The Office of Minority Health Statistics and Engagement (OMHSE) is a central repository for resources to increase the ability of health service departments and programs, universities, and community-based organizations to address health disparities. The health equity team researches and reviews trends and rates of health conditions, identifies and evaluates evidence of health disparities, and develops strategies to address health disparities.
The OMHSE works or contracts with state and federal agencies, universities, offices of minority health and others on initiatives to reduce or eliminate disparities in health and healthcare access and to promote culturally and linguistically appropriate services to ensure the highest level of health for all people. Health equity initiatives are aimed at addressing disease prevention, health promotion, risk reduction, healthier lifestyle choices, use of health care services, and barriers to health care for racial and ethnic minorities and disadvantaged population groups throughout Texas.
Key health equity strategies that are aligned with OMHSE’s mission include:
- Improving data collection, reporting, and sharing for ethnic and racial minorities and other disadvantaged populations
- Establishing and strengthening networks, coalitions and partnerships to identify and solve health disparity-related issues to improve health outcomes
- Developing and promoting policies, programs, and practices to achieve health equity
- Fostering research and evaluations to identify ways to eliminate health disparities
- Conducting demonstration projects at the state, regional, and local level to identify and share best practices for improving the health of communities
OMHSE is a central location for minority health resources, including:
- Implementation of projects that address health disparities. In August 2015, the Texas Health and Human Service Commission, Office of Minority Health Statistics and Engagement was awarded a 5-year grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health for the State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities (SPIAHD). The purpose of this initiative is to develop authentic partnerships to improve health outcomes in target areas of East and South Texas and address obesity disparities that affect minority populations.
- National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Healthcare. The OMHSE promotes the adoption of CLAS standards, which provide a blueprint for culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Take a free online course to learn how you can adopt and implement CLAS in your own health-care setting and community. Physicians, nurses, social workers, community health workers and other professionals are eligible for 1.5 continuing education hours.
- Collaborated with Texas Medicaid to add 6 items from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Cultural Competence Item Set to the four Texas Medicaid biennial CAHPS surveys: STAR Child, CHIP, STAR Adult and STAR+PLUS. These items examine language interpretation, health literacy and patients' perceptions of fair and just treatment.
- Developed a survey tool to evaluate the cultural competency plans and policies of all 21 Texas Medicaid health plans for CLAS implementation efforts. Suggestions for improvement will be provided to the health plans.
- Developed a blueprint, based on the U.S. Office of Minority Health document, A Blueprint for Advancing and Sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice, for cultural competency plans and policies that Texas Medicaid will disseminate to Texas Medicaid health plans.
- Provide an opportunity following completion of the online training, Advancing Health Equity in Texas through Culturally Responsive Care (CLAS), for health care providers to pledge to implement components of CLAS.
- Guides and toolkits, including the Community Resource Guide to Address Tobacco-Related Health Disparities. This guide provides evidence-based, user-friendly content, tools and resources to help communities tailor their tobacco prevention and control initiatives to effectively address tobacco related health disparities in a culturally appropriate manner.
- Training/educational materials, including lunch and learn sessions and presentations
Texas Minority Health Profiles
Texas Health Disparity Infographics
The OMHSE works with communities and organizations to support a systems approach for eliminating health disparities. With federal and state funding, the office seeks to conduct pilot projects to demonstrate best and promising practices for achieving health equity.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (link is external):
- HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (link is external)
- Office of Minority Health (link is external) Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competence in Health Care (link is external)
- National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services: Multi-Cultural Resources for Health Information (link is external)
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit (link is external)
- Health Resources and Services Administration: Culture, Language and Health Literacy (link is external)
- Georgetown University: National Center for Cultural Competence (link is external)
- American Heart Month (February)
- National Minority Health Month (April)
- Hepatitis Awareness Month (May)
- Men's Health Day/Month (June)
- National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (July)
- National Breastfeeding Month (August)
- National Infant Mortality Awareness Month (September)
- National Sickle Cell Month (September)
- National Women's Health and Fitness Day (September)
- National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)
For more information, email OMHSE@hhsc.state.tx.us.