Blog: National Partnership for Action
Q & A with Mirtha Beadle
Posted on 5/5/2011 by Mirtha Beadle, M.P.A.
Goal: Q&A with Mirtha about the NPA and National Stakeholder Strategy. The content will explain what the National Stakeholder Strategy is and how it will be implemented.
OMH: What was the impetus for the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA)?
For too long these leaders and advocates have been working in isolation to combat health disparities. The NPA is intended to refocus and advance existing efforts, and encourage innovations to deliver better results to the American people.
OMH: You recently unveiled the National Stakeholder Strategy (NSS). What is different about it?
The NSS addresses that so much of what affects health happens outside the doctor's office. The strategies and goals outlined in the NSS move us beyond controlling disease to tackling the unequal neighborhood and other conditions that are the root causes of health disparities. It calls on individuals and organizations within the health sector to work with others from housing, education, transportation and other sectors to address the social, economic and environmental factors that contribute to poor health - what we call the social determinants of health.
Finally, the NSS reflects the voices of the communities who are on the frontlines, grappling with these issues every day, and is rooted in their knowledge about what is needed and what works to help close health gaps in this country.
OMH: How can people on the frontlines use the National Stakeholder Strategy to address health disparities in their communities?
Our main objective is to figure out how to start connecting activities that are working-like reducing asthma among children, improving management of high-risk conditions or increasing access to health care for vulnerable populations-and elevate them so that we drive change in a broad way. This doesn't mean that community X or Y changes what they are doing. We just want to make sure that those efforts can have the greatest impact. The first step toward this goal is the creation of 10 regional health equity councils that will use the NSS to finalize a blueprint for their region that builds on effective programs and initiatives in states and communities throughout that region.
OMH: What is the Federal government doing?
The Federal Interagency Health Equity Team, which includes representatives of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency, will guide federal agencies and their partners to work together and take action to address the social, economic and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities.
OMH: What is next for the NPA?
Our immediate priority is working with the 10 regional health equity councils to help local stakeholders identify problems, set priorities, and work together to reduce health disparities and finalize several important partnerships.
OMH: How can others get involved?
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About the Blog
The NPA works to achieve health equity -- the highest level of health for all people. This blog is a venue for professionals from all fields and sectors to share their thoughts on pressing issues, news and events pertaining to health equity. Follow and participate in this candid discussion.
About the Author
Mirtha Beadle, M.P.A. was the Deputy Director of the Office of Minority Health. Ms. Beadle serves as principal advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health in planning, developing, and implementing policies, programs, and activities to achieve the Secretary’s goals for improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities, eliminating health disparities, and improving coordination of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) efforts related to minority health. She is also responsible for strategic planning, evaluation efforts, Congressional and White House Initiative reports, and overseeing the OMH budget, operations, and programs.
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