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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: March 14, 2014


DOVER (March 14, 2014) - The Health Equity Systems Committee of the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium (DHMIC) would like to honor local champions of quality care, social justice, and health opportunity for all. The committee seeks nominations for individuals and organizations that go the extra mile to promote health equity in Delaware. The original nomination due date of March 14 has been extended to March 21, 2014. Winners will be announced at this year's DHMIC Annual Summit, held April 9, 2014, at Wilmington's Chase Center on the Riverfront. Any community member may nominate an individual or organization.

Health equity is the achievement of the highest level of health for all people, including access to quality health care across populations, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, ability or religion. It focuses on adequate access to health services and access to culturally friendly information, including health information and education. Inequities in health are the social and economic conditions influencing how individual or groups receive healthcare.

"It is important that we recognize those who are committed to ensuring equal opportunities to health for all individuals," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director.

The Health Equity Awards recognize exemplary individuals, organizations or groups in the community who have made significant impact promoting a diverse and culturally competent healthcare workforce and environment. For example, candidates may be addressing healthcare inequities related to women who are of child-bearing age and infants by providing culturally or linguistically appropriate educational materials. Or they may promote cultural competence within their organization through hiring a diverse workforce that reflects the population that they serve, such as hiring Spanish-speaking employees within an office that serves a distinct Hispanic population.

Ensuring multidisciplinary teams brings all voices to the table, and potentially assures the use of evidence-based practices in caring for patients. Though there are standards of care, in some cases the patient's race, and/or ethnicity will determine if those standards are adhered to. Organizations may also work with policy makers and state leadership to advocate for the implementation of initiatives promoting equity in health, and should develop a strategic plan or vision that includes key stakeholders in their organization.

The DHMIC endeavors to ensure the best possible health and health outcomes for Delaware's women and children, and through these awards it seeks to recognize the remarkable individuals and organizations that champion the cause of health equity. The 2014 Health Equity Award nomination form and guidelines may be found here: http://dethrives.com/thriving-communities/health-equity-awards.

For more information, visit http://dethrives.com/events/event/2014-dhmic-annual-summit.

DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eating at least five servings of fruit or vegetables a day, watching no more than two hours of recreational screen time daily, getting one hour of physical activity each day, and drinking almost no sugar-sweetened drinks.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.