220: You Can Help Build the Health Equity Tracker

Daniel Dawes, Executive Director for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine, discusses a new Health Equity tracker that recently marked its first year online; ASTHO is talking about equity during its upcoming Health...


Daniel Dawes, Executive Director for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine, discusses a new Health Equity tracker that recently marked its first year online; ASTHO is talking about equity during its upcoming Health Equity Summit 2022 set for Wednesday, July 27th; Amelia Poulin, ASTHO’s Senior Analyst for Infectious Disease Outbreak Response and Recovery, elaborates on the importance of inclusive communication for contact tracers and case investigators; and ASTHO posts a new blog article examining how some jurisdictions are changing laws to allow people to modify their birth certificates to update gender markers that may be out of date.

Health Equity Tracker Webpage: One Year of Advancing Health Equity

ASTHO Health Equity Summit Registration

CDC Webpage: Health Equity Guiding Principles for Inclusive Communication

ASTHO Blog Article: Jurisdictions Seek to Modernize Vital Records Systems

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Transcript

ROBERT JOHNSON:

This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Friday, July 15th, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.

Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

 

DANIEL DAWES:

I think the health equity tracker provides a unique contribution to the health data landscape, and it's doing so by specifically highlighting the significant data gaps that exist for vulnerable populations.

JOHNSON:

Daniel Dawes is executive director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine. He's talking about the idea behind a new health equity tracker that recently celebrated its first year online.

DAWES:

So when we first launched, you might recall we had five unique topics. And today we have expanded them to now 18 topics, right. And not only looking at COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations, but going through and looking at other co-morbidities and social drivers and determinants, and then connecting those to their policy routes.

JOHNSON:

Dawes says the tracker is intended to demonstrate inequities through data that previously was not always connected in a way that could advance equity policy.

DAWES:

We have seen over 85,000 visitors to date, so that is telling us that there is a strong desire for a tool such as this that provides data with the health equity lens to support the work that's being done all across the country in many different applications, as you can imagine.

JOHNSON:

Dawes adds the tool is not just a resource to visit and review. He wants users to help make it better.

DAWES:

So, anyone can review that line-by-line code and they can offer suggestions. So, for all public health professionals listening today and you have an interest in data, you know, we welcome you to take a look at that as well and offer suggestions, propose any edits, or even tackle the new concepts, right, that we are developing by developing code to be reviewed by our engineers.

JOHSON:

There's a link to the tool in the show notes.

 

ASTHO is talking about equity during its upcoming Health Equity Summit 2022, set for Wednesday, July 27th. The online event will examine how public health officials are working to improve health equity building on lessons learned during the pandemic, you can sign up using the link in the show notes.

 

ASTHO wants contact tracers and case investigators to know the best way to communicate with people in their communities. ASTHO's Amelia Poulin says many of them are new to public health work, so learning the importance of inclusive communication is key.

AMELIA POULIN:

For example, using person-first language and avoiding language that might be dehumanizing. So, instead of saying disabled, they might say a person is living with a disability.

Another principle is to avoid using terms with violent connotations. Sometimes we tend to use words like target a population or combat a disease, but these words can be off putting and imply violence towards the effected communities.

And so, some of these reframes might seem really inconsequential, but how we talk to and about people does shift their attitudes and beliefs about our messages and public health more broadly.

JOHNSON:

The CDC has a website focused on inclusive communication for health professionals. You can review it using the link in the show notes.

 

Finally today, vital records are being reviewed and updated in some states. A new ASTHO blog article examines how some jurisdictions are changing laws to allow people to modify their birth certificates to update gender markers that may be out of date. You can read more using the link in the show notes.

 

That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back Monday morning with more ASTHO news and information.

I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great weekend.

Daniel Dawes JD

Executive Director, Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine

Amelia Poulin MPH

Senior Analyst, Infectious Disease Outbreak Response and Recovery, ASTHO