DeWine outlines several steps Ohio is taking to address health disparities in the Black community

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The minority health strikeforce established by Ohio in April will release its final report Thursday, and as a result, Governor Mike DeWine has issued a plan to implement the suggestions in the report to fight health disparities among the Black community.

“It is wrong that in Ohio today, the overall life expectancy of African-American Ohioans is four years shorter than a white Ohioan,” DeWine said during his Thursday coronavirus briefing. “It’s wrong that African-American Ohioans have a higher rate of heart disease, higher rates of hypertension and diabetes.”

DeWine also pointed out that African-Americans are 2.5 times more likely to live in poverty than white Ohioans while African-American children are 3 times more likely to live in poverty.

African-Americans make up approximately 14 percent of Ohio’s population, the governor said, while representing 25 percent of positive COVID-19 cases in the state.

Some of the actions the governor is taking include colleges and universities to encourage more African-Americans and other minorities to become teachers; have the Ohio Jobs and Family Services department improve the foster care system to help Black children get adopted; have Jobs Ohio help get more African-Americans involved in business ownership; challenging the legislature to pass a comprehensive plan it has already developed in regards to equality in policing; and tasking the Ohio Department of Health to address lead paint in Ohio.

Since the taskforce was established, it’s mission has grown to include wider health disparities among the African-American community and racial injustice, DeWine said.

The taskforce’s final report is expected to be released on the state’s coronavirus website sometime Thursday.

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