Office Minority Health Decade (1999-2009) in Review
Developed the State-Community Partnerships Program for minority health improvement; funded 24 community coalitions for multiple years
The following coalitions have been funded by OMH to improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities statewide:
New York City
- Northern Manhattan Pediatric Asthma Coalition
- Chinese-American Healthy Heart Coalition
- Bronx Health REACH
- Brooklyn Cancer Outreach/Prevention Alliance (COPA)
- East Harlem Partnership for Cancer Awareness
- North Brooklyn Asthma Action Alliance - Community Health Empowerment Program
- STOP PAAN - Smokeless Tobacco Oral Pathology Prevention and Awareness Network
- Health Force and the South Bronx Diabetes & Heart Disease Coalition
- Community Partnerships to Reduce Barriers to Cancer Information & Services
- Brooklyn Alliance/SPFHC Network-Partnership
- Building Bridges, Building Knowledge, Building Health Coalition
- Dutchess County Minority Asthma Alliance
- Kaleida Health – Western New York Minority Asthma Prevention Coalition
- Minority Asthma Partnership of Albany County
- Capital District African American Coalition on AIDS (CDAACA)
- Yonkers Community Health Coalition
- Women Organized Around Wellness (WOW)
- Metro Council for Teen Potential
- Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency – Finger Lakes Hispanic Health Coalition
- Kidney Coalition of Concerned Community Partners
- Syracuse and Onondaga County Partnership for Community Health
- American Lung Association of Central New York – Asthma Moms/Madres Contra el Asma
- O'He:yo: Awenyahas - Healthy Hearts
- Coalition for Moms and Babies.
Received an Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Vision Award in 2003 for Achieving Excellence in Public Health Through Innovation
ASTHO is the national non-profit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. The Vision Awards are given to programs that use new approaches to solve public health needs or problems.
Organized the state's first Minority Health Disparities Summit in 2009
The theme of this two-day Summit was "Spotlighting Solutions for Eliminating Minority Health Disparities". It sought to educate attendees on ways to reduce health disparities in their work and to help the Department identify priority strategies. Over 200 people attended the Summit and most were from federal, state, local and tribal health departments; academia; and community-based organizations.
Provided testimony before the NYS Senate's Task Force on Elimination of Health Disparities
In January 2006, OMH staff testified at a roundtable sponsored by the Senate Minority Taskforce on Health Disparities, chaired by Senator John L. Sampson. Among the questions asked by the taskforce were: What is the Department of Health doing to address health disparities? What improvements to the state system of health care are needed to address health and healthcare disparities? And, how can various state agencies work together to address these disparities?
Secured 5-year U.S. DHHS Office of Minority Health State Partnerships Grant
In 2005, OMH applied for and received a five-year grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health (FOMH). Through this State Partnership Grant Program, OMH has been able to work with the federal office to improve minority health in New York State.
Expanded the OMH Mini-Grant Program
Since the mid 1990s, the OMH Mini-Grant Program has funded small, short-term, community-level projects across New York State. These projects promoted healthy behaviors, reduced health risks, and helped minorities learn about prevention and treatment services.
OMH has awarded 90 mini-grants that have reached over 9,000 people; involved 350 peer educators, community health workers, and health care providers; and included 12 American Indian tribes and organizations statewide. This program ended in 2008.
Initiated a Minority Male Screening and Wellness Program
OMH has funded this program since 2007 through a partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Minority Health. This program teaches minority men in faith-based organizations about healthy behaviors, preventive services, and use of health screening programs.
Initiated a Latino Health Outreach Initiative
This initiative began in 2007 and focuses on Latinos/Hispanics in upstate New York. The goals are to promote access to health care services and to reduce the risks of asthma, diabetes, heart disease and stroke within this population.
Agencies funded through this program include The Belle Center in Buffalo, Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, Port Chester Carver Center and Albany Hispanic Outreach Services. Activities developed by these agencies have reached over 2,500 people, mostly Hispanic/Latino.
Developed an Evaluation Capacity Building Project
Since 2007, this project has provided training and technical assistance to the OMH-funded community coalitions to help them use evaluation as a learning tool.
The contractor, Philliber Research Associates, has been working with the coalitions individually and collaboratively. A final report on lessons learned and other findings will be provided to OMH in March, 2011.
Mentored SUNY-Albany School of Public Health MPH students
Since 2003, OMH has mentored 12 School of Public Health interns all of whom were assigned specific projects. All of these students have gone on to pursue successful careers in medicine, with state and local governmental health agencies, and with non-profit organizations.
Hosted continuing education conference calls on a variety of minority health-related topics
Quarterly continuing education conference calls have been hosted by OMH since 2003 covering many health issues affecting minorities. Some of the topics discussed include mental health, health literacy, emergency preparedness, workforce development, medical interpretation, etc. OMH has hosted about 35 calls with around 900 total attendees.
Conducted training workshops (e.g., health disparities, asset-based community mapping and development, program evaluation, cross cultural communication) in communities across the State
Training workshops were held by OMH across the state from 2003 to 2007. These workshops were provided to staff of organizations that serve mostly minority communities.
These workshops helped build their abilities to: apply for and win grants; build on community strengths; judge the success of their programs; adapt messages to their communities; work with diverse cultures; and better understand health disparities.
Launched biweekly Minority Health Partnerships (OMHP-L) e-Newsletters sharing information related to minority health (over 200 subscribers).
The Office of Minority Health Listserv was started on May 22, 2001. It was created as a forum for sharing ideas and for providing information on: funding opportunities, announcements; upcoming events; training sessions; late-breaking medical studies/reports; and research on minority health issues, etc. This information is sent to our subscribers via biweekly electronic newsletters.
Established an OMH Resource Library
This library was created in 2009. It contains over 500 books, reports, articles, and publications on topics such as minority health, health disparities, and social determinants of health.
Partnered with the Albany County Department of Social Services
Since 2003, OMH has partnered with the Albany County Department of Social Services to provide seasonal resources requested by families in need. This program, Adopt a Family, connects donors with families in need during the holiday season. Many families ask for basic items such as blankets, winter coats, clothing, and children's toys.
Provided support to the NYS Minority Health Council
Since its first meeting in September 2002, OMH has provided staff and support to the NYS Minority Health Council (a 14-member body that reflects the State's racial and ethnic diversity). This has included arranging and coordinating all meetings, reviewing literature, writing reports, etc.
The Council meets four times each year. During these meetings, members have discussed minority health and health disparity issues with clinicians, community leaders and residents, researchers, public health officials and others. As a result, The Council has produced two reports to the State Commissioner of Health.
In 2009, the Council partnered with the Department of Health to host New York State's first Minority Health Disparities Summit in Albany.
Assisted in development and distribution of the 2007 Minority Health Surveillance Report
Under NYS Public Health Law, the Department of Health, with the assistance of the Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the Minority Health Council, is required to produce and share a Minority Health Report every two years. The first report, New York State Minority Health Surveillance Report, was issued in 2007.
This report has been distributed and shared with NYS policy makers, stakeholders, and community members concerned with minority health disparities in the state. To date, OMH has given out over 1,000 copies of the report.
Provided staff support to the Capital District Regional Office
An OMH staff person was assigned to the Capital District Regional Office (CDRO) and assisted by:
- Managing three Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker contracts (Columbia County Health Department, Saratoga Racetrack Backstretch Employee Services Team, and the Agri-Business Child Development Program), and
- Providing supervisory and contract management support to the Hunger Prevention and Nutritional Assistance Program (HPNAP).
Contributed to sustainable economic development projects in communities across the state
For example, OMH helped to create the following:
- A walking trail in the Seneca Nation reservation in Western New York;
- A Hispanic Resource Center in Jamestown, NY;
- A Diabetes Education Center of Excellence (as designated by the American Diabetes Association) in Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, located in Bronx, NY;
- A Spanish Video "Por Amor a tu Familia" (Love Your Family), in collaboration with the New York University Cancer Institute;
- A video titled "My Body, My Responsibility" for deaf and hearing-impaired women, in collaboration with the University of Rochester Medical Center;
- An asthma model "Healthy Home" display in Rochester, NY; and
- An expansion of 'Green Carts' that sell only fresh fruits and vegetables in New York City neighborhoods that need them the most.