Statewide Town Hall Meetings
The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity will coordinate statewide town hall meetings to raise public awareness about health inequities and to further explore a paradigm shift that connects our health not just to individual behaviors and healthcare but to underlying social conditions. These forums will bring together government officials, the health community, community-based organizations, the press and other stakeholders to draw local attention to health disparities, win buy-in for “moving upstream,” and spotlight promising local health equity initiatives. The OMHHE website will provide town hall meeting schedules, toolkits and national resources to assist major stakeholders and communities at large in implementing activities to address health inequities.
Complete the Community Forum Update to have your event added to our website.
Statewide Health Equity Forums
The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity Division of Health Equity staff is promoting health equity by conducting Unnatural Causes forums for organizations and groups, including but not limited to:
- African-American Men’s Health Forum (2/16/08)
- Baptist General Convention
- HIV Community Planning Committee (11/2/07)
- Minority Health Advisory Committee "State of Minority Health in Virginia" (12/11/07)
- NACCHO Health Director's Meeting (9/26/07)
- Norfolk State University
- Richmond Infant Mortality Summit (9/22/07)
- Virginia Health Directors Video Conference (12/3/07)
- Virginia Latino Advisory Board
- Virginia Commonwealth University, Center for Health Disparities – Brown Bag Lunch Series (8/21/07)
- Virginia Commonwealth University, The Emerging School of Public Health (ongoing)
- Virginia Department of Health, Chronic Disease Networking Committee (8/20/07)
- Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services
- Virginia Department of Health, OMHPHP Black History Month Recognition Program
- Virginia Department of Health, OMHPHP/UVA Video Conference (11/19/07)
- Virginia Department of Health, Tobacco Control Conference (11/15/07)
- Virginia Rural Health Association Conference (11/9/07)
Unnatural Causes explores the root causes of the nation's alarming socio-economic and racial inequities in health – and searches for solutions. The series and companion tools can help you:
- Educate. Inform constituents and others about the extent, root causes and possible solutions to health inequities
- Organize & Mobilize. Reach out and build alliances with other stakeholders; get constituents involved, connected and eager for change
- Advocate. Bring constituencies together to advocate with government officials and the press for policy changes
A component of the Unnatural Causes toolkit is an Event Planning Guide. It will provide you with results-oriented steps to maximize the benefits of your event.
Step 1: Determine Your Motivation and Capacity
- How does a tackling health inequity fit into the work of your organization? How knowledgeable and committed is the leadership? Staff: Do you need to use the series internally before reaching out to the public and other organizations?
- Does your organization want to increase public support around health equity and social determinants because these issues are your organization's issues? Does your organization have a specific campaign and 'targets' you hope to move?
- Given the mission, capacity and existing scope of work, to what extent can your organization use the series within and/or across sectors to:
- Educate about the extent, causes and solutions to health inequities?
- Organize/mobilize people to build a base for action?
- Advocate for policies and initiatives that promote health equity?
Step 2: Define Your Audience
Given the work of your organization, who are natural audiences? Internal staff, departments within the organization, board, advisors, constituency, community members, academia, journalists, policymakers, elected officials, other non-health stakeholders?
- What level of knowledge does your audience have about health inequities? Does it focus mostly on access to health care or does it include an understanding about how our social and economic environment can increase or decrease chances for health?
- Is this an internal event or are there groups from other sectors you’d need to bring into the conversation?
- Do you want to bring in groups and organizations as co-sponsors that don’t ordinarily work together?
- Do audience members view health inequities as something that affects them personally? Professionally? As a critical issue that needs to be addressed?
- What solutions/approaches/actions can you present that will resonate with this group?
- What specific activities would you like audience members to engage in for the short and long-term?
Step 3: Set Your Goals
Plan events that advance the mission and capacity of your organization.
- Is there a report, initiative or announcement you’d like to promote?
- Are there non health issue areas you want to foreground? Policies which shorten the inequity ladder, such as family supports, living wages, tax policy, etc.?
- The key is to plan activities using the series that support and advance your existing scope of work. These can range from promoting the series as a resource on your website, in publications or newsletters to using the series in training, events, and conferences, or even creating partnerships with local PBS stations to organize wrap-around events when the series airs in Spring 2008.
Possible Screening Scenarios