Health Equity Can’t Wait! Blog Carnival – Day One
April 25 2012
To wrap up National Minority Health Month, NCLR is proudly hosting a blog carnival with our friends and partners to celebrate recent progress toward eliminating health disparities for underserved communities—and talk frankly about the challenges that remain. From Wednesday, April 25 through Friday, April 27, each day the NCLR blog will feature posts written by our staff and other health, consumer, civil rights, and provider advocates committed to promoting health equity.
Welcome to the Health Equity Can’t Wait! blog carnival! In the spirit of National Minority Health Month—a nationwide campaign from our friends in the Office of Minority Health—members and friends of the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) Community Working Group are taking to the blogosphere to talk about the opportunities and challenges we face in realizing a country where everyone has an equal opportunity to be healthy and thrive.
The good news is that there is much to celebrate. We recently commemorated the second anniversary of the health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which is already making a difference for millions in the communities we serve and stands to benefit millions more when it’s fully rolled out. Last fall, we applauded the “Health Equity and Accountability Act” (H.R. 2954), reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by the Congressional Tri-Caucus (members of the Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses), which builds upon the foundation for health equity laid by the health care law. We expect the Senate version of the legislation to be introduced this spring. Finally, April also marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Department of Health and Human Services Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity, two strategic plans that represent our nation’s first coordinated roadmap to reducing health disparities.
Despite these advances, our work is only beginning. Gaps in health care access and quality carry a large economic cost and devastating human toll for racial and ethnic minorities and other communities. These barriers are often compounded by factors such as sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship and immigration status, primary language, geographic location, weight, age, disability, and socioeconomic status and income. The result is that millions of Americans do not reach their potential to live healthy, full, and productive lives.
That’s why the HEAA Community Working Group is lifting health equity as a central goal in the movement for improved health care and health outcomes. Our group is comprised of nearly 200 national, state, local, and territorial advocates for the elimination of health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved communities. Over the next three days, we will feature different perspectives from our members on questions such as whether health is a basic civil right, how we can take a holistic approach to disparities elimination, and what strategies and resources are available to advance a health equity agenda.
Today, we kick things off by asking: What is your organization or community doing to advance a health equity mission?
Working Toward Health Equity Together by Quynh Chi Nguyen, Program and Policy Associate, and Aurelia Aceves, National Urban Fellow, Community Catalyst
Promoting the Health Care Law Today because Health Equity Can’t Wait by Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, Director of Health Equity, Families USA
Farmworker Justice: Advancing Health Equity through Education and Advocacy by Alexis Guild, Migrant Health Policy Analyst, Farmworker Justice
Maryland Has Said—Now is the Time for Health Equity! by Leni Preston, Chair, Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform
United We Stand: Achieving Health Equity for All by Kellan Baker, MPH, MA, Health Policy Analyst, LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress; Patrick Paschall, Esq., Policy Advocate, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; and Harper Jean Tobin, Esq., Policy Counsel, National Center for Transgender Equality
Health Equity is a Matter of Reproductive Justice by Natalie D. Camastra, Reproductive Justice Public Policy Fellow, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice: Eliminating Health Disparities by Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director, Trust for America's Health
African American Elder Health Disparities by Delane Sims Founder/Chair, Senior Moments
Our Communities Count: Advancing Health Equity by Improving Data by Rebecca Spence, Reproductive Justice Fellow, Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Health Equity Can’t Wait: Supporting A Health Equity Agenda In Wisconsin by Lacy Langbecker, MSW, Field Student/Intern, Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health
P.S. Save the date! On Friday, April 27 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT, help us cap off National Minority Health Month by joining our Twitter chat! Follow the hashtag #HealthEquityNow to be part of the conversation. We’ll be re-tweeting and sharing your thoughts! New to Twitter? Create an account or check out some frequently asked questions to get started.