Louisiana Department of Health
The report Public Health Forward: Modernizing the U.S. Public Health System highlights the need for readily available data to support public health programs, and specifically calls on public health agencies to consistently collect data needed to identify, document, and address health inequities in local communities. Data must include indicators that characterize populations experiencing health inequities, health disparities present within these populations, and socioeconomic conditions. These data are foundational to public health programs and other community efforts to advance health equity.
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) uses a health equity lens for its data collection and reporting. While LDH serves all Louisianans, they maintain a focus on communities experiencing poorer health outcomes due to structural factors. LDH is developing a two-phase health equity plan that adopts and supports a new approach to operationalize health equity practices and protocols across all its offices, divisions, and bureaus. In alignment with this plan, the most recent State Health Assessment (SHA) focuses on health equity in a new and compelling way: by including data indicators that underlie health inequities (e.g., housing and education) as opposed to solely using health condition-based indicators. LDH displays all its SHA data on a new dashboard that is updated annually, providing a robust resource for all who are working to advance health equity.
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