DPH Office of Health Equity Welcomes New Health Promotion Policy Fellow

April 28, 2015

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is pleased to welcome Wykinia M. J. Hamblin, MPH, as the Office of Health Equity’s (OHE) new health promotion policy fellow. She joins the agency from the Directors of Health Promotion and Education’s Health Promotion Policy Fellowship Program.                                            

Most recently, Hamblin earned a Master of Public Health from Morehouse School of Medicine and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from Kennesaw State University.

During her fellowship, Hamblin will conduct an environmental scan to gain a historical perspective of the Department’s past health equity efforts; establish an internal strategy to drive the mission of the office; draft a program plan with refined goals and objectives; and create an evaluation plan.

Health disparities are deeply rooted in continued social inequities in America. Communities directly impacted by these inequities often have lower socioeconomic backgrounds, endure lower quality of health care and suffer worse health outcomes. Ultimately, these issues negatively impact productivity and increase direct and indirect health care costs throughout the state.

“Health equity is important because it provides those in need an opportunity to thrive in all areas of life when provided with proper resources,” said Hamblin. “Through my fellowship with the Georgia Department of Public Health, I hope to gain valuable skills in public health with an increased capacity to deliver evidence-based programs, policies and initiatives that benefit underserved families and communities.”

Established at DPH in 2010, OHE aims to eliminate health inequities while promoting a healthy quality of life for Georgians. The office achieves its mission through close internal and external partnerships. These collaborations provide OHE a direct line to existing DPH programs and services that influence increased positive health outcomes for Georgia families.

Among those programs include the Department’s Babies Can’t Wait program, Georgia Care and Prevention in the U.S. (CAPUS) project and the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.

“Health disparities are a significant source of preventable burdens and long-term health conditions among Georgia residents,” said Yvette Daniels, J.D., DPH Division of Health Promotions director. “The Office of Health Equity enables us to further our public health mission by closing the gap between vital health resources and the communities that need them. These efforts play an important role in how we foster a healthier population among all of Georgia's diverse communities."

Hamblin’s appointment comes at a timely moment as the state joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) in observing National Minority Health Month.

Commemorating efforts to eradicate health disparities began 30 years ago when HHS released the Secretary’s Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health in 1985.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking study, and its legacy of eradicating health disparities in America is the theme of this year’s observance – “30 Years of Advancing Health Equity, The Heckler Report: A Force for Ending Health Disparities in America.”

Coined the Heckler report in honor of then HHS Secretary Margaret M. Heckler, this report was the first time in American history where health disparities among racial and ethnic minority groups were formally documented. Following the report’s release, HHS created the Office of Minority Health (OMH) as a task force solely dedicated to advancing health equity through nationwide policy development and implementation.

To learn more about health equity, visit www.dph.georgia.gov/Health-Equity. For more information on HHS’ Office of Minority Health and National Minority Health Month, visit www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov.

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