7th National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations: Opening Plenary Session

The opening plenary session at the 7th National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations featured Maryland Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene John Colmers and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh.  Mr. Colmers described how issues of cultural competency and disparities are integrated into every aspect of Maryland’s implementation of health care reform.  He highlighted the many important policy decisions which states will need to make to implement the national legislation.  Dr. Koh discussed the many provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act related to addressing health inequities, highlighting some of the provisions which will support a broader, public health approach to reducing inequities.  He referenced the United Nations standard that we should aspire to ensure every one the highest attainable standard of health.  Dr. Koh also discussed other departmental activities, including the release of the Healthy People 2020 initiative and the final National Plan of Action to Eliminate Health Disparities.

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