BILL REQ. #:  S-3842.1 


State of Washington58th Legislature2004 Regular Session

By Senators Franklin, Deccio, Thibaudeau, Keiser, T. Sheldon, McAuliffe and Kohl-Welles

Read first time 01/19/2004.   Referred to Committee on Health & Long-Term Care.

     WHEREAS, A disproportionate burden of disease, disability, and death exists among people of color in the state; and
     WHEREAS, Infant mortality for American Indians and African-Americans is more than double the rate for non-Hispanic whites; and
     WHEREAS, African-Americans are more than three times as likely, American Indians and Alaska Natives more than twice as likely, and Hispanics 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes; and
     WHEREAS, The foundations for personal health, academic success, and professional achievement begin in early childhood; and
     WHEREAS, Comprehensive early childhood development programs foster healthy physical, cognitive, and social development; and
     WHEREAS, Long-term benefits include improved high school graduation rates, decreases in teen pregnancy, decreased delinquency, and higher rates of employment;
     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the Senate of the state of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, That a joint select committee on health disparities be created to identify opportunities for improving health care status and addressing health disparities in communities of color; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committee consist of eight members from committees with jurisdiction over health and committees with jurisdiction over education: Four members of the Senate to be appointed by the President of the Senate, including two members of the majority party and two members of the minority party; and four members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, including two members from the majority party and two members of the minority party; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committee shall:
     (1) Consider the impact of early childhood development programs on reducing health disparities in communities of color, including a review of information about the sources of critical childhood interventions that impact health disparities such as family resources, child care, education, community organizations, social determinants, and others;
     (2) Consider opportunities to improve health status of people of color by addressing barriers to culturally and linguistically appropriate health care and health education materials and practices, including a review of opportunities to increase the number of minority health providers in the state through development of career ladder, expanded recruiting, education, and retention programs, so the entire health work force more closely mirrors the people they serve;
     (3) Address ways to enumerate the racial and ethnic composition of the health work force and health career training, education, and career ladder programs;
     (4) Evaluate the impact of reductions in health care expenditures on communities of color;
     (5) Request input from the American Indian Health Commission, the Commission on African-American Affairs, the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, and the Commission on Hispanic Affairs prior to submitting final review and recommendations to the Legislature; and
     (6) Complete its review and submit its recommendations to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature by November 1, 2005.

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