As per the World Health Organization (WHO), health equity is attained by removing any potential disadvantages such as social position or other social determined conditions in order for every individual to achieve their full health potential. The City of Laredo Health Department is committed to their mission of providing culturally competent quality services that promote optimal health, prevent disease, and protects the safety of all to achieve health equity.
In order to enhance and expand efforts to achieve health equity, it is important to consider where our community lives, learns, works, plays, and worships to offer adequate public health services that address their social, mental and physical health needs. Understanding the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) in our community and partnering with key stakeholders to address inequities and needs are keys to progress. A fundamental resource to understand and address health disparities and SDOH is data collection, data analysis and surveillance as this information compels data driven decisions to work efficiently and encourage successful outcomes.
The City of Laredo Health Department intends to reinforce existing cross-sector partnerships and expand on community empowerment and services in order to improve quality of life and health outcomes. To achieve this, Laredo Health seeks develop the first of its kind surveillance program in Webb County that will collect data regarding autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. This data will provide invaluable information that will be used to enhance and develop policies, measure progress, improve detection, services and programs in order to improve health equity.
Laredo Health expects to increase collaboration and participation of existing and new partners within the Mayors Blue Ribbon Committee for People with Disabilities and their subgroup coalition on autism, to include private sector stakeholders, community and economic development partners, healthcare and educational institutions in order to obtain adequate feedback on future public health efforts to plan towards health equity. An additional outcome of the proposed project is to increase and enhance pertinent data and surveillance regarding ASD and other developmental disabilities to continue to provide education, outreach, training, and services to our community.
Our goal is to increase community engagement of key partners, and increase accuracy of data collected. This will be made possible through the resources and support provided by the CDC Enhancing Public Health Surveillance of Autism Spectrum Disorder through the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.