Monday, May 23, 2016

Webinar: Advancing Preconception Health in Communities

Webinar Presenters:
Sarah Verbiest -, Executive Director, UNC Center for Maternal & Infant Health and Senior Advisor, The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative(PCHHC)Suzanne Woodward, Communications Manager, The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative(PCHHC)
OMH Resource Center logo. blue green and grey lines.
Webinar Title: Advancing Preconception Health in Communities: Launching the First National Consumer Preconception Health Resource & Campaign

Webinar Detail: May 27 @2 pm EDT
The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC), a national public-private partnership of over 70 organizations working to promote preconception wellness and life planning, will be launching Show Your Love, the first national consumer preconception resource and social campaign this summer. Show Your Love encourages young adults and their support systems to show love to themselves, their loved ones, and future families by educating themselves about optimal preconception health practices and taking an active role in their health and wellness. The campaign is designed to activate men and women of reproductive age, who do not wish to enter pregnancy, are undecided, or currently planning to become pregnant.

During this webinar, Sarah and Suzanne will share best practices and key learnings from teaming up with organizations nationwide to launch the first national preconception health resource and campaign. They will introduce the Show Your Love Ambassador Program, which will be launching during the formal campaign launch this summer. Webinar attendees are eligible to nominate themselves or others to join the Ambassador Program.

View Sarah and Suzanne’s bios here: 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HHS finalizes rule to improve health equity under the Affordable Care Act

Final rule prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability; enhances language assistance for individuals with limited English proficiency; and protects individuals with disabilities

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today issued a final rule to advance health equity and reduce health care disparities. Under the rule, individuals are protected from discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping. In addition to implementing Section 1557’s prohibition on sex discrimination, the final rule also enhances language assistance for people with limited English proficiency and helps to ensure effective communication for individuals with disabilities. The protections in the final rule and Section 1557 regardingindividuals’ rights and the responsibilities of many health insurers, hospitals, and health plans administered by or receiving federal funds from HHS build on existing federal civil rights laws to advance protections for underserved, underinsured, and often excluded populations.

The Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities final rule implements Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which is the first federal civil rights law to broadly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded health programs. Previously, civil rights laws enforced by HHS’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) broadly barred discrimination based only on race, color, national origin, disability, or age.

“A central goal of the Affordable Care Act is to help all Americans access quality, affordable health care.  Today’s announcement is a key step toward realizing equity within our health care system and reaffirms this Administration's commitment to giving every American access to the health care they deserve," said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

The final rule helps consumers who are seeking to understand their rights and clarifies the responsibilities of health care providers and insurers that receive federal funds. The final rule also addresses the responsibilities of issuers that offer plans in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Among other things, the final rule prohibits marketing practices or benefit designs that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The final rule also prohibits discriminatory practices by health care providers, such as hospitals that accept Medicare or doctors who participate in the Medicaid program. 

The final rule prohibits the sex discrimination in health care including by:
  • Requiring that women must be treated equally with men in the health care they receive.  Other provisions of the ACA bar certain types of sex discrimination in insurance, for example by prohibiting women from being charged more than men for coverage.  Under Section 1557, women are protected from discrimination not only in the health coverage they obtain but in the health services they seek from providers. 
  • Prohibiting denial of health care or health coverage based on an individual’s sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping.
It also includes important protections for individuals with disabilities and enhances language assistance for people with limited English proficiency including by:
  • Requiring covered entities to make electronic information and newly constructed or altered facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities and to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities.
  • Requiring covered entities to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to individuals with limited English proficiency.  Covered entities are also encouraged to develop language access plans.
While the final rule does not resolve whether discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation status alone is a form of sex discrimination under Section 1557, the rule makes clear that OCR will evaluate complaints that allege sex discrimination related to an individual’s sexual orientation to determine if they involve the sorts of stereotyping that can be addressed under 1557. HHS supports prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination as a matter of policy and will continue to monitor legal developments on this issue.

The final rule states that where application of any requirement of the rule would violate applicable Federal statutes protecting religious freedom and conscience, that application will not be required.

For more information about Section 1557, including factsheets on key provisions and frequently asked questions, visit

To learn more about non-discrimination and health information privacy laws, your civil rights, and privacy rights in health care and human service settings, and to find information on how to file a complaint, visit us

Follow OCR on Twitter at

RWJF funding opportunity

Improving community health seems like it would make good business sense for businesses with a stake in the communities around them—but does it?

We’re looking to better understand how businesses can create healthier communities––both within and beyond corporate walls. We know that investing resources into building healthier communities can be good business, but need to build the evidence base of how and why.

Up to $2 million in funding will be awarded, with individual grants up to $250,000 for studies ranging from 12-28 months.

Submission deadline: June 14, 2016
Learn more about the funding opportunity and register for an informational webinar 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

22nd National Health Equity Research Webcast

22nd nherw graphicPlease join us for the 22nd National Health Equity Research Webcast

Political Power, Policy, and Health Equity
Tuesday, June 7, 20161:30-4:00pm EDT
Presenter panel
·         Malia Villegas, Director, National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center
  • Lydia Camarillo, Vice-President, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP)
  • Thomas Ross, President Emeritus, The University of North Carolina, Professor of Public Law and Government, UNC; Terry Sanford Distinguished Fellow, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy (Moderator)
This free, interactive session will be broadcast with a live audience in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Social Work and can be viewed over the internet (webcast). Please register (free) to attend in person or view online.

For more information on the speakers, ways to participate, sponsor, or register:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Utah Peer Conference: Recovery Works 2016

Utah Peer Conference

Recovery Works 2016
"Uniting Our Voices"

June 10, 2016
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Lunch provided

Salt Lake Community College Student Center
4600 Redwood Rd, Taylorsville, Utah 84123

PEER is someone who has used mental health or substance use services for themselves or a loved one in Utah. Often PEERS also identify as advocates of improving the behavioral health system.

Register at

Hosted by Latino Behavioral Health Services
Conference will be interpreted in Spanish

Utah's Annual Juneteenth Festival

Renewing our Strength in Mind, Body, Spirit
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June 17-18
noon to 9 pm
Weber State University, Bell Tower

Family centered festivity with live entertainment, soul food, vendors, health screening, games for all ages.


Save the Date: First Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition, Sept. 26-27, 2016 , Prior Lake , Minnesota

Seeds of Native Health
A Campaign for Indigenous Nutrition

This conference presents a first-of-its-kind opportunity to share knowledge which can lead to improved nutritional outcomes within Native communities.

Tribal leaders, Native and non-Native practitioners, researchers, public health experts, and others are invited to:

  • Exchange Indigenous and academic scientific knowledge
  • Discuss current practices
  • Listen to, connect with, and learn from each other
  • Candidly explore ways to overcome the existing obstacles to greater understanding

Additionally, the conference aims to identify new areas of potential research, practical application, advocacy, and collaboration on Native dietary health and food systems. 

September 26-27, 2016
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Prior Lake, Minnesota