LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas along with the County Health Agency and community partners announced the release on Wednesday of a new plan that promotes health equity across the county.
Over the next five years, the Health Agency will join with others to sustain efforts to reduce and eliminate some of the biggest gaps in health outcomes.
Priorities include improving birth outcomes for Black babies who currently die at three times the rate of White babies in LA County and reducing disproportionally high rates of sexually transmitted infections among men having sex with men, black women, and transgender residents.
“Health equity is essential in a society that values the well-being of all its members, to ensure that no one is left behind simply because of where they live and other factors,” said Ridley-Thomas, who authored the motion to create Public Health’s Center for Health Equity. “We have an obligation to avoid exacerbating health disparities in our communities, and to reverse them.”
The plan is a call to action and seeks to grow a movement to advance health equity so that everyone has access to the resources and opportunities they need for optimal health and well-being in LA County.
“In Los Angeles County, there are stark differences in health outcomes based on race and ethnicity, geography and income,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, director of the county Department of Public Health.
“The action plan is a set of strategic priorities and is a public commitment to achieving a set of well-defined equity goals to close gaps,” Ferrer said. “These activities will build a movement toward ensuring everyone in the county can reach their fullest potential.”
“Equity shouldn’t be an aspiration in our society but rather, a basic human right,” said Veronica Flores, MA, chief executive officer, Community Health Councils. “To ensure this basic right is operationalized throughout our County, the action plan will offer a clear path to accountability and strategy.”
The plan focus areas include:
* Reducing the gap in black infant mortality by 30 percent in 5 years;
* Eliminating congenital syphilis entirely in 5 years;
* Reducing hazardous exposures to harmful toxins in low-income communities;
* Improving health outcomes for residents with complex health needs;
* Ensuring health agency services are accessible and culturally and linguistically appropriate.
For more information about the five-year action plan, visit healthequity.lacounty.gov.