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About the Office of Health Opportunity
The mission of the Ohio Department of Health is to advance the health and well-being of all Ohioans by transforming the state’s public health system through unique partnerships and funding streams; addressing the community conditions and inequities that lead to disparities in health outcomes; and implementing data-driven, evidence-based solutions.
The Office of Health Opportunity focuses on systems changes to eliminate population level disparities in Ohio.
What is Health Disparity?
Certain groups of Ohioans experience a disproportionate burden of mortality and prevalence of certain diseases or health conditions. These are commonly referred to as health disparities. Health disparities are not limited to one disease or health condition and are measurable through the use of various public health data. Most health disparities affect groups because of their socioeconomic status, geographic location, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, disability status, or some combination of these factors.
The Office of Health Opportunity focuses on the elimination of these population level health disparities through strategies intended to:
- Elevate and align cross functional resources to address the social determinants of health,
- Ensure that equitable practice is a pillar in Ohio’s public health system,
- Improve clinical experiences for minorities, people with disabilities, and other underserved populations, and
- Ensure the equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is Health Equity and Health Opportunity?
Health equity is defined as striving for equal opportunity for health. This requires that health policy and programs prioritize the needs of those furthest behind in health outcomes. This principle has been echoed by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health equity is also the process of removing barriers to health, such as limited access to health services and health education, social and environmental circumstances that limit healthy choices or are inherently unhealthy. In Ohio, creating opportunities for optimal health is a goal. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is working with state and local partners to improve the health of Ohioans who are currently experiencing disparate health outcomes by removing barriers to health, and creating opportunities for healthier lifestyles, in the spaces that people live, learn, work, and play.
Ohio Department of Health
246 N. High Street, 6th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 981-2901