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Salt Lake County awarded $3.8 million to improve minority health

Salt Lake County Public Health Center at 610 S 200 E in Salt Lake City, Utah (Nick Wyatt, KSL Newsradio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Health Department was awarded a public health grant of $3.8 million to improve health outcomes for minority groups. 

Salt Lake County Health Department gets a $3.8 million grant to improve minority health

The two-year grant was awarded by the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

The grant is specifically to fund projects aimed at decreasing health disparities among minorities in Salt Lake County. 

“We know that different zip codes have very different health outcomes,” said Anni McKinnon, Program Manager for Salt Lake County’s Healthy Living Program.

She said the northwest part of the county is where they plan to focus the most after analyzing data related to the pandemic. 

“We looked specifically at areas that have a lower vaccination rate and higher infection rate,” McKinnon said.

She used Rose Park, Glendale, and West Valley as examples. 

Improving Health Literacy

The county health department announced it plans to use the grant money to increase health literacy. They describe that as a health disparity connected to higher rates of hospitalization, emergency care, fewer health screenings, and poorer overall health. 

“When someone is unable to determine health information, it gives them a lower health outcome,” said McKinnon. 

Not only does the SLCOHD intend to better inform these minority communities, but it also plans to help train healthcare professionals to better serve their patients. 

“Giving the patient information that they can understand. So, not having these huge scary words in that information and making it available in lots of languages,” McKinnon explained. 

Public Health 3.0

The Salt Lake County Health Department sees this grant as an opportunity to reach more people in the community in culturally appropriate ways. 

“This is really, really going to be focused on listening to our partners and involving them in decision-making. Not us coming in and saying ‘here’s what you need to do’,” McKinnon said. 

She said the campaign is already underway and the health department is excited to get to work. 

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