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KITSAP PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT PROMOTES EQUITY

Kitsap Public Health District is committed to promoting equity and dismantling racist systems that damage the health of Kitsap County residents. We believe all Kitsap residents should have equitable opportunity to live healthy and safe lives.

 

Equity is the guarantee of fair treatment, advancement, opportunity, and access for all individuals. To achieve equity, we strive to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups and ensure that all community members have access to community conditions and opportunities to reach their full potential and to experience optimal well-being and quality of life. (Adapted from the International City/County Management Association).

Updates and resources related to our equity work will be posted to this page. If you have questions or suggestions, please email Jessica Guidry, Equity Program Manager, at Jessica.guidry@kitsappublichealth.org

Kitsap Public Health Board resolution "Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis"

On May 4, 2021, the Kitsap Public Health Board adopted a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. Resolution 2021-01 commits the Health Board and Kitsap Public Health District to taking specific, meaningful actions to address institutionalized and systemic racism. Learn more:

 

Antiracism resolutions in the United States

Across the country, local and state leaders are declaring racism a public health crisis or emergency. These declarations are an important first step in the movement to advance racial equity and justice and must be followed by allocation of resources and strategic action. To learn more, and see a map of declarations in the United States, visit the American Public Health Association declaration page.

On March 28, 2019, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) issued Directive 19-01 reaffirming DOH's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural humility.

On February 22, 2022, the Washington State Public Health Associated passed a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis.

Kitsap Public Health’s role in advancing equity

Kitsap Public Health’s mission is to prevent disease and protect and promote the health of all persons in Kitsap County. To help fulfill our mission, with an “equity lens” (i.e., focused on equitable outcomes for all persons in Kitsap), we compile, analyze, and share data on health outcomes and disparities; identify and communicate about barriers our residents experience that prevent optimal health outcomes; and partner with our community to address those barriers. These barriers include systemic racism, other forms of systemic discrimination, poverty, and homelessness.

Some other ways Kitsap Public Health promotes equity include:

  • Implement and evaluate our initiatives as outlined in Board Resolution 2021-01, Declaring Racism as a Public Health Crisis.
  • Build relationships with communities experiencing health inequities.
  • Use inclusive language and communication methods to promote health equity within Kitsap Public Health and with our community.

We are currently working to create a process and assessment tool for reviewing our policies, procedures, and processes to ensure they promote equity and racial justice.

Kitsap Public Health District is a member of the Government Alliance for Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of governmental agencies working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all.

Supporting equity in the COVID-19 pandemic

Kitsap Public Health has been collaborating with community members and organizations to improve equity in our COVID-19 response, including the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. This work includes:

  • attending community meetings to provide updates on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations
  • maintaining a Spanish language COVID-19 page and an outreach toolkit that includes Spanish translations of handouts on COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccines, COVID-19 vaccine myths, and COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
  • supporting clinics offering vaccination for underserved populations.
  • supporting language, mobility, and other needs at vaccination clinics we conducted.
  • distributing educational materials in a variety of languages and formats, and sharing vaccination data.
  • analyzing and sharing COVID-19 case and vaccination demographic data to help design and implement specific strategies to increase vaccination among undervaccinated groups.

Kitsap Public Health also convened the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Collaborative, a gathering of community organizations and community members with an understanding of communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 to help inform Kitsap Public Health’s response.

Learn more:

 

June 2020 Letter to Community

Kitsap Public Health District leadership published an open letter to the community following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Read the letter here.

2017 Health Disparity Report

Kitsap Public Health District published a report identifying disparities in health outcomes among different population groups in Kitsap County. Read the report here.

Equity Resources

Health Equity

Racism and Health

For a list of additional resources (including research studies) on health equity, racism, and other related topics, click here.

Diversity within Kitsap Public Health District

Kitsap Public Health District is committed to employing a diverse workforce that reflects the communities it serves. The dashboard below compares demographics of the Health District employees with the county population as a whole.


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