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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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Grantee Information

Organization: Indiana State Department of Health – Office of Minority Health (ISDH-OMH)

Organization Address: 2 North Meridian, Indianapolis, IN, 46204

Phone Number: 317-233-1325

Fax Number: N/A

Organization website URL (if any):

Brief Description of the Organization: In 1991, the Indiana State health commissioner created and staffed the Indiana State Department of Health – Office of Minority Health (ISDH-OMH). ISDH-OMH primarily serves Indiana’s African-American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American Indian, and Pacific Islander populations; the office also works with internal and external partners to address the needs of growing refugee and immigrant populations. The mission of ISDH-OMH is to improve the health of all racial and ethnic populations in Indiana through increased awareness, partnerships, and the development and promotion of effective health policies and programs that help to reduce minority health disparities. For over 24 years, ISDH-OMH has focused its efforts on: improving disparities in preventable health conditions among minorities throughout the state by coordinating, facilitating, and monitoring community-based programs tailored to meet the needs of these populations; ensuring that health related issues become part of the agendas of outside programs as they relate to underserved populations; and, maintaining open dialogue with internal departments and outside agencies in an effort to keep abreast of concerns, trends and problems as seen by these entities–which will assist in identifying gaps, barriers and duplication of services. ISDH-OMH also provides cultural competency and diversity trainings that highlight the Department of Health and Human Services Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS).

Grant Project Information

Title of Grant Project: Enhancing Minority Partnership Opportunities; Working to Eliminate Disparities (EMPOWERED)

Amount of OMH Award: $199,867

Name of Project Director: Rebecca Chauhan

Phone Number of Project Director: 317-233-7087

E-mail Address of Project Director:


Health disparities continue to be prevalent in the nation’s landscape. In Indiana, health disparities have a lasting and damaging effect on health outcomes, especially as the racial and ethnic diversity of the state grows. Nearly 18 percent of Indiana’s population is made up of racial and ethnic minorities. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has adopted three top priority areas that are in alignment with the Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators. These are infant mortality, adult tobacco cessation, and adult obesity. The State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities or EMPOWERED (Enhancing Minority Partnership Opportunities; Working to Eliminate Disparities) will allow the Indiana State Department of Health Office of Minority Health, with its internal and external partners, to improve access to racial and ethnic minority communities that suffer health disparities by fashioning culturally specific interventions that will help decrease infant mortality rates among racial and ethnic minorities, decrease tobacco use among racial and ethnic minorities, and decrease adult obesity within racial and ethnic minority populations. These efforts will be focused around three areas identified by the grantee as having high rates of obesity, infant mortality, and tobacco use, including Allen, Lake, and Marion counties. To focus their project, Indiana State Department of Health developed the following specific objective for their work, which detail their planned interventions and strategies:

  • Objective 1: Provide a peer-education-based intervention to decrease the rate of infant mortality among African American adolescents and women of child bearing age.
  • Objective 2: Provide outreach and empowerment to educate racial and ethnic minorities on the importance of breastfeeding and how it affects infant mortality.
  • Objective 3: Provide interventions to focus on the improvement of nutritional and physical activity health behaviors leading to decreased rates of obesity among racial and ethnic minority adults.
  • Objective 4: Eliminate health disparities related to tobacco use among minorities and emphasize tobacco prevention and cessation among minorities and pregnant women by promoting the Indiana Quit line.

In addition to the interventions outlined above in the grantee’s objectives, the grantee has planned two wide-reaching interventions to improve community resources and engagement. To this end, ISDH-OMH will develop a user-friendly Health Disparities Profile highlighting three Healthy People Leading Health Indicators selected by the EMPOWERED program, including indicators for Infant Mortality, Obesity, and Tobacco Cessation. In addition, in order to effectively integrate best practices into systems change, EMPOWERED will conduct Community Listening Sessions to identify the needs and concerns of the populations living in the designated hotspots (Allen, Lake, and Marion Counties). Through community listening sessions, ISDH-OMH will take their evidence-based programs such as the Eat Healthy, Be Active Community Workshops, Preconception/Interconception Peer Education Module, Indiana Tobacco Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC) Quitline Initiative and show how these best practices helped in the designated areas. Proposed community engagement activities include community assessment; providing access to necessary care or resources (farmer’s markets, FHQCs, etc.); providing health providers and key stakeholders education on the importance of informing and educating their patients or clients on physical activity, nutrition, obesity, infant mortality, and appropriate care for women of childbearing age prior, during, and after birth; and, smoking cessation for minority adults and pregnant women.

Expected EMPOWERED program outcomes include increased knowledge and skills, community health assessment, access to healthy food options, more racial and ethnic minorities utilizing the Indiana Quitline, local provider community involvement, and ultimately behavior changes among the priority populations with the ultimate goal of improved health status for them.

Methods with which ISDH-OMH will measure the outcomes of the project include the Health Disparities profile, pre/posttest forms from the online obesity intervention, Preconception/Interconception Peer Education Module, breastfeeding workshops designed to assess change in knowledge and behaviors, the community listening sessions evaluation report, and the Indiana Quitline Referral Report which shows results by recruitment sources. Measures and indicators to be tracked by the grantee include:

  • Increase in the number of participants of the grantee’s peer-education-based intervention who change their preconception and interconception health behaviors;
    • Number of participants who attend educational sessions;
    • The proportion of African American adolescents and women who show a change in the increase of their knowledge of preconception and interconception behaviors (2015-2020);
  • Increase in the number of mothers who breastfeed after participating in breastfeeding workshops;
    • Number of participants who attend breastfeeding workshops;
    • The proportion of mothers who show a change in the increase of their knowledge of breastfeeding and how it affects infant mortality (2015-2020);
  • Increase number of black and Hispanic adults and youth who lose weight using the program intervention, Eat Healthy, Be Active;
    • Number of participants who use the online portal intervention;
    • Number of participants who increase their awareness of nutritional and physical active behaviors;
  • Increase the number of providers who refer minorities, including pregnant women to the Indiana Tobacco Quit Line (ITQL);
    • Number of providers serving minorities who enroll in ITQL Preferred Provider Program; and
    • Number of fax referrals made to the ITQL Preferred Provider Program by serving minorities.


None identified by grantee


  • MICH-1.3: Reduce the rate of all infant deaths (within 1 year)
  • MICH-16: Increase the proportion of women delivering a live birth who received preconception care services and practiced key recommended preconception health behaviors
  • MICH-21: Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed
  • TU-1.1: Reduce cigarette smoking by adults
  • NWS-9: Reduce the proportion of adults who are obese
1/11/2016 4:54:00 PM