Senate passes Keiser bill to address health disparities in communities of color

OLYMPIA — Communities in Washington would have access to an innovative new approach to local public health improvements under a bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate this afternoon. SB 5052 would establish a Health Equity Zones program in Washington to address health disparities in communities of color and other communities with disproportionately poor health outcomes—from pre-term births to diabetes to high blood pressure to COVID-19. “We need a bottom-up focus on communities,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), the bill’s sponsor. “There is no silver bullet to eliminate health disparities, but this bill helps our public health authorities do the hard work of developing trust, doing outreach, building capacity, and increasing health care access.” Modeled after a highly ...

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