Pennsylvania Governor Signs Executive Order Establishing Health Disparities Office
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) on Monday signed an executive order to permanently establish the Office of Health Equity, which will seek to reduce racial and other health disparities in the state (AP/Philadelphia Daily News, 5/21).
The order is part of Rendell's "Prescription for Pennsylvania" proposal, made up of several plans, including ones to expand health insurance access, reduce health care costs and improve care quality (Fahy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/21). According to the executive order, the Office of Health Equity will be a part of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and will be charged with increasing public awareness of health disparities in the state; promoting and developing programs that address health disparities; collaborating with lawmakers, the health industry and communities to track and improve health among underserved groups; and working with other agencies, businesses and organizations to eliminate health disparities.
The order also establishes an advisory committee that will work with the office and the governor on such efforts as identifying the cause of health disparities and finding funding sources to support programs (Rendell release/executive order, 5/21).