The Minority Health Liaisons (MHL’s) are the link between local communities and the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) Office of Minority Health (OMH). A representative from each of the 67 county health departments make up the Minority Health Liaisons workgroup. Because the Office of Minority Health is not a provider of direct services, OMH relies heavily on the county health departments and other programs within the DOH to achieve its goals. OMH is responsible for helping to improve health and healthcare outcomes for racial and ethnic minority communities by developing or advancing policies, programs, and practices that address health, social, economic, environmental, and other factors which impact health.
The vision of the Office of Minority Health and Minority Health Liaisons workgroup is to develop a network of collaborative partnerships. The objective is to improve the health of all residents and visitors across Florida, primarily through increasing public awareness of the importance of minority health and developing initiatives focused on minority health issues statewide. The OMH helps to facilitate these partnerships by coordinating with county health departments, central office divisions/bureaus, and statewide stakeholders, and providing technical assistance to the MHL’s on issues related to minority health, health disparities and other health issues within the state.
The Office of Minority Health and the Minority Health Liaisons are committed to addressing the social factors that affect the health outcomes of minorities throughout the State of Florida. These factors include environmental conditions, income and education disparities and language barriers.
Key Components of the OMH-MHL Partnership
- Share information on minority health, especially health disparities due to race, class, gender, culture, education, sexual orientation, religion, immigration status and age
- Coordinate events designed to improve minority health, such as Black History Month, Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month, American Indian and Native Alaska Heritage Month, Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day, National Minority Health Month, and other nationally recognized events
- Develop statewide initiatives
- Promote state and local activities and events to raise awareness of programs and services available to minorities and the underserved populations
- Maintain an OMH presence at the state and local levels
- Help meet the mission of the Department by achieving its primary responsibilities in eliminating health disparities.