Health Equity Month (January 2019)


Background on Health Equity Month:

In 2014, the MMA added efforts to encourage and support physician leadership in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities to its list of strategic priorities.  As part of that work, the MMA has raised awareness of health disparities, via in-person and online events, social media, Minnesota Medicine, etc.  In addition, the MMA has compiled a clearinghouse of tools and resources to support physicians as they combat health disparities among patients in their practices.

In September 2017, MMA staff proposed a proclamation to Gov. Mark Dayton’s office that would proclaim January 2018 as Health Equity Month. In late December 2017, Dayton signed the proclamation.

During the fall of 2018, the MMA added “improved health equity” to its strategic map, as an acknowledgment that our most vulnerable communities continue to face health disparities, and that collective action within the medical community is needed to achieve health equity in Minnesota.

In October 2018, the MMA once again submitted a request to Dayton’s office to proclaim January 2019 as Health Equity Month. The purpose of this proclamation is to once again “raise understanding and awareness of persistent disparities in health, well-being and socioeconomic status among Minnesota’s marginalized communities, and to encourage systematic changes so that every person has equal opportunity to attain the highest possible level of health.” This proclamation was signed in November 2018, and we stand ready to continue to work towards achieving health equity in 2019.

Talking Points:

  • Minnesota is regarded as one of the healthiest states in the nation, yet has some of the largest health disparities for people of color, people living in rural areas, low-income households, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ), and other communities.
  • Minnesota physicians believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to achieve optimal health and will continue to advocate for health equity on behalf of all patients.
  • Minnesota physicians recognize that factors such as health care financing, living wage, housing, and public transportation impact health equity.
  • Minnesota physicians recognize that improving the racial and ethnic diversity of Minnesota’s health care workforce is key in addressing health disparities.
  • Minnesota physicians recognize that racial and ethnic health disparities are also a consequence of the structural and institutional racism that exists in our hospitals and health care systems

MMA work groups:

Health Equity Month Partners:

  • American Indian Cancer Foundation
  • AquĆ­ Para Ti (Hennepin Healthcare)
  • Between Us (Hennepin Healthcare)
  • Center for Health Equity, Minnesota Department of Health
  • CentraCare
  • Children’s Minnesota
  • Hands on Advocacy Project
  • HealthPartners
  • Hennepin Healthcare
  • Honoring Choices
  • JustUs Health
  • Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians
  • Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Minnesota Chapter of the American College of Physicians
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity
  • Minnesota Public Health Association
  • Minnesota Psychiatric Society
  • MMA Foundation
  • MN Community Measurement
  • Physician Advocacy Network
  • Physician Volunteerism Program
  • Twin Cities Medical Society
  • Zumbro Valley Medical Society

2019 Health Equity Events

  • Addressing health disparities within the Native American community
    • View the Facebook Live presentation here
  • Structural racism and other barriers to health equity
    • View the Facebook Live presentation here