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Topics > Reducing Health Disparities Initiative > What We Are Doing > Roll-Out Highlighted by Work of Four Groups

Roll-Out Highlighted by Work of Four Groups

Connie James to Join RHD Team CCHS Director Dr. William Walker announces that Concepcion James is joining the Reducing Health Disparities team and, over the next few months, will assume the role as RHD manager. Dr. Walker praised José Martín for his groundbreaking work on linguistic access. This change allows José, who has been leading RHD efforts, to focus on the linguistic services component of RHD. Commenting on Connie's new role Dr. Walker said, "Connie's community engagement and resource development skills are an excellent match for RHD's new direction," Connie, who was most recently the Manager of the Bay Point Family Health Center, said, "Building upon the work our divisions are now engaged in, we will work together to document and champion effective strategies to positively impact health outcomes for Contra Costa residents." Dawna Vann rounds out the team, focusing on resource coordination, training and education and staffing the unique African American Health Initiative, which is now a part of RHD efforts.

More than 70 CCHS staff participated in the recent formal roll-out of the Reducing Health Disparities One-Year Plan and Five-Year Overview. The event capped a year-long strategic planning effort to assess the department's commitment to reducing health disparities. Health Services Director Dr. William Walker traced the history of the commitment - which began as a discussion about diversity and how we treat each other and our patients and clients. Since then, the effort has grown to embrace strategies to reduce both health care disparities inside our system as well as health disparities that affect the community. There is a new focus on what Divisions are doing to improve language access and cultural sensitivity and appropriateness. "The bottom line is that this work has to be incorporated in the As part of our Reducing Health Disparities efforts, our divisions are working to achieve outcomes in four categories: consumers/clients/patients/customers; the community; our staff; and our systems. Each month this page highlights what different divisions of CCHS are doing to reduce disparities in health and health care, and what still needs to be done.

day-to-day work of our divisions. It's not a special project. It sits on the plate of everyone who works in CCHS," said Dr. Walker.

Acknowledging that there are many efforts underway throughout CCHS to reduce health care disparities and health disparities, a few of them were highlighted at the recent event.

In the area of language access, our participation in the now statewide Health Care Interpreter Network gives us video access to interpreters shared across California by participating health departments, including ours. That gives us access to 20 languages, including American Sign Language. Public Health's Limited English Access

Program staff have now been integrated into the network. For more information, contact José Martín at or 925-957-5426.

The African American Health Initiative reported on its continuing efforts to bring the African American community into our efforts to reduce health disparities.

They invited programs throughout the department to work with them.

For more information, contact Dawna Vann at or 925-957-5436.

Concepcion James, Manager of the Bay Point Family Health Center, and Tiombe Mashama, Senior Health Educator, and the Promotoras and Health Conductors described their efforts to help the community navigate our health system and learn about important health issues.

"There's a wealth of talent in our community. We have to learn how to tap into it," Connie said about recruiting residents to extend out reach.

For more information, contact Connie James at or Tiombe Mashama at or 925-313-6826.

Otilia Tuitin of CCHP described how awareness was raised among staff, leading to training for nearly all employees on Culturally Competent Customer Service. The Mental Health Division's Kimberly Mayer described how the voter approved Mental Health Services Act is transforming the public mental health system and involving the community in planning to reduce health disparities.

For more information, contact Otilia Tuitin or 925-313-6063 or Kimberly Mayer or 925-957-5132.

The Promotoras from Bay Point Family Health Center are, from left, Yolanda Costilla, Elizabeth Luciano, Maria Silva and Miriam Medina.

The African American Health Conductors are Evelyn Dodson, left, and LeAndra Turner, right, and they are mentored by Tiombe Mashama, center.

From left, CCHS staff Hannah Head, Vidya Iyengar and Sherry Bradley.

From left, Jeanne Walker Johnson, Itika Greene and Bill Sorrell discuss RHD.

Content provided by the Reducing Health Disparities Initiative.

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