The Health Equity arm of MSDH is committed to addressing Health Equity in the processes, policies, and procedures of all MSDH programs.
This commitment is not just to internal programs, but to work with external partners to identify health disparities and to seek innovative solutions to address them. To help MSDH employees view and develop initiatives with health equity as a factor, the Health Equity team has created an MSDH Health Equity Policy, a Health Equity Strategic Plan for the agency, and a Policy Checklist to help guide policy development.
Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles
Establish systems to enable MSDH staff to apply health equity goals and values when developing policies, procedures, services, and plans with the aim of reducing inequalities and disparities in healthy status based on race, ethnicity, and linguistic ability in order to improve the quality of health for all the state's residents.
To be a champion for achieving health equity across Mississippi.
- All MSDH policies and system changes will work to promote health equity.
- A commitment to health equity should be evident in all critical documents, strategic plans, and permanent structures associated with the agency.
The Mississippi State Department of Health will:
- continually assess how well it provides cultural and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS).
- support the ability of individuals to communicate their own intentions and motivations in a style of their own choosing.
- track all health equity-related activities.
- Timely and accurate data is important to addressing health disparities in Mississippi.
- The goal of The MSDH is to disseminate data which increases awareness of health disparities within the state.
- This data will:
- assist staff, as well as key stakeholders, in identifying gaps in services and programs.
- help inform policy makers about available resources and the need to improve health equity in Mississippi.
- The ability of public health and healthcare workforces to reduce health disparities & improve health equity will depend on overall levels of cultural competency and diversity within organizations.
- The MSDH will:
- offer continuing education and training on essential health equity topics (e.g., Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, National CLAS Standards, and Cultural Competence Training).
- provide a clear understanding of the differences between health equity, health disparities, and health inequalities.
- The process of improving health outcomes will be enabled by building and supporting diverse/skilled public health and healthcare workforces.
- Fostering long-standing relationships between MSDH programs and organizations that serve/work with communities will be central to our success.
- These partnerships are/will be mutually beneficial and facilitate greater understanding of various populations found within the state.
- Identifying, connecting, and interacting with populations that have greater need(s) will allow tailored programs to be created aimed at addressing community-specific health equity issues.