The Connecticut Commission on Health Equity: Developing, Implementing & Monitoring State Agencies’ Health Disparities Plans

NNEDLearn 2013 Participant: Black Women’s Health Council

Description: The Connecticut Commission on Health Equity (CHE) engages in community awareness and outreach. The commission has the authority to institute actions that contribute to the elimination of health disparities among minorities, women and other populations. The commission targets state agencies that provide and/ or contract for services for Connecticut’s residents, and requires each state health and human services agency to develop and submit a plan that will reduce or eliminate health disparities.

The Commission provides information, guidance and support to the agencies as they develop plans. Online webinars that provide templates and designs for plan construction are offered.

A consultant is assigned to specific agencies who maintains contact with staff designated as the agency’s lead for plan development. The consultant reviews information, data collection instruments and strategies, during the plan development process for each assigned agency.

The projected impact of the commission is:

  • Use of Health Impact Assessments that include health disparities as an integral component of the process
  • Enforcement of the CLAS Standards for individual practitioners and institutions
  • Increase health literacy and self-advocacy among consumers resulting in improved health outcomes
  • Increased diversity in the health care workforce and administration

Population of focus: State agencies

Setting: Office

Level of focus: Organization

Background: CHE was legislatively created to address health disparities in Connecticut. The program mandates engagement in action, research, and other activities that improve health outcomes and contribute to the elimination of health disparities in Connecticut. The commission reports to the Governor and the CT general Assembly. A grant from DMHAS was used to hire consultants to assist each agency with the creation of its plan.