Welcome to OHE

Staff List

Dulce Díez, MPH, MCHES

Director

Christine Espinel

Program Manager, Partnerships and Community Engagement

Brittney Okada, MPH, CHES

Program Manager, Health Equity Epidemiology and Evaluation

Leonardo D. Buniak, MSF

Health Equity Economic Analyst

Jill Christian, MPH, CHES

COVID Community Partnership Project Coordinator

Ally Cowdell, MSW, MPH, CPH

COVID Community Partnership Project Coordinator - Mental Health Specialist

Kyle Doubrava

Communications Specialist

Roxanna Gularte

Health Equity Program Coordinator

Feli Anne Hipol, MPH

Health Equity Program Specialist

Deepani Jinadasa, MPH

Health Equity Epidemiologist

Annika Machado, RN

COVID-19 Health Disparities Coordinator

Tasmia Mostafiz, MPH

Health Equity Epidemiologist

Ban Naes, MPH

Health Equity Program Specialist - The Embrace Project

Shannon Robinson

Health Equity Epidemiologist

Teresa Sanchez, MA

Health Equity Program Specialist

Jada Stelmach

Office Specialist

Breck Trawick

Health Equity Program Coordinator

History of OHE

In 2003, a group of community advocates came together and worked with Utah legislators to create a program within the Utah Department of Health that will focus on health-related issues within Utah’s multicultural populations with special emphasis on racial and ethnic minorities. That is how, during the 2004 legislative session, the Center for Multicultural Health was created by statute.

In the 2011 legislative session the Center for Multicultural Health was renamed Office of Health Disparities Reduction (OHD). The new office had a broader mission than the former Center for Multicultural Health, which focused only on racial and ethnic minority health. The OHD continued its commitment to reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, but also looked for opportunities to address health disparities by geography and income. See bill.

With the merger between the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Department of Human Services (DHHS), and thus the creation of the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Health Disparities was renamed as Office of Health Equity (OHE). This name better reflects our mission of not just reducing health disparities but also advancing health equity in the State of Utah. The merger will be effective July 1, 2022.

Mission

Our mission is to advance health equity and reduce health disparities in Utah.

Vision

Our vision is for all people to have a fair opportunity at reaching their highest health potential given that health is crucial for well-being, longevity, and economic and social mobility.

Guiding Principle

Health Equity is the principle underlying our commitment to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate health disparities by addressing its determinants. Pursuing health equity means striving for the highest possible standard of health for all people and giving special attention to the needs of those communities at greatest risk for health disparities.

Strategic Plan 2021-23

This strategic plan is a blueprint for the Office of Health Equity and reflects our commitment to build upon past successes while moving forward with our mission to advance health equity and reduce health disparities in Utah. This plan supports state and federal public health priorities and aligns with:

  • Utah Legislative Mandate for the Office of Health Disparities
  • Governor's One Utah Roadmap
  • Utah Department of Health mission and vision
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ELC/OT) health equity priorities
  • Office of Minority Health State Partnership Initiative (SPI)
  • Healthy People 2030

The revised OHE strategic plan will be made available soon.

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