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Saint Louis County Department of Public Health-Health Equity Training

State: MI Type: Promising Practice Year: 2017

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Saint Louis County Department of Public Health
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Saint Louis County Department of Public Health-Health Equity Training
The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) has served the citizens of Saint Louis County Missouri for over 100 years. DPH provides public health services to over 1 million residents throughout Saint Louis County at several public health centers. Saint Louis County Department of Public Health strives to keep St. Louis County one of the best places in the region to live, work, or visit. This is accomplished by regularly assessing the health and environment of the county and responding with sound policies that help assure the availability of high quality public health services for everyone. The Health Equity Committee of DPH has developed a department-wide health equity training plan that will educate employees' about social or demographic factors that affect health including, but not limited to, racial equity, LGBTQIA(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Asexual) cultural competency and health literacy. This plan seeks to serve as a training guide on creating a culture of health equity. The two goals for the Health Equity Training are 1. Increase new hire and existing staff awareness and understanding of Health Equity and 2. Incorporate Health Equity awareness into our job functions to better serve Saint Louis County. The objectives for goal 1 are as follow: 1. Employees will complete Health Equity Training and gain awareness of the health equity definition by the end of December 2018; 2. Create health Equity Training Curriculum and schedule by the end of October 2016 and 3. Begin ongoing communication to share health equity training materials with DPH staff via email starting November 2016. The objectives for goal 2 are as follow: 1. Develop and implement a manager specific training to guide managers to incorporate Health Equity awareness and language into their programs by January 2017. Managers will also be coached on how to have productive follow-up conversations with team members returning from Health Equity training session. These conversations will help connect the classroom learning to the work the team member, Division and DPH does and 2. Develop all Health Equity Training to ensure Problem Solving component. Revise Health Equity training based on trainee and trainer feedback as needed in order to better apply Health Equity concepts on the job. The Health Equity Training has begun by implementing staff listening sessions on race and racism which lead into our second module on Undoing Racism. The goals and objective are currently in progress in relation to employees completing all of the training modules. The objectives of the listening sessions that have been conducted have all been achieved, where staff were able to come to a safe environment and share their thoughts, experiences and learn from each other. After the conclusion of the listening sessions, DPH staff completed evaluations which provided input and guidance for the improvement and continued success of the listening sessions. The listening sessions had an impact on the public health practice because staff not only learned from their colleagues experiences, but also how the customers we serve, may have or had the same experiences and how we can better serve our community. http://www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness
Saint Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) has formed a Health Equity Committee to cultivate a culture within DPH that supports the growth of employees' understanding of health equity in a manner that raises consciousness, stimulates action and improves health outcomes for the community at large. The department-wide health equity training plan will educate employees' about social or demographic factors that affect health. The training plan seeks to serve as a training guide on creating a culture of health equity. The target population for the training plan is DPH employees', new hires and existing staff. To date, around 20% of 400 employees have been reached. This is a new initiative within DPH to address health equity and will continue to be evaluated for any revisions for future refresher sessions. The development of the health equity training and the listening session were creative in that the modules were designed, built and tailored from evidence based curriculums, materials and modules. The tools used were from the PRIMER, The Development, Implementation and Assessment of Health Equity Action Training (HEAT): Implications for Local Health Departments, and Unnatural Causes and Race: The Power of Illusion.
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The two goals for the Health Equity Training are 1. Increase new hire and existing staff awareness and understanding of Health Equity and 2. Incorporate Health Equity awareness into our job functions to better serve Saint Louis County. The objectives for goal 1 are as follow: 1. Employees will complete Health Equity Training and gain awareness of the health equity definition by the end of December 2018; 2. Create health Equity Training Curriculum and schedule by the end of October 2016 and 3. Begin ongoing communication to share health equity training materials with DPH staff via email starting November 2016. The objectives for goal 2 are as follow: 1. Develop and implement a manager specific training to guide managers to incorporate Health Equity awareness and language into their programs by January 2017. Managers will also be coached on how to have productive follow-up conversations with team members returning from Health Equity training session. These conversations will help connect the classroom learning to the work the team member, Division and DPH does and 2. Develop all Health Equity Training to ensure Problem Solving component. Revise Health Equity training based on trainee and trainer feedback as needed in order to better apply Health Equity concepts on the job. To achieve these goals a subcommittee was formed to develop a training for staff. Members of the subcommittee researched several curriculum and modules to develop a Department training plan. Throughout this timeframe, training modules were developed and reviewed, along with a training plan calendar and recruitment for Health Equity committee members to become trainers to train staff on designated modules. All DPH staff will receive the training over 3 years. Meetings were held with outside organizations to look towards collaboration on designated modules. Staff from the outside organizations provided resources and guidance on how Health Equity Committee Members can be trained to provide training to DPH staff. We do not anticipate any start-up costs.
The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) Health Equity Training is currently being implemented. The modules will be completed within 3 years. The DPH Health Equity Committee held several listening sessions on race and racism for staff. Multiple sessions were held at each of the health centers over several months. The objectives for the listening sessions was for employees' to share, listen and grow from others experiences in a safe environment. Through the evaluation that was provided to staff through email, the objectives were achieved and the listening sessions will guide and lead DPH into the Undoing racism module. From the evaluation results, the Health Equity Committee was able to adjust the questions that lead into conversations during the listening session.
Thus far, we have learned to continue to evaluate the modules for improvements. Thus far, we have not conducted a cost/benefit analysis and look to having no cost to implement the training. The outside organizations that DPH Health Equity members have met with, staff from these organizations look forward to assisting DPH with any needs throughout the training. After year 3 of the training, the Health Equity committee plans to offer refresher/update sessions for staff on an annual basis to keep staff abreast of the current and relevant information regarding health equity.
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