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