Bureau of Minority Health Access
Durand “Rudy” Macklin, Director
Bureau of Minority Health Access
Louisiana Department of Health
628 North Street, 9th Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Phone: (225) 342-4886
Fax: (225) 342-3738
Email: rudy.macklin@la.gov

Organizational Structure/History 

The Bureau of Minority Health Access is located within the Office of the Secretary in the Department of Health. Established in the 1999 Legislative Session, the determining factors for establishing such an office were to provide access to care and to reduce health disparities among racial/ethnic populations.

Louisiana’s Minority Health Affairs Commission and the Disparity Commission were both established by legislation, and both serve as advisories to the bureau. Membership represents all major minority groups, including African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders and Vietnamese Americans.

Purpose/Mission Statement 
The mission of the bureau is to facilitate the collection, analysis, dissemination and access to information concerning minority health issues and to address and help reduce the disparities in health status for the underserved, under-represented populations in the state by using multicultural and culturally-competent approaches to enhance the ways in which health services are designed and delivered. 

Program Focus/Activities 

Major functions of the Bureau will be:

  1. Assume a leadership role within the state policy development, coordination of planning, programming, monitoring, evaluation and coordination of minority health activities;
  2. Develop minority health initiatives including cultural competency standards and multilingual communications;
  3. Provide a central information and referral source;
  4. Provide input and/or coordinate conferences and other opportunities to increase skills among state and local agencies and government staff in management, and in the appreciation of improving the health status and profiles in racial/ethnic minorities and medically underserved populations in Louisiana;
  5. Submit recommendations to educational institutions, health providers, government agencies, local and state health/human service agencies on the recruitment and retention of minorities in health professions;
  6. Increase public awareness by publicizing minority health issues through the media.

Community Preparedness Response Network (CPRN) 

CPRN is designed to assist low-income communities with establishing their own community emergency preparedness plan in the event of a natural disaster or pandemic flu outbreak. The Bureau and its community partners and stakeholders provide these hard-to-reach populations a point of contact during natural disasters or pan flu outbreak and make available resources to assist them with relief and recovery efforts specific for their communities.

In the event of a pandemic flu outbreak, the CPRN Resource Center will make contact with block captains concerning home quarantine procedures and refer to their emergency kits for additional instructions. There will be open lines of communication between the block captains, CPRN Resource Center, the Bureau of Minority Health Access, the Chahta Native American tribe and the Office of Public Health Center for Community Preparedness. The Bureau and the Chahta tribe conducts pandemic flu trainings and workshops; assist in the purchase of pan flu supplies; conduct door-to-door health assessments through surveys in these communities. Specifically, the CPRN is designed to:

  • Host community meetings with the faith-based community, the city Council and parish members to introduce them to the CPRN program and solicit their support;
  • Conduct community assessment surveys in the CPRN areas to determine the immediate needs of residents, special care for the handicap, persons who are without transportation, identify those who do not have phone service, internet access and identify and track new-born and pregnant mothers.
  • Identify and Train Block Captains;
  • Sign up Communities in the Network for Training of the overall plan;
  • Secure items for the Emergency Preparedness Kits and distribute to community residents in the Network;
  • Create a Community Preparedness Response Network Data Base;

Strategic Plan for Eliminating Tobacco-related Health Disparities in Louisiana
Louisiana will use this plan as a compass for future activities to identify and eliminate tobacco-related health disparities. Implementation will require the cooperative work of the Bureau of Minority Health Access, Louisiana Tobacco Control Program, the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society as well as other stakeholders. As a workgroup serving in the interest of improving the lives of minority populations, six goals were developed:

  • Create diverse partnerships that maximize funding, resources, and broad scale impact to address tobacco disparities;
  • Educate and motivate funders, policy-makers, and community opinion leaders to support the elimination of tobacco disparities for the benefit of their constituents;
  • Develop a system to collect, analyze and disseminate data on specific populations;
  • Improve capacity of the healthcare system to deliver prevention and cessation services to identified populations;
  • Develop a compressive marketing campaign that engages, educates, and increases awareness of common tobacco issues among specific populations through the utilization of grass-roots networks;
  • Build and strengthen relationships among agencies, organizations and advocates supportive of decreasing tobacco use among racial and ethnic populations.

This initiative’s purpose is to provide for a strategic planning implementation process that will result in a comprehensive strategy to address tobacco-related health disparities. Activities will include:

  • Promote healthy lifestyles;
  • Provide crucial information to allow individuals to practice disease prevention;
  • Showcase the resources for and providers of grass roots health care and information;
  • Highlight the resolution of the disparate health conditions between Louisiana’s minorities and non-minority populations; and
  • Gain additional support for the on-going efforts to improve minority health year round.

In addition, the Bureau:

  • Establishes community wellness programs to prevent heart disease, hypertension,    HIV/AIDS and diabetes;
  • Targets minority children through the Louisiana Youth Against Tobacco Program;
  • Serves in an advisory capacity for “Improving Health and Long Term Care Service  Systems and Support for People with Disabilities and Long Term Illness to Live in the Community.”
  • Co-sponsor “Louisiana Men’s Health Conference,” “Partners for Healthy Babies,” and the “Lighten Up Louisiana” challenge.

Level of Funding Sources 

FY 2009-09$65000$150,000
FY 2010-07$55,000$200,000
The Bureau of Minority Health Access expenditures are included in the overall state funds within the Department of Health

The Bureau of Minority Health Access is staffed with two full time employees—the director and a secretary. Funding for local and statewide projects is provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Office of Public Health Tobacco Control Program, and Medicaid’s LaChip program.

Recent Publications 
Eliminating Health Disparities: ‘From A Grass-roots Perspective’