National plan aims to close health gap

    The United States now has a national plan to level health inequities across the country.

    WHYY/Newsworks joined local health advocates at Drexel University’s School of Public Health to learn more about the road map.

    It’s called the Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. The big unveiling in Washington was webcast to satellite meetings in several cities.

    In Philadelphia, Drexel’s Dean of Public Health Marla Gold said it is “fabulous” that there is now coordinated plan. But, she said, “the jump from paper to reality is very broad, it’s almost as wide as the gap in health disparities between, for example, blacks and whites. So what do we need to do to make it happen?”

    Plan strategies include making sure skilled interpreters are more available to people with limited English skills, and collecting better information on subpopulations often missed in traditional research.

    There’s no overall cost estimate for implementing the plan. One health official said the government will begin with existing resources.

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