Friday, May 11, 2012
DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew and our legal counsel have approved the change in name of the Office of Minority Health to the Office of Health Equity. This is a national trend to recognize all groups that experience health disparities and the move toward the integration of health equity as a framework for the work we do. Our goal is to have equality for all. With that said, we also recognize the need to work on data integrity for populations that experience health disparities. Of particular importance for this name change is to better reflect the work that the Office is currently involved with. With the Maine CDC reorganization in the Fall of 2011 we brought the Women's Health Program under the jurisdiction of the Office, as we provide services to underserved women across the state. Additionally, we are well aware of disparities that impact women disproportionately. We will also be adding a child wellness liaison to the Office of Health Equity. We will have a more deliberate focus on our most vulnerable population. By working with Therese Cahill Lowe, the director of the Office of Child and Family Services, we developed a plan for Maine CDC’s Office of Health Equity to gain capacity to address issues related to children who are at risk.