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Presidential Health Equity Task Force Highlights State Innovation

As part of its final report and implementation plan, the Presidential Health Equity Task Force highlighted several states and communities that are improving equitable health care.

The report included recommendations for equitable disbursement of COVID-19 relief funding and culturally aligned communication, messaging, and outreach to people of color and other underserved populations. The panel noted several examples of successful health equity efforts, including:

  • California broadband services: As being connected to the internet is a key component of healthy living, the California Public Utilities Commission updated the California LifeLine Program to include low-cost and no-cost mobile data services, which will help make the pandemic less burdensome for many;
  • Cherokee Nation and vaccinations: With only 2,000 fluent Cherokee language speakers remaining, tribal leaders reserved vaccine doses specifically for Cherokee language speakers and began speaking to their community about the vaccine’s benefit, which has spurred more native members to receive the vaccine;
  • Connecticut baby bonds: Beginning July 2021, every child whose birth is covered by Medicaid will receive $3,200 in a savings trust that they will be able to use when they complete high school. Eligible uses of the funds include education, retirement savings, buying a home in the state, and investing in a state business; and
  • Rhode Island health equity zones: Rhode Island created at least 10 health equity zones within the state to encourage and equip neighbors and community partners to collaborate to create healthy places for people to live, learn, work, and play. The zones foster opportunities for a diverse range of community members and partners to collaborate to build healthier, more resilient communities.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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