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Rhode Island Department of Health

State (Location): Rhode Island
Grant Program: State Partnership Grant Program to Improve Minority Health, FY 2005-2009
Organization Name: Office of Minority Health / Rhode Island Department of Health
Organization Address: 3 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908
Phone Number: (401) 222-2901
Fax Number: (401) 222-4415

Title of Project: Rhode Island Partnership to Improve Minority Health
Project Director: Ana P. Novais, MA

Description of organization:
The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) Office of Minority Health (RIOMH) was created in June 1992 by the state legislature in response to the increasing racial and ethnic health disparities in the state. The mission of the RIOMH is “to disseminate to and facilitate access for racial and ethnic minority communities to health information, education and risk reduction activities; and to develop policies, plans and tracking systems for ensuring that the needs of these communities are integrated and addressed within all Department programs.” The long-term outcomes RIOMH expects to achieve are the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities the assurance that racial and ethnic minority populations have equal access to high quality health services. The RIOMH is located within the Health Disparities and Access to Care Team in the Division of Community, Family Health and Equity and provides quarterly progress reports directly to the Director of Health and Executive Leadership Team. The expectation of the RIOMH and the Health Disparities and Access to Care Team is that those units will work across all programs in HEALTH to ensure that minority health issues are incorporated in work plans, tracked through performance measurement, and addressed in policy and systems design. A 22-member Minority Health Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from community-based organizations, health professions and racial and ethnic advocacy groups in the state provides advice to the RIOMH and to HEALTH.

Description of project:
Recent demographic changes in Rhode Island have resulted in an increased number of people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, highlighting the importance of addressing health disparities. Today 19 percent of the RI population is of a racial/ethnic minority background. Two of the six core cities (Providence and Central Falls) have a "majority of minorities" (54 percent and 60 percent minorities, respectively). Together, the populations in these core cities (Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, Newport and West Warwick) have the worst health outcomes. HEALTH proposes to build on its existing efforts to reduce health disparities through the RI Partnership to Improve Minority Health. RIOMH is proposing specific interventions that target the minorities most at risk for poor health outcomes. The RI Partnership to Improve Minority Health will focus on:

  • Enhancing the state's infrastructure to better coordinate initiatives between state, local, private and public agencies,
  • Building RIOMH infrastructure to support planning and coordination, monitoring and tracking HEALTH efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities, disseminating up-to-date, consumer-friendly information focused on improving minority health and eliminating health disparities,
  • Planning and implementing culturally and linguistically appropriate public health programs and implementing strategies to increase diversity in the health care workforce,
  • Increasing support to community-based programs and
  • Building a multicultural coalition of coalitions. Activities will be conducted in partnership with community partners like the Minority Health Advisory Committee and the Minority Health Promotion Centers, community-based organizations that receive state funds to provide culturally sensitive health education and programming to minority populations through individual and community risk assessments, community outreach, consumer empowerment and collaboration with health care providers.

Content Last Modified: 7/24/2009 10:51:00 AM
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Office of Minority Health
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