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Florida Department of Health in Seminole County Focuses on Health Equity During National Minority Health Month

By Mirna Chamorro

April 19, 2017

Sanford, Fla. –The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) joins partners across the state and the nation to celebrate National Minority Health Month in April. This year’s theme is Bridging Health Equity Across Communities and it reflects the department’s commitment to ensuring Floridians in all communities have opportunities to achieve healthier outcomes.

“Community collaborations are a key component of health equity in Seminole County. Partnerships include different sectors such as government, public and private entities to help bridge possible gaps for achieving health equity through innovative initiatives and programs,” said Donna Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

Florida has achieved lower morbidity and mortality rates across several different diseases, however, gaps continue to exist. All Floridians regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, geographic location and physical and developmental differences should be able to attain the highest level of health. Eliminating gaps between different communities and across all groups in Florida is a priority for the department.

The Florida Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) works year round to promote several initiatives that support health equity in Florida including the Closing the Gap grant, Florida’s Healthy Babies initiative and HIV/AIDS outreach and prevention. OMHHE will continue to bridge efforts across Florida to help decrease and eliminate health disparities, accelerate health equity and to build stronger, healthier communities.

DOH-Seminole is strengthening its capacity to address health equity by inviting community partners to join the Minority Health Task Force and designating a staff person to coordinate health equity strategies in Seminole County. “We are excited about the new positon that will lead initiatives with the community and stakeholders to raise awareness about social determinants of health that influence negative health outcomes among racial/ethnic, underserved or disparate populations in our community,’” said Venise White, Community Programs Manager of the Office of Health Promotion and Education. “We host and support several annual events such as Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day to celebrate accomplishments and raise awareness.”

To join the Seminole County Minority Health Task Force, contact Venise White at venise.white@flhealth.gov. To learn more about national projects and resources related to Minority Health Month, please visit the Florida Department of Health Website.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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