Thursday, December 07, 2006
The New England Coalition for Health Equity
Since 1998, LHI has been the research arm of the New England Coalition for Health Equity. NECHE brings together community activists, public officials and academic public health researchers and practitioners throughout the region to develop and encourage state policy to eliminate health disparities.
On behalf of NECHE, we conducted an assessment of racial and ethnic identification practices in public health data systems throughout New England, which was published in Public Health Reports. We also organized two regional symposia on state policy. The first, on data issues, was held at Northeastern University in 2002. The second, at Tufts University School of Medicine in 2004, focused on a range of policy issues as discussed in the Commonwealth Fund report, A State Policy Agenda to Eliminate Health Disparities.
The Commonwealth Fund, and the U.S. Office of Minority Health, through OMH regional program consultant Janet Scott-Harris, have given us a small amount of funding to follow up on these projects. Right now, our Evaluation Associate Nina Joyce and I are updating the inventory of public health data systems, and conducting an up-to-date review of state policy in the six New England states as compared to recommendations in the Commonwealth Fund report.
NECHE will be presenting our findings at a panel at the New England Regional Minority Health Conference at the Foxwoods resort in Connecticut in April. Joining me on the panel will be one of the Commonwealth Fund report authors, Brian Kevin Gibbs of Harvard School of Public Health; Bill Walker, Director of the New Hampshire Office of Minority Health; Carrie Bridges, Coordinator of disparities initiatives for the Rhode Island Department of Public Health; Bruce Cohen, Director of Health Statistics and Research for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and Janet Scott-Harris, who will moderate.
We will also prepare written reports of our findings for publication, and the results will be available from me, on request. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information on these projects.