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DOH-Seminole Focuses on Addressing Health Disparities During National Minority Health Month

By Mirna Chamorro

April 20, 2018

Sanford, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) joins partners across the state and nation to celebrate April as National Minority Health Month. The 2018 Minority Health Month theme is "Partnering for Health Equity,” which provides an opportunity to highlight the partnerships that help reduce disparities in health and health care.

“Seminole County’s commitment to health equity is seen through community collaborations that help bridge gaps to eliminate health disparities. Delivering mobile health services to underserved populations, addressing food insecurity through establishing food pantries and farmers markets in food desert areas, and involvement in local coalitions all contribute to the achievement of optimal health for Seminole County residents,” said Donna Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

As part of this month’s Minority Health Month activities:

  • Every 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 2:00 - 3:30pm the Fresh Stop Mobile Farmers Market visits DOH-Seminole offering fresh fruit and vegetables at budget friendly prices.

  • Every Tuesday in April (April 17th and 24th) there will be free confidential STD testing from 8:30am to11:30am, and 1:30pm to 3:30pm at DOH-Seminole’s Health Clinic located at 400 West Airport Boulevard in Sanford.

  • Thursday, April 26th from 2:00 – 4:00pm the next Opioid and Heroin Addiction Task Force meeting will take place.

The conditions in the places where people are born, grow, live, work, play, learn and age have significant impact on the health outcomes of individuals, families and their communities. The Florida Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) continues to bridge efforts across Florida to help decrease and eliminate health disparities, accelerate health equity, and build stronger and healthier communities.

In Seminole County, the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is designed to address specific opportunities for improving health that have been identified by the community. The department has partnered with many stakeholders to implement the CHIP and collaborates regularly to track progress in priority areas such as chronic disease, health literacy and access to care, behavioral health (mental and substance abuse) and maternal and child health.

DOH-Seminole hired a dedicated Health Equity Coordinator in June 2017 as part in the Office of Health Promotion and Education. “This new position is integral to continue initiatives previously started by the Seminole County Minority Health Task Force and the Men’s Health Advisory Board. The groups have combined to form a Health Equity Advisory Board of community partners and stakeholders to raise awareness about social determinants of health that influence negative health outcomes among racial/ethnic, underserved or disparate populations in Seminole County communities,” said Venise White, Community Programs Manager. For more information about joining the Health Equity Advisory Board, contact Bethany Canales, Health Equity Coordinator at (407) 665-3263.

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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For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov