State Health Commissioner Ehlinger to speak on health disparities


On July 18, 2014, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties will debut its Community Action Health Talks series, known as C.h.a.t. This series is designed to inform and engage low-income communities around issues affecting their overall health and wellness. This will include matters related to the social and economic health of our communities such as financial literacy, asset building, civic engagement and leadership development.

The inaugural C.h.a.t. will feature Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger. Appointed by Governor Dayton in January 2011, Commissioner Ehlinger will address Minnesota’s considerable health-related disparities and discuss strategies to reduce health inequities across the state. His presentation will include an overview of his 2014 report to the State Legislature titled “Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota.”

In spite of the comparatively high standing regarding the health of its general population, Minnesota’s extreme health disparities, particularly among Minnesotans of color, continue to plague communities throughout the state. Commissioner Ehlinger has recently identified a number of trends that must be immediately reversed, including the fact that Minnesota has the greatest disparity in infant mortality rate between African Americans and Whites of any state in the nation.

Additional studies note that in Minnesota, African Americans are twice as likely, Native Americans are more than three times as likely, and Hispanics more than four times as likely to be without health insurance as compared to White Minnesotans.

The first C.h.a.t. event, featuring Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, will take place Friday, July 18, in the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Room of Community Action’s headquarters at 450 Syndicate Street North in St. Paul. Registration starts at 8:30 am and the program begins 9 am.

This event is free and open to the public, and pre-registration is available at http://caprwchats.event For more information, contact Tasha Byers at 651-603-5980 or