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Npa Marcom Plan


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This proposal provides the general architecture and set of strategies to consider for the first of two phases for rolling out the National Plan for Action to achieve health equity. This memo reflects what staff at the Office of Minority Health believe would help the federal government effectively release the National Plan for Action (“the Plan”) and draw sufficient attention to it from the key audiences and partners it seeks to mobilize and engage.

The launch, now set for late September, is an initial step in a coordinated, strategic process over the course of 12 months to release this long-awaited roadmap, and to energize public and private stakeholders who ultimately will need to implement it.

Through this initial launch in Washington D.C., OMH hopes to achieve the following goals:

• Raise awareness about the Plan, particularly among key groups (OMH’s diverse partners) that have played a role in developing and championing it over the past two years;
• Spur a wide distribution of the report among broad national stakeholder audiences, to mobilize interest and action; and
• Generate excitement among the community of organizations and advocates that work on disparities-related issues about the significance of the federal government issuing the first comprehensive roadmap for achieving health equity in the United States.

General Structure

The launch date is still tentative but OMH is shooting for release either on September 20 or September 27, 2010. The preferred venue for the launch is a room at the White House that could accommodate an audience of approximately 100-150 invited guests. The audience should

be comprised of representatives from the federal government who have played a major role in developing and shaping the plan, leaders from key stakeholder groups whose organizations are essential to carrying it out, and other important advocates, public policymakers, and keenly interested and influential experts who work within states or regions to reduce health disparities.

The launch is set to precede the inaugural meeting of the National Health Equity Board. The Board could convene at HHS either later that day or the next day to identify and prioritize next steps for action. Having the Board’s initial meeting in conjunction with the launch will signal to stakeholders and constituent groups that this is more than just the release of a report; it shows that the federal government wants communities to get moving on taking action.

Other venues under consideration for the launch include Room 800 at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which can hold a larger crowd; the Great Hall at HHS; or the National Press Club.

Who Would Speak

The event is envisioned to feature the following perspectives (not necessarily in the order laid out here):

• Leaders from the four agencies of the federal government that have been most active in addressing racial and ethnic disparities and have played in a role in shaping this Action plan:-
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Housing & Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan (or Assistant Secretary Ronald Sims); EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson; and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis

• A panel of up to 3 leaders from local communities who represent distinct perspectives or examples of “community-based” solutions. This could include those who represent faith-based organizations, tribal organizations; or local housing, education, transportation, or business sectors. These presenters would illustrate how this plan can catalyze collaborative strategies and collective actions. They would present case studies, best practices, or on-the-ground examples, and reinforce the NPA’s main theme of collaboration to achieve success.

• An official from the World Health Organization who could share what other countries have done to work towards equity and highlight that through the release of this roadmap, the United States is joining a global effort to end disparities.


OMH is aiming for an audience of 100-150 targeted guests who would represent those who have worked on the plan, supported its development, or are critical to implementing or funding it. This type of event would primarily be a way to thank those who helped create and shape the plan, and the audience would include public and private stakeholders from within federal and state governments and stakeholder groups throughout the country.

To make sure we reach and engage audiences nationally who can’t attend, we would live stream or webcast the event to enable people to watch on-line. We also would post informational materials on the OMH website to explain the report and give community leaders tools to inform others in their locales.

Telling the Story

We also recommend setting the stage for the report’s release by illustrating the problem in a compelling way. For example, HHS Assistant Secretary Koh could kick off the launch by showing a 3-minute video from the documentary “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick.”

Creation of core materials

The event will be supplemented with a number of accompanying materials and activities designed to raise the visibility of the NPA report. Some highlights of what would be made available:

• A 2-page policy-oriented document synthesizing the report and highlighting what it is, how it will work, what it means, and next steps;
• 5 fact sheets to reach key audiences on the link between health disparities and education, housing, environment, poverty, and health care costs; and
• A letter that would be signed by the key Cabinet Secretaries and Administrator of the EPA to accompany the report and sent as a cover letter to Capitol Hill to reflect the significance this effort will have on mobilizing action around disparities.

Execution of key promotional strategies including:

• Organizing a radio media satellite tour on the day of the event with Dr. Koh and/or Dr. Graham in 10-15 major markets or targeted parts of the United States that you would like to mobilize.
• Recommending that President Obama mention the report in his weekly radio address.
• Drafting and attempting to place a national op-ed authored by Secretary Sebelius and another Secretary to promote the plan and significance of having the federal government take this step.
• Live streaming or webcasting the event and promoting it widely so that critical audiences – including influential journalists and bloggers – can watch it on-line.
• Creating an e-mail press kit to be disseminated nationally to audiences outside of DC.
• Creating a package of useful resource materials for community leaders/partners to help them inform local audiences and the media about the roadmap. This would include fact sheets, and talking points reflecting the mission, vision and goals of the Plan and a template press release that could be tailored by state partners to use with local media.
• Aggressively encouraging partners/champion organizations to announce the new initiative on their channels of communication so a wide group of constituents are informed, including via newsletters, websites, e-alerts, and list serves.
• Making sure there is a strong social media component to the launch, including blogging about the report and tweeting about it during the launch event.
• Setting up an interactive conversation on the OMH website immediately following the launch so that federal leaders can take questions from partners in the community and get them engaged and excited to champion the plan.

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