Local Offices of Minority Health in Ohio for Health Equity: Implications for Replication Nationwide

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Conference Proceeding

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APHA's 2020 VIRTUAL Annual Meeting and Expo

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Issues being addressed: Minorities continue to lag in health indicators in the United States. In Ohio, six local offices of minority health (LOMH) funded by the Ohio Commission on Minority Health (OCMH) have been operating in Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown to foster community-based approaches to addressing health equity among minority populations. The purpose of this paper was to document the results from the participatory evaluations of these efforts done during 2018-19 led by the Research and Evaluation Enhancement Program (REEP) Panel of the OCMH. Description of evidence and theory used to inform program evaluation: The evaluations were based on the tenets of community-based participatory research (CBPR). Each participatory evaluation was conducted through a partnership between a REEP panelist and the project functionaries of the LOMHs. The evaluations focused on assessing efforts about monitoring the health status of minorities, educational and empowerment efforts, mobilization of partnerships, development of policies and strategies toward sustenance. A thematic analysis of the lessons learned was summarized. Description of the evaluation outcomes: One of the primary themes that emerged across most of the projects was that partnerships, networking, and participation of community members were key ingredients for the success of the projects. Another theme was that the formation of coalitions involving multiple organizations as partners was essential for the success and sustenance of the efforts. Activities around minority health month were also found to be useful across different LOMHs and such social assessment approaches should be regularly employed. Efforts to reduce the turnover of staff should be undertaken and more volunteer help mobilized. Conclusions: These emergent thematic lessons of fostering partnerships, the formation of coalitions, organizing activities around minority health month, and reducing staff turnover will be used to strengthen the LOMHs in the forthcoming years. Recommendations for practice: LOMHs are significant contributors toward improving the health of minority communities in the various regions of Ohio. These efforts done by LOMHs in Ohio can be replicated nationwide to improve minority health.


Minority health; Community-based partnership and collaboration; Health equity


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health



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