Summit County Office of Minority Health

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is dedicated to providing minority health data and technical assistance to local agencies working to improve the health status of minority populations. The OMH works to eliminate differences in health status between racial and ethnic minority and non-minority populations by providing leadership and guidance on best ways to address racial and ethnic health disparity and specific health needs of racial and ethnic minority groups.

Funded through the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, the OMH is part of a national initiative to localize the concept of racial and ethnic health equity.  The OMH serves as a central location for the coordination of community health efforts targeting health improvement in Summit County’s African-American/Black, Asian, Hispanic/Latino and Native American populations.

The OMH is building local system capacity as a “clearinghouse” for information on minority health status and health data, programs and services, and funding related matters. Its strategic goal, developed with input from the community, is to decrease health disparities in Summit County through the provision of information to the community regarding what disparities exist; how community organizations in Summit County are addressing these disparities and how they might collaborate to build complimentary programming; how community organizations can evaluate their programs and services; and what funding is available to communities for minority health programs/services and research.

Mission:  To provide leadership to reduce health inequities in minority communities of Summit County.

Vision:  The office ultimately envisions a society where the opportunity for health equity exists for all persons and ideally, eliminates the social and economic barriers to good health.

Office of Minority Health 4 Core Work Areas

  • Monitor and report the health status of minority population
  • Inform, educate, and empower people to make choice about their health
  • Mobilize community partnerships
  • Develop policies and plans to support health efforts

What do we mean by “Disparities”?

  • Health Disparities are the differences in rates of disease, health outcomes and access to healthcare found between different groups of people.
  • Healthcare Disparities are the differences in the quality of care received by different groups.
  • Health Equity is a basic principle of public health – that all people have a right to health. Racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive a lower quality of healthcare than non-minorities, even when other factors are the same, such as insurance and income.

Minority Health Month – April

In 1989, the Ohio Commission on Minority Health developed the concept of a high-visibility campaign designed to focus on heath awareness and disease prevention. This 30-day campaign consists of numerous activities designed to bring participation of minorities or providers of health services to minority populations. In 2000, Minority Health Month became a national celebration.

Ohio Commission on Minority Health Partnership

Created in 1987, the Ohio Commission on Minority Health serves as the lead agency for six local offices in Ohio:
  • Columbus
  • Dayton
  • Cleveland
  • Akron
  • Toledo
  • Youngstown

National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA)

The National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) is intended to lead local offices of minority health and its partners toward a shared destination: a nation free of health disparities, with quality health outcomes among racial and ethnic minority populations.  The NPA is an initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health in partnership with a broad, diverse array of partners.

Evaluation of the Local Office

Evaluation is an integral part of all planning efforts. When we conceptualize, write, or implement a program we should pay attention to evaluation very closely. This becomes more important for health programs as stakeholders, funders, and legislators demand more accountability, and as staff and administrators want to know more about the implementation and effectiveness of their programs.

The Ohio Commission on Minority Health (OCMH) funded a Research and Evaluation Enhancement Program (REEP) to bring together Ohio evaluation experts who have experience evaluating culturally diverse health research projects.