Friday, September 30, 2016

You're invited: Celebrating 100 years of the Utah State Capitol!

In October, our beautiful State Capitol turns 100 years old. To celebrate, the Capitol Preservation Board will host several free programs during the week of October 3-8. Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and I will take part in the festivities and we invite you and your family to attend any of the following free events on your own time:
  1. Displaying Capitol Open HouseOctober 3-79:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Explore the Capitol during extended tour hours, listen to performances by school children and cultural groups in the Rotunda and view rare historical artifacts on display throughout the Capitol. Walk-ins welcome.
  2. Capitol Discovery DayOctober 8, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Learn about the Capitol's 100-year history through hands-on arts and crafts in the Hall of Governors. Activities include a scavenger hunt, geodesic dome construction, paper floor mosaics and more! All ages welcome, activity supplies limited and on a first come-first serve basis.
  3. Commemorating a Century GalaOctober 8, 6:00 p.m. Celebrate the 'People's House' with an evening similar to the dedication 100 years ago. Enjoy a formal program in the Rotunda with Gov. Gary R. Herbert, Lt. Governor Cox and legislative leadership, followed by refreshments in the Hall of Governors and a dance exhibition. Attire: Business dress or period clothing.
I hope you can join in the fun! Thank you for your hard work to ensure Utah remains the best place to live, to work and to raise a family.
Gary R. Herbert

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Capacity Building Webinar Series

OMH Resource Center logo. blue green and grey lines.

Why All the Excitement about Logic Models? 
October 3
2:00-3:00 PM EDT

Organizations are increasingly putting logic models to work to define, plan, implement and evaluate their efforts in ways that demonstrate impact to funding partners. Learn how to use logic models to effectively convey your vision for success to potential funders. The webinar will include:
• An overview of logic models
• Applying logic models in funding applications and evaluations
• Using SMART objectives
Sample logic model designs will be provided.

SAVE THE DATE! Getting to Know the Federal Government and Funding Opportunities 
October 17
2:00-3:00 PM EDT
Registration opening soon

Join OMHRC experts to hear about best practices in responding to federal funding opportunity announcements — as identified by federal partners — and where to find the latest funding opportunities.

2016 Grief and the Holidays

We are pleased to announce the date and details for Grief and the Holidays. Grief and the Holidays is Caring Connections’ yearly community education program to assist grieving persons in preparing for and navigating the holiday season. This year’s event, “In the Bleak Midwinter: Finding Hope” will feature Natalie McCullough, an interfaith chaplain who will address her many losses, and popular pianist and America’s Got Talent contestant Josh Wright. 

Grief and the Holidays will be held Tuesday, November 1 at 7PM at the University of Utah College of Nursing Annette Poulson Cumming Building, 10 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City. The event is free and open to the public, parking is provided. For questions, please call 801-585-9522.

We are grateful for the support of Larkin Mortuary as we offer Grief and the Holidays this November.

Monday, September 26, 2016

OMH Grantees: Accelerating Health Equity on the Front Lines

J. Nadine Gracia
Achieving a nation free of disparities in health and health care extends beyond the walls of federal offices. As we deepen our reach into this current era of public health, we step into an age of a greater understanding of the factors upon which better health is built—the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age. This knowledge underscores our goal in building stronger relationships and alliances that achieve better health outcomes for all communities by bolstering the efforts of our partners.

Take for instance Oakland, CA, where minority male youth are benefiting from one of the funding opportunities that the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) awards to develop and implement health programs and activities across the nation. Our grantee, Youth Alive, is implementing innovative community policing approaches through a public health framework that help improve the health and well-being of communities of color through the Minority Youth Violence Prevention initiative. This program, and others like it, reflects the heart of our work in strengthening the capacity of community-serving organizations in their efforts to reduce health disparities in ways that address the social determinants of health.

OMH and our partners continue to stand at the forefront of responding to the needs of the community and driving monumental advancements in programs, policies, data and research. Together, over the past 30 years we have led health equity efforts at the grassroots level and seen these efforts through from recommendation to implementation. Since 1986, our office has provided tangible support to state and territorial offices of minority health, multicultural health and health equity; community and faith-based organizations; national associations and organizations; institutions of higher education; tribes and tribal organizations; and research institutions dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities.

HHS OMH grantees are committed to developing strategies that provide minority and underrepresented students with a foundation to pursue successful careers in health professions; connect minorities and underserved populations to health insurance coverage and quality, affordable care; implement tailored state-level community interventions designed to address the most pressing disparities, including HIV/AIDS; fight against lupus, a chronic, autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minority populations; and many others.

The need to accelerate our efforts in innovative approaches to improve minority health remains evident by the persistent gaps in health and health care across communities of color, consequently leading to poorer health outcomes.

Most recently, OMH funded three new grant programs in 2016 totaling more than $7 million to support public health initiatives that impact lives across the nation. Through these efforts, we aim to improve health outcomes for minority and/or disadvantaged young people in transition from jail to their communities; promote healthy behaviors among minority and/or disadvantaged youth at-risk for poor health and life outcomes due to childhood trauma; and continue our work in reducing lupus-related health disparities.

We recognize the importance of partnerships with communities and organizations in closing the gap on health disparities and achieving better health. And as we support the work of these health equity champions, we also create a future where the intersection of health and social condition serves as the crucial nexus for ending health disparities in America.

J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director, Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

National Conversation on the Opioid Crisis in Women

Main Header

Join the National Conversation on the Opioid Crisis in Women
Join us online Thursday and Friday, September 29–30, 2016, to be part of the national conversation on the opioid crisis in women. Use the hashtag #OWHOpioidSummit on Twitter and watch the webcast at to participate. We will be live tweeting the meeting on @womenshealth.
In response to the increasing impact of the opioid crisis on women, we are convening a national conversation to examine the unique prevention, treatment, and recovery issues for women who use, abuse, or overdose on opioids. This meeting will build upon the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary’s opioid initiative, examining the unique and specific needs of women in the context of that epidemic. We will bring together policy experts, program staff, researchers, clinicians, and women with lived experience to foster a national conversation on best policies and practices to address these growing challenges.
Date: September 29–30, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
Webcast link:
Follow us on Twitter: #OWHOpioidSummit 

Update Call on Zika

Please join Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor at the White House Amy Pope, on Monday, September 26th at 2:00 pm ET to hear updates on the President’s plan to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus at home and abroad, as well as an update on CDC guidance.
WHEN: Monday, September 26th at 2:00 pm ET

RSVP: Use this link to RSVP for the call.  For closed captioning, please visit this website and use code 3054517.

This call is off the record and for engagement purposes only.

Bess Evans
Senior Associate Director and Senior Policy Advisor
White House Office of Public Engagement
White House Domestic Policy Council

Secular Changes in Physical Education Attendance Among U.S. High School Students, YRBS 1991–2013

CDC 24/7 - Saving Lives, Protecting People, Saving Money., the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA) released “Secular Changes in Physical Education Attendance Among U.S. High School Students, YRBS 1991–2013.” This report can be found on the NPAPA website at

This report provides data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which has monitored priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults among high school students biennially since 1991. This report focuses on trends over time in physical education participation.

Report’s Key Messages:

  • Between 1991 and 2013, U.S. high school students’ participation in school-based physical education classes remained stable, but at a level much lower than the national recommendation of daily physical education. Across the 22-year period, it was consistently observed that one-half of students did not attend physical education classes at the time they were surveyed.
  • The proportion of high school students attending physical education on a daily basis declined from 1991 to 1995 and, since then, has remained stable at approximately one-third of students nationwide.
  • Attendance in physical education classes decreases steadily from 9th to 12th grade. Although attendance in physical education was greatest among 9th grade students, that percentage declined from 75% to 64% between 1991 and 2013. However, during this period, there were increases in attendance by 11th and 12th grade students.
  • Across the 22-year period, consistently more male students than females students reported attending physical education classes, with the average percentages being 57% versus 49%.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Utilizing Philanthropic Efforts to Create Career Opportunities

OMH Resource Center logo. blue green and grey lines.

Utilizing Philanthropic Efforts to Create Career Opportunities  
Join us for a webinar on Sep 22, 2016 at 3:00 PM EDT.

This webinar will focus on encouraging college students to use their philanthropic efforts and interests during their collegiate career to serve as a catalyst for creating sustainable and fulfilling career opportunities. Dr. Nakeitra Burse will describe her journey to becoming an entrepreneur while serving as a champion and servant in the field of public health. This webinar will also challenge students to compare and contrast their educational and career trajectory with their interests and skills, in an effort to encourage the pursuit of a career that not only provides financial stability, but more importantly, a sense of fulfillment.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Friday, September 16, 2016

New data show major improvements in health care access, affordability, and quality in Utah under the Affordable Care Act

cid:image001.gif@01D20E85.E7C8EE30U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New data show major improvements in health care access, affordability, and quality in Utah under the Affordable Care Act
Utah families saved $1,900 from slower growth in employer premiums since 2010

New studies released this week show Utahns are experiencing slower growth in health care premiums, increased access to coverage, and higher quality of care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

·         More Affordable: The average premium for families with employer-sponsored health plans grew just 3.4 percent in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust survey, extending a period of unusually slow growth since 2010. The White House Council of Economic Advisers calculates that the average family premium in Utah was $1,900 lower in 2015 than if premiums had grown at the same rate as the pre-ACA decade.

·         Greater Access: Only 10.5 percent of people in Utah went uninsured in 2015, new Census data show, down from 15.3 percent in 2010. That dramatic drop means 143,000 more Utahns had coverage in 2015.

·         Better Quality: Hospital readmissions for Utah Medicare beneficiaries dropped 5.7 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to new data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In 2015, that drop translates into 261 times Utah Medicare beneficiaries avoided an unnecessary return to the hospital. 

“Affordability, access, and quality are how we measure success in the health care system,” said Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. “This week’s data show Utah is making progress on all three under the Affordable Care Act.”

Making Health Care More Affordable for Utah Consumers

An independent analysis released this morning by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that the average family premium for the 150 million Americans with employer-sponsored health plans increased by only 3.4 percent in 2016. Since 2010, the average family premium has increased an average of 4.7 percent per year, compared to 7.9 percent from 2000 to 2010 – a 40 percent reduction in growth.

Workers’ contributions to premiums have also increased an average of 4.7 percent per year since 2010, compared to 9.5 percent during the previous decade. Meanwhile, another Kaiser study found that total enrollee cost sharing (counting deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) increased an average of 4.1 percent per year from 2010-2014, compared to 7.1 percent from 2004-2010.

Using data from both the Kaiser Family Foundation Survey and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the White House Council of Economic Advisers analyzed how the slowdown in premium growth has benefited families in Utah. Between 2010 and 2015, family premiums for the 1,897,000 Utahns with employer-sponsored coverage grew an average of 4.9 percent per year, compared to 7.2 percent from 2000 to 2010. That slowdown saved Utah families $1,900 in 2015. If Utah premiums grew at the national average of 3.4 percent for 2016, those savings will grow to $2,600.

Other metrics of health care cost growth have also slowed sharply since the ACA was enacted. For example, health care prices have grown at the slowest rates in 50 years, and Medicare spent $473 billion less from 2009 to 2014 than it would have if previous spending trends had continued. As independent experts have noted, the ACA has contributed to the health care cost slowdown through Medicare provider payment reforms that have had spillover benefits for the rest of the health care system; through direct incentives for health care providers to improve quality and reduce costs, for example by reducing hospital readmissions and hospital-acquired infections; and by laying the groundwork for more fundamental delivery system reform

Expanding Access to Coverage in Utah

Last week, new data showed that the national uninsured rate fell to a record low of 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, following the Health Insurance Marketplace’s third open enrollment season. Yesterday, the Census Bureau released its first detailed data on how the ACA’s coverage expansions have benefited Utah in 2015. Utah’s uninsured rate was 10.5 percent in 2015, a sharp reduction from the 15.3 percent the same survey showed for Utah in 2010.

The dramatic drop in the uninsured rate means that 143,000 more Utahns had coverage in 2015. That increase reflects the combined effects of the ACA’s coverage reforms, including the creation of the Health Insurance Marketplace, tax credits that help families afford coverage, the end of coverage exclusions for people with pre-existing conditions, and letting young adults remain enrolled on their parents’ plans. But if Utah followed 31 other states and adopted the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, an additional 83,000 Utah residents would gain coverage, according to Urban Institute estimates. In 2015, that would have brought Utah’s uninsured rate to 7.7 percent.

These gains are on top of other improvements in access to coverage and care for Utah residents thanks to the ACA. For example, no matter where they get their health insurance, consumers now have access to free preventive services, and their plans now have limits on out-of-pocket costs and no annual or lifetime limits on coverage.

Improving the Quality of Care for Utah Patients

Beyond gains in affordability and access, the ACA is also helping deliver better outcomes for patients. For example, hospital readmission rates have fallen sharply as new incentives put in place by the ACA took effect. New data released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that hospital readmissions dropped by 5.7 percent for Utah Medicare beneficiaries since 2010. That means that Utah Medicare beneficiaries avoided 261 readmissions just in 2015, compared to if readmissions had stayed constant at 2010 rates.  

Programs that prevent unneeded readmissions are just one part of the Administration’s broader strategy to improve the health care delivery system by paying providers based on the results they achieve, unlocking health care data, and finding new ways to coordinate care and improve quality. Thanks primarily to the ACA, more than 30 percent of traditional, or fee-for-service, Medicare payments now flow through alternative payment models that reward quality over quantity. This is helping to catalyze a system-wide shift toward better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.

While the impact of these changes will grow over time, health care quality has already improved since the ACA was enacted. For example, since 2010, the rate of patient harm in U.S. hospitals has fallen by 17 percent. Cumulatively since 2010, this translates into 2.1 million avoided patient harms, like infections and medication errors, an estimated 87,000 avoided deaths, and over $20 billion in savings.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Salt Lake County Mayor's Diversity Dinner

Salt Lake County Mayor's Diversity Dinner

SAVE THE DATE - October 17th 
Salt Lake County’s Diversity Dinner
1355 West 3100 South – West Valley City



A few people having dinner can build positive relationships, establish cross-cultural communications and acknowledge our similarities. Since 2007, Salt Lake County’s Diversity Affairs Office has hosted a dinner to celebrate its community’s rich diversity. 

The goal of the Diversity Dinner is to bring individuals of diverse backgrounds together to promote understanding, increase positive interactions within the community and build respect for one another as well as celebrate our similarities. 

In addition to sharing a meal, guests share their own experiences throughout the night with other participants at their table. Moderator’s present questions to be answered and at the end of the meal a call-to-action is presented to those in attendance. 

The dinner is offered at no cost to the general public, however, you must register to attend.  The Office of Diversity & Inclusion welcomes everyone to come and join us in this celebratory night of friendly and thoughtful dialogue.  Register by October 7th at or call 385-468-7014.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Achieving Health Equity – One Policy at a Time

You are invited to a webinar hosted by the Federal Interagency Health Equity Team

Displaying Public policies within and outside the health sector have a significant impact on population health and health inequities.  Given its role in ensuring population health and eliminating health inequities, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) initiated efforts to apply a health equity lens to proposed state legislation.  The department embedded health equity considerations into decision-making processes across a broad array of sectors. Historically, Washington State DOH has commented on and helped shape legislation by reviewing proposed bills to determine whether to support or oppose them.  New leadership in 2013 prompted a push to apply a health equity lens to bill analyses.  In response to this request, for the 2015 state legislative session, the department successfully added two requirements to help focus its review process on health inequities for its bill analysis:

  • Describe any positive or negative impact the bill may have on tribal health concerns.
  • Describe any positive or negative impact the bill may have on health equity or health disparities.

This webinar will discuss how the department used policy and administrative levers to make this change.  Analysts who reviewed the proposed bills received in-person training and a resource guide to consider individuals and groups that are likely to be affected by proposed legislation based on disabilities, education, employment, race, ethnicity and other social and economic determinants of health. In 2016, the department tracked nearly 750 pieces of proposed legislation.  Analysts assessed the impact of policies on health disparities by providing a strong, medium or weak rating, which was then used to determine the department’s position for a proposed bill.  To strengthen analysts’ responses in the future, the department evaluated the 2016 responses and surveyed analysts to learn about the effectiveness of the trainings and resources; senior leaders were also interviewed.  

Presenters will:  1) Describe components of a “health equity lens” used to analyze proposed state legislation; 2) Articulate opportunities and challenges to applying a “health equity lens”;  and 3) Share examples of training and resource materials.

 TOPIC: Achieving Health Equity – One Policy at a Time


  • Gail Brandt, Health Equity Coordinator for the Office of Healthy Communities, Washington State Department of Health
  • Paj Nandi, Director of Community Relations and Equity, Washington State Department of Health
  • Sheryl Pickering, WIC Tribal Liaison and Office Legislative Coordinator for the Office of Nutrition Services, Washington State Department of Health

 DATE: September 22, 2016 TIME: 2:00-3:00pm CT / 3:00-4:00pm ET

Click Here for Full Abstract and Speaker Biographies:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Plan to attend the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Annual Meeting

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) is crucially important, both for the direct well being of babies and for their future mental health and well being. IECMH is synonymous with healthy social-emotional development (as supported within the baby's primary relationships and larger systems). At the Utah Association for Infant Mental Health (UAIMH), we advocate for and educate about IECMH within the state of Utah. Interest in this field is growing rapidly, with the increased awareness of the importance of early (brain) development and the long-reaching effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences and developmental trauma. 

Please join us for our Annual General Meeting! All are welcome! Please invite friends and colleagues who might be interested, so we can join forces to improve IECMH in Utah. Our Winter 2016 newsletter is attached, and you can find more newsletters and information at
The meeting will be:
  • Friday, September 95:30-7:00pm (there will be food & drinks!)
  • Location: Children's Service Society, 655 East 4500 South #200, Salt Lake City, UT  84107

Please RSVP to (by September 8), so we can plan for enough food!

Protective Factors for Utah Families Training Opportunity

We all know there are small moments that can tip the scale in our lives. Research has shown that there are small things families can do to tip the scale for the better. These protective factors can easily be implemented into your work, increasing the passion with which you work and the progress families make. 

The Strengthening Families Framework comes from the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Trainers throughout Utah are ready to schedule a time for your organization. 

To learn more or set up a training, please contact 
Barbara Leavitt (
or Julie Miller (