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State Health Department Organizational Self-Assessment for Achieving Health Equity

The State Health Department Organizational Self-Assessment for Achieving Health Equity: (State Self-Assessment) provides public health leaders with tools and guidance to help identify the skills, organizational practices, and infrastructure necessary to achieve health equity. The Self-Assessment document supplements the Local Health Department Organizational Self-Assessment for Addressing Health Inequities: Toolkit and Guide to Implementation developed by the Bay Area Regional Health Inequity Initiative (BARHII). The Self-Assessment can be a key component in strengthening the health department’s capacity to partner with communities, agencies and organizations to achieve health equity. The process requires commitment at all levels within the health department.

The State Self-Assessment is intended to help state health departments in the following ways:

+ Establish a baseline measure of capacity, skills, and areas for improvement to support health equity focused activities.
+ Inventory a set of research-based organizational and individual traits that support effective health equity focused work.
+ Provide information to guide strategic planning.
+ Serve as an ongoing set of tools to measure progress toward goals developed through the assessment process.

The Self-Assessment includes a compendium of six instruments and guidelines to support state health departments in addressing health inequities. The instruments are:

1. Staff Survey – An online tool designed for health department staff at all levels within the organization. The survey addresses most of the elements in the Matrix (see below).

2. Collaborating Partner Survey – An online tool to give other agencies, organizations, and groups working with the health department an opportunity to share feedback and insights regarding health equity work.

3. Staff Focus Groups – Facilitated group questions for in-depth discussions of the Matrix elements. The questions are meant to gather further information on specific issues from the staff survey.

4. Management Staff Interviews – Individual interviews with senior management allowing the department to get an in-depth sense of organizational strengths and areas for improvement related to addressing health inequities.

5. Internal Document Review Worksheet – A worksheet that can be used to summarize important data gathered during the Internal Document Review and Discussion phase of the self-assessment.

6. Management Focus Groups – Designed as an alternative to managers participating in both a focus group and a management interview. It combines questions from each instrument.