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P.A. 653 - Michigan's Health Disparity Law 


On January 8, 2007, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed Public Act 653'06 - The Health Disparities Research and Education Act (PA 653) into law. This statute was designed to address the increased rates of morbidity and mortality observable in minority populations (State of Michigan, 2007). The law mandated the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) to address the racial and ethnic disparities facing Michigan's minority populations by:
  • Developing and implementing an effective statewide strategic plan that establishes minority health policy,
    Establishing a permanent infrastructure that addresses health disparities and allows for the collaboration with minority coalitions,
  • Promoting  public and professional education that includes implementation of culturally and linguistically appropriate disease prevention programs,
  • Providing resources for minority programs, development of evidence-based and educational treatment programs and resource materials,
  • Promoting  minority recruitment in the healthcare and social service professions, and
  • Mandating the establishment of an evaluation plan and an accountability criterion that would assist in the measurement of these objectives (State of Michigan, 2007).

Unfortunately, PA 653
was passed void of the financial appropriations necessary to adequately fund the health disparity issues for which the law was designed to address. 

MDCH assigned the Health Disparity Reduction and Minority Health Section (HDRMHS) as the coordinating body within state government with spearheading the effort to help eliminate health disparities in the state of Michigan.

The HDRMHS, in November 2006 revised their Strategic Framework to accomplish the following functions: 

  • Improve the health of Michigan citizens and promote safe and supportive environments in every Michigan community,  
  • Collaborate internally and externally with partners who have shared public health priorities, 
  • Design, coordinate and integrate data systems to provide more robust state and local public health data to better serve the public,
  • Assure the existence of a strong and effective state and public health workforce, and
  • Develop effective communication, marketing, and branding capability to help policy-makers, funders and the public value the importance of the state and local public health system. 

Both the PA 653 and the HDRMHS Strategic Framework charge the section with working for the reduction of racial and ethnic health disparities.  The lack of funding for HDRMHS and possibly other structural issues make it difficult for the Section to fulfill their responsibilities. 

PA 653 has to be fully implemented to help improve the health of minorities in Michigan. The Michigan Minority Health Coalition wants to hear from you about your thoughts on the implementation of PA 653 or on minority health disparities or health inequities in Michigan. If you have any feedback or comments, contact us.

Related Documents
Michigan's Minority Health Disparity Law - PA 653

Annual Reports for PA 653 -