The OhioHealth Research and Innovation Institute created the Office of Health Equity to identify health disparities and conduct research focused on achieving health equity for Ohio’s diverse population groups.
Health equity means having a fair opportunity to attain one’s highest level of health. But often, groups within our communities experience higher rates of certain diseases or health conditions due to social and demographic factors, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, income or geographic region. These differences in health status are referred to as health disparities, and they often affect marginalized groups of people.
As Ohio’s population continues to grow in culture and custom, it is becoming more obvious that certain population groups lack the resources and/or support to access healthcare equally. Bridging the gap between these communities and health care programs and services is the focus of our work. Much of our work is considered community-engaged, in which members of a community identify local health disparities and are kept at the center of our research efforts to gain greater understanding of their needs and ways in which we can help. Our team utilizes the following steps:
At the Office of Health Equity, we ask the questions no one else is asking. After 19 years of service, we know how to work effectively across cultures. That’s one of the reasons our work is nationally recognized and valued by other public health and healthcare organizations.
If you are a public health student, medical resident or someone who is passionate about health disparities and is looking to be involved in research, the Office of Health Equity may have an opportunity for you. If you have a research question of your own, our team of experts can assist you in effectively designing, implementing and evaluating a program based on theoretical frameworks.
For more information about our work in health disparities or if you are interested in becoming involved in our research, contact:
Melissa K. Thomas, PhD, MSPH, MSA, MCHES
Director, Sponsored Programs and Office of Health Equity