Category: Health Disparities, Health Equity, Social Determinants of Health

Primary Competency Area

#NYCHealthEquity – Advancing Racial and Social Justice
New York City

Course Objective

  • Describe the roles institutions have played in fostering, exacerbating and perpetuating racism and other forms of oppression
  • List the ways institutions can work with neighborhoods and communities to amplify their inherent power to heal together
  • Describe the role public health practitioners have in leveraging their power and privilege to embolden larger movements and coalitions seeking to name injustice and liberate oppressed groups

Date: February 20, 2018

Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH
Deputy Commissioner and Founding Director
Center for Health Equity at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

For one to have a true commitment to health equity, it is critical to engage with the political, social, and historical context of structural racism within our society. The history of slavery and segregation is deeply embedded within public policies which has fostered neighborhood underdevelopment, increased incarceration rates, and health disparities among minority and ethnic populations. Dr. Aletha Maybank, Deputy Commissioner and Founding Director of the Center for Health Equity at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) discusses the work of the Center for Health Equity to decrease health disparities and create an equitable and thriving city for all. The DOHMH and Center for Health Equity use a racial justice lense to build organizational capacity to advance racial equity through data visualization, community engagement, neighborhood investment, and public policy. Dr. Maybank discusses a neighborhood place-based approach which leverages past public health practices by implementing evidence-based interventions to provide coordinated health promotion services, clinical services, and community resources to increase community access to goods and services and close coverage gaps. Dr. Maybank discusses the importance of working with sister agencies to advance the health equity agenda and emphasizes the importance of multi-sectoral partnerships to promote community change.

Moving Beyond ‘Socioeconomic Status’ to Social Class Processes in Public Health
Scale with Illustrated People on Both Sides

Course Objective

  • To distinguish between socioeconomic status and class
  • To describe stratificationist, Weberian, and Marxian theoretical approaches to social inequality
  • To describe what it means to apply a class perspective to psychiatric epidemiology research
  • To explain the impact of social inequality on mental health from multiple theoretical perspectives

Date: September 5, 2017

Seth Prins, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Sociomedical Sciences and Department of Social Work, Columbia University

It is well known that there is a “social gradient of health,” or an inverse relationship between socioeconomic status and physical and mental health. However, most public health professionals conceptualize socioeconomic status using a stratificationist theoretical approach, but this neglects critical factors. In this webinar, Dr. Seth Prins discusses two other relational theoretical approaches to conceptualizing socioeconomic status: Weberian and Marxian. He discusses how these approaches impact our understanding of socioeconomic status and class on mental health, including depression and anxiety, and some of their mechanisms and causal pathways. Dr. Prins also describes epidemiological research into mental health and and how these social determinants of health manifest in the modern workforce.

Engaging Across Sectors and Disciplines to Build Community and Capacity for Health Equity
Illustration of Diverse Occupations

Course Objective

  • Define community
  • Engage in multi-sectoral partnerships and interventions for health equity
  • Implement strategies within your organization to advance health equity

Date: September 5, 2017

Dr. Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA, CCL
Founder and President
Health Equity Initiative

Disparities in health and healthcare are connected to population health and affect the delivery, access and quality of care, especially for vulnerable populations. There are social determinants (i.e. housing, built environment, age) that can negatively affect health outcomes. Dr. Renata Schiavo, Founding President of the Health Equity Initiative (HEI), discusses how professionals across sectors and disciplines can collaborate to build healthier communities. The term health equity is defined and framed as a human rights and social justice issue that will provide individuals with the same opportunities to stay healthy and cope with crises, regardless of socioeconomic factors and other social determinants. Regardless of status, Dr. Schiavo views health equity as a priority for all and uses case studies to exemplify how multi-sector partnerships can effectively mobilize communities to reduce health disparities and healthcare costs. By working with communities and using community engagement approaches, these multi-sector partnerships can foster community ownership and sustainability of health innovations. Dr. Schiavo also provides methods and strategies to bring multidisciplinary stakeholders together in order to develop sustainable, equitable solutions.

Strategies to Advance Health Equity: How Health Departments Can Grow a Healthy Public Food Sector
Black Women and young Girl in Produce Section Smiling

Course Objective

  • Explain and define the scope of the public, the private (market) and the non-profit (civil society) sectors in making healthy food more available and affordable.
  • Identify the various functions that the public sector plays in making healthy food available and affordable including: procurement, institutional food, taxation, enforcing food safety standards, regulating retail food outlets and restaurants , and providing food benefits(e.g., SNAP,WIC and school food).
  • Distinguish roles of local, state and federal governments in public sector food and identify food-related responsibilities of various government sectors including health, education, agriculture, environmental protection, economic development, zoning and land use, and consumer protection.
  • Describe innovative practices, policies and programs of state and local health departments in supporting public sector initiatives to increase access to healthy affordable food and reduce racial/ethnic, socioeconomic and other inequalities in diet-related diseases.
  • Describe governance mechanisms for engaging citizens, social movements, advocacy groups and others in using the public sector to shape healthier food environments.
  • Assess the scope and strengths and weaknesses of their own health department’s food portfolio and identify ways their department could use existing resources and mandates to strengthen the public sector’s role in making healthy food more affordable and accessible.

Date: August 17, 2017

Nicholas Freudenberg
Distinguished Professor of Public Health
City University of New York School of Public Health

Emily Franzosa
Senior Researcher
City University of New York School of Public Health

Fen Yee Teh
MPH Candidate
City University of New York School of Public Health

This self-paced, interactive module prepares public health professionals working in state and local health departments to develop or support food policy changes in their communities to encourage healthy food systems. The session begins with a discussion of why the public sector should be involved in developing policies around food and how local health agencies can lead the charge. Next, learners will learn about food system goals that can promote health and how to achieve those goals. Finally, learners will explore case studies that demonstrate how public health agencies have planned and implemented changes to their food systems.

Strategies to Advance Health Equity: How Health Departments Can Protect the Health of Immigrants
Father with Son on Shoulders

Course Objective

  • Describe evidence documenting major health challenges facing immigrants in the United States
  • Explain the pathways by which immigration policy can influence the health of immigrant populations
  • Identify specific strategies that state and local health agencies can adopt to improve health for immigrant populations
  • Describe at least three specific local or state initiatives designed to improve the health of immigrant populations that could be adapted to the participant’s community
  • Explain how LHDs can leverage “upstream” strategies, including partnering with other agencies, social movements and community organizations, to design implement these initiative

Date: August 4, 2017

Nicholas Freudenberg
Distinguished Professor of Public Health
City University of New York School of Public Health

Emily Franzosa
Senior Researcher
City University of New York School of Public Health

Eleni Murphy
MPH Candidate
City University of New York School of Public Health

This self-paced, interactive module prepares public health professionals working in state and local health departments to develop or support health care, social services, and public health programs to protect the health of immigrants. This session begins with an introduction to immigration policy and its relationship to health as well as local strategies to protect immigrant health. Next, learns will explore three case studies that highlight real policy changes governments have implemented to create more immigrant inclusive communities. During these case studies, learners will have time to reflect on ways their organization can partner with government agencies to support immigration health.

Understanding Depression Differences through a Dynamic Framework of Gender
Therapy Session

Course Objective

  • To define the “gender gap” in depression
  • To identify the hypothesized biological reasons for the “gender gap” in depression
  • To identify the hypothesized social and environmental reasons for the “gender gap” in depression
  • To explain the differences in how depression manifests in males vs. females
  • To describe the research that refutes common objections to the “gender gap” in depression
  • To describe the dynamic perspectives of gender

Date: July 11, 2017

Jonathan Platt, MPH, MPhil
Psychiatric Epidemiology Fellow
Columbia University Department of Epidemiology

Currently, the literature indicates that women are much more likely than men to be diagnosed with depression. While there have been some who try to attribute this difference to various research flaws, there is good evidence to refute these rebuttals and there do in fact appear to be gender differences in mental health. In this webinar, Jonathan Platt, MPH, MPhil, discusses the epidemiology of depression and the various hypotheses that have been proposed to explain the “gender gap.” These include issues of genes and hormones, social stress, epigenetics, and others. He describes the dynamic perspectives of gender and the importance of intersectionality in research design and program planning.

Moving Public Health Practice Upstream: The Role of Local Health Departments in Protecting Immigrant Health
Illustration of Colorful People

Course Objective

  • Explain the definition of “working upstream” in public health
  • Identify barriers and benefits to “working upstream”
  • Describe the “upstream” factors that impact the health of immigrants in America
  • Explain state and local strategies to promote inclusion and the role of the health department in those strategies
  • Describe the unique barriers that “new Americans” may face when accessing services in communities

Date: June 6, 2017

Emily Franzosa, DrPH, MA
Senior Researcher
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Policy

Immigrants face many unique challenges in accessing the same public services and rights that non-immigrants may take for granted. This includes challenges in accessing health care, education, public benefits, and workers rights and protections. These challenges are largely due to “upstream” factors such as governmental policies, which means that it is very important for public health professionals to also work “upstream. In this webinar, Dr. Emily Franzosa discusses the barriers and benefits of working “upstream,” specifically in relation to immigrant health. She describes some state and local strategies to promote inclusion and improved access to resources, and the role of the health department in these strategies. Examples of inclusive services through New York’s Municipal ID (NYCID) program, Nashville’s Welcoming America program, DACA, and Pre-Health Dreamers (PHC) are also discussed.

Asian Health Disparities and Hepatitis B in the Era of Elimination
Hepatitis B Vaccine Bottle

Course Objective

  • To describe health disparities that affect Asian communities
  • To describe the factors that contribute to health disparities among Asian communities
  • To list the growing health issues that affect Asian populations

Date: May 3, 2017

Su Wang, MD, MPH
Medical Director
Center for Asian Health, Saint Barnabas Medical Center

More than half of the people infected with hepatitis B in America are Asian, despite this population having above average education and income. This leads to their increased incidence of and mortality from liver cancer. As many as 2 out of 3 patients with chronic hepatitis B may be unaware they are infected because it is often asymptomatic and doctors are underscreening. Dr. Su Wang discusses the disparities faced by the Asian population around hepatitis B and its associated complications, with a particular focus on the Asian population in New Jersey and the community partnerships that have been formed there to increase screening, vaccination, and treatment of hepatitis in this population. These disparities are a result of a combination of factors, including language barriers, cultural health traditions, being less likely than other ethnic groups to practice preventive care, and general clinical disparities (such as the diabetes epidemic occurring in this population). Dr. Wang also details the work being done by the WHO and the World Hepatitis Alliance in the #NoHep campaign in their effort to eradicate the public health problem of hepatitis B and hepatitis C by 2030.

Structural Factors and Sexual Orientation Health Disparities in Adolescent Substance Use: A Multi-level Analysis
Male Passing Female Drugs

Course Objective

  • Explain why it is important to understand structural causes of health disparities among sexual minority youth.
  • Describe why substance use disparities might be a large and persistent cause of disparate morbidity among sexual minority youth.
  • List potential outcomes to expect for sexual orientation substance use disparities among youth given the changing political landscape.

Date: December 6, 2016

M. Somjen Frazer
PhD Student, ABD in Sociomedical Sciences
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

In this webinar, Ms. Frazer discusses the substance use disparities among sexual minority youth, specifically in the realms of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana and other drugs. She discusses why these disparities exist, and explores what the structural determinants of these disparities are, including structural stigma and policy environments.

Critical Consciousness-based Health Promotion Interventions for Racial and Sexual Minority Populations
Two Black Men Laughing

Course Objective

  • Define Critical Consciousness
  • Describe the Mobilizing our Voices for Empowerment (MOVE) intervention for young Black gay/bisexual men living with HIV
  • Discuss current and future critical consciousness intervention research

Date: November 1, 2016

Patrick Wilson, PhD
Associate Professor Sociomedical Sciences
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Critical Consciousness involves becoming aware of the broader social, political, and cultural forces that perpetuate oppression and inequality. Helping to raise individuals’ awareness and recognition of such forces in their daily lives can fuel empowerment, self-esteem, and other precursors to positive health behavior change. In this webinar, Dr. Patrick Wilson will discuss how critical consciousness can be used to support behavior change interventions for marginalized groups, such as black MSM youth.

Region 2 Public Health Training Center