Health equity became an increasingly important topic this past year. There has been a significant increase in initiatives from legislators and policymakers, as well as increased funding toward historically underserved groups. We reported on Feb. 28 that “Washington has become the second state to begin to create Health Equity Zones to support communities in addressing the disparities they want to prioritize. The effort in the Evergreen State is modeled after one in Rhode Island.”
“In 2021, Washington passed legislation to create Health Equity Zones. According to the state Department of Health (DOH), the first year will emphasize developing partnerships and community-centered processes to sustain this work long-term. DOH is also looking for continued funding and other resources that can support the future of the initiative.
“DOH is working to establish a Community Advisory Council. The goal is to develop zone criteria this spring, and identify specific zones this summer, with support of two to three zones beginning in the fall.”