The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is committed to supporting efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities and championing health equity is among DOH’s six Strategic Priorities. To do so, NYS DOH must acknowledge and address the role that racism and racial inequality has on itself as an organization, as well as, the health outcomes of New Yorkers. NYS DOH recognizes that implicit bias impacts everyone, despite best intentions, and that clear goals, strategies, and tools to operationalize shared values must be developed to avoid putting implicit bias into practice in the work in a way that reinforces racism and other forms of discrimination. There are several departments within DOH that are working towards these efforts such as the AIDS Institute Health Equity Center of Expertise, the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention, and the Center for Community Health, which began a year long process in 2018 to focus their work on turning commitment to racial justice into action. A Racial Justice Work Group was formed, comprised of diverse representatives focused on achieving racial justice principles. In addition, a range of innovative training interventions are being implementing to build the capacity of health and human services providers, health care facilities, community-based organizations (CBOs) and larger communities to employ a health equity framework to improve health outcomes.
Membership into the Government Alliance on Race an d Equity will further support capacity building and promote the elimination of institutional and structural racism and advance health equity throughout DOH. These are key factors in supporting institutional equity within New York State Department of Health, developing racially equitable policies and practices, addressing health disparities and ensuring health equity for all New Yorkers.