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Friday, January 17, 2014

Health Action 2014: Advancing the Fight for Health Equity

Kevin Oshinskie

Health Equity Intern

Health advocates share the hope that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the racial and ethnic health disparities that remain realities in today’s health care system. These disparities transcend age, gender, and ailment. African Americans are 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease and 45 percent more likely to die from a stroke than whites, and Hispanics and Asian Americans are more than twice as likely to die from stomach cancer.

Minorities disproportionately suffer from other serious medical conditionsincluding asthmaAIDS, and SIDS. Buying health insurance makes it possible to get the health care that’s necessary to manage, delay, and even prevent these and other conditions.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true—there is a direct link between lack of insurance and poor health outcomes. Because people of color are more likely to be uninsured, health care advocates hope that the increased access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will lead to a reduction in these disparities.

Families USA conference workshops will discuss techniques for reducing disparities in health equity and help you learn how to make a difference in your community

At the Families USA Annual Conference, Health Action 2014: Making the Promise Real (January 23 -25), hundreds of advocates from across the country are coming together to learn about the most important health care issues facing consumers in 2014. The conference offers dozens of workshops and hundreds of prominent experts discussing everything from the basics of the Affordable Care Act to how to build local enrollment assistance programs or campaign for the recognition of crucial health care issues.

This conference will also focus on ways to close the health equity gap and combat health care disparities in communities of color.

Workshops devoted entirely to health equity:

  •  “Reaching Key Demographics: Online Tactics to Engage People of Color”
  • “The Remaining Uninsured: Who They Are, Their Options, Their Future”
  • “Making Access Real: Health Equity Beyond the Insurance Card”
  • “Access at the Intersections: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual Orientation, and the ACA”
  • “The Download: Outreach and Enrollment in Communities of Color”

Other workshops and plenaries regarding big issues in communities of color include:

  • “Outreach and Enrollment in New Coverage Options”
  • “The Intersection of Health Care, Social Media, and Digital Strategy”
  • “Immigrant Populations and Access to Health Care”
  • “Innovative Outreach Strategies to Reach the Uninsured”
  • “Keeping the Faith in Obamacare”
  • “Building the Best Enrollment Assistance Program”
  • “Enrollment Assistance to Advocacy”
  • “Addressing Disparities Through Delivery Reform”
  • “Enrollment 2.0: Effective Outreach and Enrollment Strategies for Targeted Populations”

In addition, the Language Access, LGBT Outreach and Policy, and Interfaith Strategy Breakfasts will provide networking and learning opportunities for health equity advocates. And we will also recognize 2014’s Health Equity Consumer Advocate of the Year at our annual awards luncheon on Friday, January 24.

Eliminating health care disparities and achieving health equity for all Americans is central to Families USA’s mission. We’ve worked hard to offer health advocates a robust and diverse lineup of opportunities to increase their understanding of these issues, learn about the excellent work of health advocates around the country, and discuss strategies for reducing health disparities while ensuring affordable, quality health care for everyone. We hope to see you there!