A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Health Disparities Council Meets

Health Disparities Council Meets

March 23, 2009

The Health Disparities Council met today with Senator Susan Fargo and Representative Byron Rushing as co-chairs and EOHHS Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby attending.

Members of the committee provided an update on the Framework Group, emphasizing a need for more complete definitions around “health disparities.” The co-chairs also agreed that the phrase “health inequity” could be incorporated into the Council’s language. Members also updated the committee about the Report Card Group and the QCC Racial, Ethnic, and Language Group.

There was lots of discussion around how and when to record ethnicity information for later data analysis. The general consensus was that data collection language for raceand ethnicity should be standardized so, eventually, as one council member put it, “we can compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges.”

Other updates were that the Health Disparities Council website will be going up shortly and will provide a platform for the public to note concerns for the Council to see and that there will soon be presentations to the entire Council regarding Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities through a Civil Rights Lens. The meeting concluded by plugging HCFA’s Health Care Policy Conference: Health Disparities: A Closer Look on June 19, 2009. More information and FREE online registration is available here.