Office of Minority Health  and Health Disparities (MHHD)
MHHD November 2018 Newsletter Highlights
MHHD Director's Corner 

Health in All Policies (HiAP)

In the simplest terms, HiAP is an approach to policy-making that incorporates health considerations into all decisions across all sectors. 

The World Health Organization describes HiAP as  "An approach to public policies across sectors that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts, in order to improve population health and health equity.   A Health in All Policies approach is founded on health-related rights and obligations. It improves accountability of policymakers for health impacts at all levels of policy making. It includes an emphasis on the consequences of public policies on health systems, determinants of health, and well-being. It also contributes to sustainable development." 

The law directs the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Center for Health Equity (M-CHE) to convene a workgroup that will make recommendations to state and local legislators to inform laws and policies that will promote health equity and have a positive impact on the life of Maryland's residents.  The law also specifies that the M-CHE conduct a health impact assessment on issues of access to safe and affordable housing, education, employment opportunities, environment and public safety, among others.

M-CHE, in consultation with the Maryland Department of Health, has convened a workgroup to study and make recommendations.   Members of the HiAP workgroup have been working assiduously to complete their assigned work.  You can read the January 2018 report on the workgroup website.   I will update with the final product.

MHHD Director, Noel Brathwaite, PhD, MSPH  
As part of Health Equity Week in Maryland, join us for...

Conference Registration Fee:
$30 - pre-registration 
$20 - students
$40 - day of conference, if space permits

Registration closes on Monday, Nov. 26, or sooner if capacity is reached.  

Request registration by Thursday, Nov. 22.
November is Native American Heritage Month

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health (OMH) provides the following information and resources for recognizing Native American Heritage Month.  

Native American Heritage Month recognizes the histories, invaluable contributions and livelihood of American Indian and Alaska Native people in the United States. During this observance, we honor the rich diversity of American Indian and Alaska Native cultures, traditions and languages and how this heritage intersects with health. By working together to raise awareness of health disparities and providing a platform for national American Indian and Alaska Native health organizations to discuss challenges and opportunities, we help move communities toward health equity.

Statistics on health disparities:

Healthy People 2020 Widget 

OMH Minority Population Profiles: American Indian/Alaska Native Health

CDC NCHS: Health of American Indian or Alaska Native Population

 CDC NCHS: Health Disparities in HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB

CDC Vital Signs: Native Americans with Diabetes


Resources and Publications:


Article Series: MHHD Priority Focus Areas

This past June, we began a series of articles highlighting MHHD's Priority Focus Areas. Articles in this series have included background on the focus areas, current data, and information detailing MHHD's activities to help eliminate health disparities in these areas. We kicked off the series highlighting   infant mortality  In July  prediabetes  was highlighted, and in August we highlighted  asthma.

Last month our series continued on the social determinants of health with a focus on  transportation.   This month we'll examine food access.  Articles on  housing and educational attainment are to come.

Social Determinant of Health - Food Access

Article submitted by:   Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH,  Assistant Professor,  Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health,  School of Public Health,  University of Maryland, College Park

Summary: Access to a college education is a national priority, seen as a key to financial security, improved health, and well-being. However, the rising cost of college tuition, fees, and room and board coupled with state disinvestment in public higher education, a decrease in need-based aid, and stagnation in wages, have strained financial resources for many American families who struggle to support a child's college education. Given these financial challenges, it is not surprising that food insecurity is increasingly on the minds of university administrators, who report hearing anecdotes of students struggling to pay for food and other essentials, skipping meals, and adopting unhealthy diets for economic reasons.

Read more about food insecurity on college campuses and the importance of addressing food access as a social determinant of health.