The mission of the Massachusetts Office of Health Equity is to promote the health and well being of ethnic minority communities throughout the Commonwealth by increasing the Department of Public Health's capacity to respond effectively to the critical public health needs of these communities. The Office pursues its mission through the following functions:
  1. by coordinating and monitoring Department activities related to disease prevention, health promotion, service delivery, and research concerning racial and ethnic minority populations. The activities related to this function include' analysis of existing data to assess the health needs and priority areas; review of existing initiatives and programs to assess their responsiveness and applicability to the population; review of budgets to assess the distribution of public health dollars allocated to minority health programs; development of coordinated responses across Bureaus to promote comprehensive approaches to public health and prevention programs.
  2. by participating in policy development and decision making regarding the priority areas for the Department, the allocation of resources, and criteria for quality control of the public health programs. The activities related to this function include participation as part of the top management team in the Department, use of existing data to identify area of priority for the Department, and assisting the Department in developing policies for diversifying its workplace, and developing policies for ensuring quality control in the delivery of linguistically and culturally appropriate services.
  3. by providing technical assistance to the Department and to the community on existing data on the health status of racial/ethnic minority populations; model programs and public health practices known to be effective, and resources available at the state and federal levels.
  4. by serving as an active link between racial/ethnic communities and the Department so as to promote the community's access to the Department's resources and programs and to promote the Department's ability to reach populations in need of interventions through public health programs. This function is carried out by:

  • conducting education and outreach to community agencies in order to provide information on the public health problems and programs;
  • creating linkages between community agencies and the Department's current public health efforts so as to improve their effectiveness;
  • connecting community agencies to resources in the private and public sector;
  • supporting the public health leadership within individual communities and strengthening their ability to heighten community awareness of available public health.

This information is provided by the Office of Health Equity within the Department of Public Health.