Office of Health Equity
The Office of Health Equity (OHE) works to reduce health disparities so that communities and individuals can achieve their highest level of health.
OHE provides leadership on these issues in the following areas:
- Health Policy
- Public Health Systems (Care Delivery and Integration)
- Social Determinants of Health
- Strategic Agency/Organizational Partnerships
- Workforce Development, Clinical Care, Provider-Patient Relationships
The Office of Health Equity serves as the principal advisor and coordinator for socially disadvantaged and underserved populations. These populations include:
- African Americans and Black Americans
- American Indians/Alaska Natives
- Asian Americans
- Hispanics and Latinos
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)
- Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders
- People with disabilities
- Rural communities
- Urban communities
The vision of OHE is for health equity to be realized in communities throughout the United States.
The mission of OHE is to reduce disparities and improve health equity, especially in vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.
- Health Equity Policy Coordination for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations
- Internal, External, and Community Partnerships to Improve Health Equity
- Health Equity Solutions -- Training and Operations
OHE's core functions include working with external organizations as well as other HRSA Bureaus and Offices to improve health equity. OHE's eight core functions are:
- Serve as HRSA's principal advisor regarding health disparities, health equity, and minority and priority population health
- Direct strategy for program planning and implementation regarding health equity
- Manage an agency-wide data collection system for minority health activities and initiatives, including White House and HRSA departmental initiatives
- Increase the availability of data to monitor the impact of agency programs regarding minority health and health disparities
- Provide culturally- and linguistically-appropriate communication strategies to improve health literacy and effective clinical encounters
- Foster collaboration and strategic partnerships with external organizations to improve health equity
- Provide a clearinghouse for training and activities that demonstrate effective strategies for serving underserved and minority populations, as well as addressing health conditions that disproportionately affect those populations
- Consult and collaborate with federal agencies and other public and private organizations to address minority and health disparities issues and enhance cultural competence among health service providers
Last Reviewed: June 2016
Health Equity is the absence of disparities or avoidable differences among socioeconomic and demographic groups or geographical areas in health status and health outcomes such as disease, disability, or mortality.
Social Determinants of Health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.