Florida Senate - 2021 SB 404 By Senator Rouson 19-00434A-21 2021404__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Office of Minority Health and 3 Health Equity; creating s. 381.735, F.S.; requiring 4 the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to 5 develop and promote the statewide implementation of 6 certain policies, programs, and practices; requiring 7 one representative from each county health department 8 to serve as a minority health liaison for a specified 9 purpose; requiring the office to use all available 10 resources and pursue funding opportunities to achieve 11 this purpose; specifying duties for the office; 12 requiring the office to maintain on its website 13 specified information; requiring the office to serve 14 as a liaison to and assist certain federal offices; 15 authorizing the Department of Health to adopt rules; 16 providing an effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Section 381.735, Florida Statutes, is created to 21 read: 22 381.735 Office of Minority Health and Health Equity.— 23 (1) The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity 24 established under s. 20.43(9) shall develop and promote the 25 statewide implementation of policies, programs, and practices 26 that increase health equity in this state, including, but not 27 limited to, increased access to and quality of health care 28 services for racial and ethnic minority populations. One 29 representative from each county health department shall serve as 30 a minority health liaison to assist the office in implementing 31 this section. The office shall use all available resources and 32 pursue opportunities for increased funding to achieve the 33 purpose of this section. 34 (2) The office shall coordinate with agencies, 35 organizations, and providers across this state to do all of the 36 following: 37 (a) Gather and analyze data regarding disparities in health 38 status, quality of health care, and access to health care 39 services for racial and ethnic minority populations in this 40 state. 41 (b) Develop mechanisms that support better information 42 dissemination and education about health disparities and improve 43 access to and delivery of health care services to racial and 44 ethnic minority populations in this state. 45 (c) Support minority health liaisons by facilitating access 46 to and the exchange of information related to health promotion, 47 preventive health services, and education in the appropriate use 48 of care. 49 (d) Conduct demonstration projects and evaluations to 50 ensure the success and sustainability of policies, programs, and 51 practices that increase health equity in this state. 52 (e) Promote the use of community health workers to improve 53 the cultural competency of services and build individual and 54 community self-sufficiency. 55 (f) Gather and analyze data regarding the prevalence of 56 racial and ethnic minority populations at risk of involvement 57 with the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice system, 58 and the foster care system or at risk for homelessness, and any 59 disparities in such involvement or access to appropriate 60 behavioral health services by those populations when compared to 61 other populations in this state. 62 (g) Promote the creation of or participation in programs 63 that divert individuals with mental health and substance use 64 disorders from the criminal justice system and ensure the 65 availability of quality behavioral health services to the 66 populations specified in paragraph (f). 67 (h) Develop and implement programs that improve access to 68 health care services for individuals with limited proficiency in 69 the English language by providing access to bilingual providers 70 or interpretive services. 71 (3) The office shall maintain all of the following on its 72 website, updated at least annually: 73 (a) Current data on health disparities and issues affecting 74 racial and ethnic minority populations in this state. 75 (b) Information about and links to resources available to 76 racial and ethnic minority populations in this state. 77 (c) Resources for providers who wish to improve cultural 78 competency, understand health disparities, and increase the 79 quality of and access to health care services for racial and 80 ethnic minority populations in this state. These resources must 81 include, but need not be limited to, minority health literature, 82 research, and referrals; capacity-building and technical 83 assistance services; and training materials for implementing 84 nationally recognized evidence-based practices for culturally 85 and linguistically appropriate health care services. 86 (d) Contact information for local minority health liaisons. 87 (4) The office shall serve as a liaison to and assist the 88 federal Offices of Minority Health and Regional Health 89 Operations, as appropriate. 90 (5) The department may adopt rules to implement this 91 section. 92 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.