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In all key health indicators, including infant mortality, life expectancy and excess mortality from all 12 leading causes of death, African Americans in Ingham County carry a disproportionate burden of negative health outcomes. In response, the Ingham County Health Department has begun a dialogue process targeting leadership, workforce, and community that uncovers the root causes of health inequities by: 1. teaching employees and community members to describe current forms of both institutionalized and overt discrimination, as well as ways to respond to them, 2. distinguishing between health disparities and health inequities and identifying the role of the health department in combating these, and 3. identifying changes individuals can make in their practices to oppose all forms of discrimination. At every level of county government, policies, practices, and procedures are being examined and reorganized to undo institutionalized and personal forms of oppression. The dialogue process has also led to a Social Justice Action Plan.
UW's Health Disparities Toolkit