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Rural Health Information Hub

Rice County Public Health

  • Project Title: Health Equity Plan
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Sara Coulter
  • Location: Rice County, MN
  • Program Overview: Rice County in Minnesota has experienced a demographic shift over the past two decades, including an influx of Somali refugee and Latino immigrant populations. Rice County Public Health staff began cultural competency training to learn how to better serve these populations, which sparked an interest in incorporating health equity into their work. The rural public health agency participated in a few grant programs that helped them plan for and design their health equity approach, including the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) grant from the Public Health National Center for Innovations that supported training and coaching on health equity, and the MDH Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grant program.

    As a SHIP grantee, Rice County Public Health conducted a Health Equity Data Analysis (HEDA), which involved speaking to community partners serving the Latino community and Latino community members about their experiences with pediatric obesity. The HEDA helped Rice County Public Health identify the five main factors that negatively impact the health of children who are Latino. Rice County Public Health also developed a health equity plan to guide departmental efforts to achieve health equity. The plan outlines several practices to achieve health equity, including providing staff education, examining hiring practices, and building authentic relationships with communities that experience inequities.

Strategies represented by this program: