Being inclusive is a key to achieving health equity, attendees learned at the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Health Equity Summit in Pittsburgh April 6-7.
Keynote speaker Justice Shorter, a disability justice advocate, spoke on the importance of including people with disabilities in the decision-making process to create policies or programs that are inclusive and best serve the community at large. She reminded the nearly 400 summit participants to make decisions with people, not for them, and that pursuing health equity means recognizing the value in each person.
Pennsylvania AHEC provided information about the new Pennsylvania Training Center for Health Equity at the summit. The training center is providing information and training on what health equity is, why it is important, and how to make health equity a priority in your community.
The training center also is bolstering Pennsylvania’s public health workforce by training and providing continuing education for community health workers and by supporting the Department of Health’s new community health organizers who are coordinating COVID-19 testing and vaccine clinics across the state and working to address underlying health disparities and inequities.
Other speakers at the conference, coordinated by the American Lung Association, spoke about the impact that COVID-19 has had on vulnerable communities and shared the work they have been doing to help those populations, advance health equity, and reduce health disparities.
For more information about the Pennsylvania Training Center for Health Equity and collaboration opportunities, please be in touch with Program Manager Amanda Taylor-Gehman.