OK Department of Health Conference on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities: In May 2002, OCR Region 6's Regional Manager gave the keynote address at this conference held in Oklahoma City, highlighting OCR's role in eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities in areas identified in the Healthy People 2010 goals. The conference reached approximately 150 advocates, students, and health providers, each of whom received a packet of materials. Many people approached the Regional Manager after the keynote with questions and suggestions on ways to work with OCR.
Black Bag Medicine Foundation's 4th Annual Symposium, "Doing What It Takes to Eliminate Health Disparities": The Black Bag Medicine Foundation in New Orleans, founded by a local physician, recognizes the need to develop health professionals from minority, underserved, and uninsured communities. At the annual symposium, OCR Region 6 presented on OCR's efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. The symposium drew 200 people, including students from medical schools, universities, and high schools, as well as health professionals, representatives from state agencies, and state legislators.
2nd Annual Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Conference: This conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, co-hosted by community members, community-based organizations, and State agencies in February 2005, reached approximately 150 participants, including people living with HIV/AIDS, community leaders, service providers, policy makers, public officials, and funders. OCR Region 6 served on the welcoming committee, and addressed the audience with information on OCR's mission, jurisdictional authorities, and role in HHS' Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities. OCR staff distributed fact sheets to participants and established contacts with several organizations.
Promising Practice: Building Federal and State Partnerships to Reduce Health Disparities
Federal and state agencies play a key role in informing OCR's regional offices about grassroots outreach efforts. OCR regional offices report that the regional HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and Office of Women's Health are important resources for information on community events, conferences, and health disparities-related research. Many regional OCR offices actively foster relationships with government agencies that lead to the development of collaborative health disparities initiatives. For example, OCR Region 6's involvement in New Mexico's HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Group, an initiative to increase capacity throughout the state to provide prevention and treatment to people of color with HIV/AIDS, was a result of the region's efforts to initiate discussions with the Deputy Regional Health Administrator and OMH State Directors on ways to collaboratively address health disparities.
To increase awareness of OCR's role in reducing health disparities, regional offices also focus on educating agency partners. In 2003, OCR Region 5 conducted health disparities presentations for each of the HHS operating divisions in the region: the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and Administration on Aging (AoA).
OCR regional offices partner with universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, medical and public health schools, and centers/institutes established to address minority health or health disparities. A growing number of universities are conducting research on minority health and health disparities and establishing strong ties to grassroots minority communities. For example, the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Minority Health enlists the help of local church leaders and barbershops in African American neighborhoods in its health promotion and education programs, an approach utilized during HHS' 2004 "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Examples of Partnerships with the HHS Office of Minority Health:
Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day: OCR regional offices participate in this one- day campaign which occurs annually on the third Tuesday of each September. The campaign encourages individuals to visit a health professional, make an appointment for a visit, attend a health event in the community or help a friend, neighbor or family member do the same. In 2004, the campaign brought health care professionals, health fairs and screenings, and health information to African American communities across the country. The events were held at community health centers, barbershops and beauty salons, shopping malls and local parks, and included the participation of many federal and community partners.
New Mexico HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Group and Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Conference: In 2004, OCR Region 6 met with the Deputy Regional Health Administrator to discuss efforts to address health disparities in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas. Region 6 OCR was invited to participate in a conference call with the Office of Minority Health's (OMH) State Directors and presented information on OCR's jurisdictions and potential ways to work together. Subsequently, Region 6 has been asked to participate in a number of planning efforts, and is a partner with OMH and the state of New Mexico in an initiative to build capacity throughout the state to provide prevention and treatment to people of color with HIV/AIDS. New Mexico's HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Group, which includes the Office of African American Affairs, First Nation Community Healthsource, the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, and the People of Color AIDS Foundation, plans to organize a series of town hall meetings throughout the state. Additionally, OCR Region 6 is serving on a committee to plan a health disparities conference in New Mexico.
Examples of Partnerships with the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA):
Planning meeting on reducing health disparities: In April 2002, OCR Region 6 participated in a meeting held in Austin, Texas and convened by the HRSA Dallas Field Office's Texas Team. During the meeting, HRSA, OCR, the HHS Administration for Children and Families, the Environmental Protection Agency, state organizations, and community organizations discussed ways to increase access to care and reduce health disparities through partnerships between with federal, state and local organizations. The discussion focused on three areas: 1) workforce issues (e.g., the designation of clinical provider shortage areas, Centers for Excellence models, the use of Bureau of Health Professions assignees); 2) strategies to improve access and reduce health disparities (e.g., increasing treatment locations and distribution centers, "Models that Work" implemented by the Texas Association of Community Health Centers and the Texas Primary Care Association); and 3) integrating Federal, State, and local resources.
Health Fair: Samuel Rodgers Community Health Center: Each year, OCR Region 7 sponsors an information booth at the annual health fair of this community health center in Kansas City, Missouri. The health fair aims to improve the health status of African Americans living in the urban core of the city and to reduce health disparities. The health center conducts outreach to the African American community through radio announcements and ads in weekly newspapers. Community residents receive free health screens and information. Approximately 200 persons visit OCR's booth, speak with OCR staff regarding their civil rights and OCR initiatives, and take home OCR fact sheets. The health fair is also an opportunity for OCR to network with Federal, State and local community organizations and professional associations.
Examples of Partnerships with the HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) 2010: This program, one of CDC's initiatives to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health, is designed to eliminate disparities in six health areas: cardiovascular disease, immunizations, breast and cervical cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and infant mortality. The racial and ethnic groups targeted by the program are African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders. REACH 2010 funds community coalitions to design, implement, and evaluate community-driven strategies to eliminate health disparities, including: education on disease prevention for health care providers, health education and health promotion programs using lay health workers to reach community members, and health communications campaigns.
In 2003 and 2004, OCR Region 9 participated in the California REACH 2010 conference by attending workshops, staffing exhibit booths, distributing written information, and talking with conference participants. Region 9 OCR maintains communication with staff from a number of the REACH 2010 grantees and partners, and occasionally attends community coalition progress meetings.
Example of a Regional Health Disparities Training:
In 2003, OCR Region 5 conducted health disparities presentations for each of the HHS operating divisions in the Region: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Administration on Aging (AoA) to inform and educate staff about the role of civil rights in addressing health disparities. Approximately 30-45 attendees participated in each of the presentations and all team members received excellent feedback concerning the relevance and perceived benefits of the presentations to their work.