The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will host a live fireside chat and tele-town hall on Thursday, April 27, from 6 to 7 p.m., to discuss how North Carolinians can access and understand health-related information so they can improve their own health.
Event participants include:
- Debra Farrington, MSW, LCSW, Deputy Secretary and Chief Health Equity Officer, NCDHHS
- Charlene Wong, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, NCDHHS
- Leatrice Martin, MBA, MPA, Community and Patient Advocate
The fireside chat falls during National Minority Health Month, a time to highlight the importance of improving opportunities and outcomes for people who are more likely to face health challenges because of where they live, their race or ethnicity or other factors. According to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Health Literacy Map, 80% of counties in North Carolina have populations that struggle to find, understand and use essential health resources and services. Removing that disparity empowers people to make the best health decisions for themselves and their loved ones.
Fireside chat and tele-town hall panelists will discuss the following:
- Health issues that rural communities and racial and ethnic minorities routinely navigate
- Importance of routine health visits, vaccines and preventative care
- Efforts to remove barriers to health care access and eliminate disparities
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the many health issues experienced by people across North Carolina. People within populations that have historically lacked access to care are 1.5 times more likely to have a chronic health condition. Access to routine health visits and information on preventative care is essential to diagnose and manage conditions like heart disease, diabetes and many others.
Additionally, the risks of COVID-19-related complications are greater among people who have conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Individuals who have not received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including an updated dose, are at greater risk of severe illness or hospitalization from the virus.
Resources are available across North Carolina to support and connect communities with local health care providers, education and support as part of ongoing efforts to advance equitable health.
The fireside chat will stream live from the NCDHHS Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts, where viewers can submit questions. The event also includes a tele-town hall, which invites people by phone to listen in and submit questions. People can also dial into the event by calling (855) 756-7520 Ext. 93540#.
NCDHHS fireside chats and tele-town halls are part of the state’s ongoing public efforts to ensure equitable access to timely health information, resources and vaccines, eliminate health disparities and reduce COVID-19.