Governor Proclaims January 2018 as Health Equity Month in Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed January 2018 as Health Equity Month in Minnesota. As part of the month, the MMA and a host of other health care organizations are planning two events that will address the topic and champion efforts to level the health care playing field for all Minnesotans.  

“No state does health care better than Minnesota. But, when it comes to health equity, we have a lot of work to do,” said MMA President George Schoephoerster, MD.

“With Health Equity Month, we are trying to raise awareness of persistent disparities in health, well-being and socioeconomic status among Minnesota’s marginalized communities,” said Dionne Hart, MD, co-chair of the MMA’s Health Equity Advisory Group and board member. “We want to encourage systematic changes so that every person has equal opportunity to attain the highest possible level of health.”

On Jan. 17, the MMA will host an online learning event from noon to 1 p.m. of Facebook Live on the MMA’s page. It is designed to educate physicians and other health care workers about the health disparities that exist in the state. 

The moderator will be Christopher Reif, MD, MPH, director of clinical services for Community University Health Care Clinic, and co-chair of the MMA Health Equity Advisory Group. Speakers include: Bruce Thao, executive director of the Center for Health Equity at the Minnesota Department of Health; Sarah Atunah-Jay, MD, Mayo Clinic, chair of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Poverty/Health Disparities Work Group; and Stephen Nelson, MD, Children’s Minnesota, member of the MMA Health Equity Advisory Group.

The MMA will also host an in-person Health Equity Forum on Jan. 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. at 317 on Rice Park Event Center in downtown St. Paul. Register for the event here

Speakers include: Thao and Brooke A. Cunningham, MD, PhD, assistant professor with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota. 

Sponsors for the event include: Hennepin County Medical Center; Minnesota Psychiatric Society; Twin Cities Medical Society; American Indian Cancer Foundation; AquĆ­ Para Ti; Honoring Choices Minnesota; Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians; Minnesota Chapter, American College of Physicians; Minnesota Community Measurement; MMA Foundation's Physician Volunteer Program; Physician Advocacy Network; and Zumbro Valley Medical Society.