Office of Health Equity

The Office of Health Equity (OHE), in the Office of Special Health Affairs, works to reduce disparities and improve health equity to ensure healthy communities and healthy people.

OHE provides leadership on issues related to health equity, health disparities, cultural and linguistic competency in the following areas:

  • Workforce, Clinical Care, Provider-Patient
  • Communication
  • Public Health Systems (Care Delivery and Integration)
  • Strategic Agency/Organizational Partnerships
  • Health Policy

The Office of Health Equity serves as the principal advisor and coordinator for the special needs of minority and disadvantaged populations, including American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, African Americans or Blacks, Hispanics or Latinos, Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, rural, urban, disabled, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual (LGBTs) and other groups that have disparate health outcomes.

Core Functions

Serves as principal advisor across HRSA in matters related to health disparities, health equity, minority and priority population health.

Articulates strategic direction on capacity building, program planning and implementation for health equity, health disparities, and minority health.

Establishes and manages an agency-wide data collection system for minority health activities and initiatives, including White House and Departmental Initiatives.

Implements activities to increase the availability of data to monitor the impact of agency programs in improving minority health and eliminating health disparities.

Provides policy consultation, technical assistance and practice resources for effective clinical encounters through culturally/linguistically appropriate and health literate communication strategies.

Serves as liaison to external organizations to foster collaborative activities and strategic partnerships in addressing health equity, health disparities, and minority health technical assistance, toolkits and other critical information/resources on cultural and linguistic competence, health literacy, minority health, health disparities and health equity.

Serves clearinghouse function for training and engages in selected programmatic activities that demonstrate effective strategies for serving, addressing health conditions that disproportionately affect underserved and minority populations.

Consults Federal agencies and other public and private sector agencies and organizations to collaborate in addressing minority health and health disparities issues, including enhancing cultural competence among health service providers.

Date Last Reviewed:  March 2017