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Commission on Health Disparities

Commission on Health Disparities

Total Mayoral Appointments: 6

There is established a Commission on Health Disparities ("Commission") to prepare comprehensive recommendations to the Department of Health, the Council and the Mayor that examine health disparities in each election ward in the District.

The Commission shall have 9 voting members. Six voting members shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council. Three voting members shall be appointed by the Council.

The Mayor’s initial 6 appointments shall include 3 members appointed to 3-year terms and 3 members appointed to 2-year terms. All subsequent appointments by the Mayor shall be for 3-year terms.

The Council’s initial 3 appointments shall be for 1-year terms. All subsequent appointments by the Council shall be for 3-year terms.

The voting members shall have expertise in at least one of the following areas: health disparities; social and human services; early learning and education; minority communities; economic development; and ecology and the environment.

The Mayor shall appoint the Chairperson of the Commission from among its voting members. The Commission shall have 8 nonvoting advisory members, including the following:

A. The Chairperson of the Committee on Health, who shall serve as an ex-officio member

B. Three community advisory members, one each from Wards 5, 7, and 8, appointed by the Council

C. One patient organization representative, appointed by the voting members of the Commission

D. The presidents or chief executive officers of 2 District hospitals and a representative from an insurance company who has access to a health disparities database, or their designees

The term "patient organization representative" means an individual who works for a nationally or locally recognized organization committed to improving the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for individuals suffering from a particular disease or condition.

All vacancies on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner in which the initial appointment is made.

The Commission shall:

1. Analyze each election ward in the city for health disparities related to the following diseases, conditions, and health indicators:

Diabetes
Asthma
Infant mortality, including sudden infant death syndrome
HIV/AIDS
Heart disease
Stroke
Breast cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer
Chronic kidney disease
Mental health
Women's health issues
Smoking cessation
Oral disease
Immunization rates of children and senior citizens
Any other disease, condition, or health indicator that the Commission considers appropriate

2. Gather information from public hearings, inquires, and studies to understand how the District government may work to eliminate health disparities

3. Seek federal grants, if available

4. Submit a formal city action plan by March 1st of each year to the Department of Health, the Mayor, and the Council

The Commission shall meet at least once a quarter to share findings regarding the prevalence and severity of health disparities that exist in each election ward. The Chairperson of the Commission, or his or her designee, who must be a member of the Commission, shall convene all Commission meetings. A majority of the voting members appointed to the Commission at any given time shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of official business. Official actions of the Commission shall be taken by a majority vote of the voting members present at the meeting.

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