HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Eli N. Avila today kicked off the state's first Health Equity Conference, an event aimed at improving healthcare access and delivery.
"The Department of Health is committed to identifying health disparities and working toward improving the health status of all Pennsylvanians," said Avila. "To protect public health, we must recognize and work to address the socio-economic issues surrounding healthcare access and delivery."
The conference provided an opportunity for healthcare professionals and others to discuss current challenges and identify opportunities for making improvements.
Participants discussed health disparities, which encompass statistically significant differences in health status, the delivery of health services, and/or the use of health services arising from differences such as gender, race, ethnicity, education, income, disability, geographic location and sexual orientation.
The objectives of the conference were to:
- Describe healthcare access challenges and opportunities and how to reduce health inequities;
- Understand the role of Federally Qualified Health Centers in serving underserved populations;
- Implement best practices from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to align with Cultural & Linguistic Appropriate Services standards;
- Describe physical health and behavioral health disabilities and challenges; and
- Identify and solve challenges in healthcare delivery in Pennsylvania.
"We are hopeful that participants gained the knowledge and skills necessary to identify challenges and implement changes that address health disparities within their professions and communities," added Avila.
More than 270 participants attended the conference held at the Best Western Premier Hotel in Harrisburg.
Media contact: Holli Senior, 717-787-1783
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health