Diverse group of people

Shannon Bacon Named Health Equity Manager

When every individual has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible, health equity has been achieved. This concept serves as the foundation of the community health center program, whose members in North and South Dakota are supported by the Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas (CHAD).

“Health equity is about more than disparities. It is about understanding and addressing historical and social disadvantage,” explained Lori Dumke, MSN, RN, director of clinical and quality services for CHAD. “We must look at where people live, work, and play at an individual, community, and societal level.”

By screening patients for social needs and building a strong referral with community-based resources, health centers can play an integral role in removing obstacles to overall health and wellness. Recognizing the scope and value of integrating social health to improve health outcomes, CHAD made the decision to hire a health equity manager.

Shannon Bacon, MSW, expanded on the purpose of the new role, “By identifying social determinants of health in an organized and systematic way, we can ensure patients are connected with the community resources they need, identify gaps in existing resources, and ultimately work further upstream in creating a healthier population in North Dakota and South Dakota.”

Efforts to lead health centers in this upstream movement will include analyzing the impact of social risk factors on health care outcomes, experiences, and costs, as well as building community and state partnerships to overcome barriers. Bacon is well-prepared to lead CHAD’s expansion of health equity integration and brings a strong background in quality improvement and community organization from the past seven years as a member of the American Cancer Society.

Dumke concluded, “Hiring a health equity manager to assist health centers will impact communities, not just individuals. Shannon has a passion for equity and the Dakotas, and we are excited to have her on board!”

Health Equity Resources:

The Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center (RM-PHTC) is housed within the Center for Public Health Practice at the Colorado School of Public Health. They are one of the ten Regional Public Health Training Centers designated by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to provide training to professionals addressing public health issues.RM-PHTC serves the states of Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Working in partnership with subject matter experts, RM-PHTC prepares the workforce to address public health needs in their communities using adult learning theory and instructional design to ensure engaging, relevant trainings.

Health Equity: A guidebook for public health practice
Course opens: January 20
Weekly sessions: February 3 – March 10

Economic Evaluation
Course opens: March 3
Live session: March 17