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Office of Healthy Opportunities

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The Office of Healthy Opportunities was formed in 2018 to integrate social drivers of health, including racial and social equity, into agency programs and services. The office is led by chief health equity and Americans with Disabilities Act officer Breanca Merritt, Ph.D., and is comprised of a multidisciplinary team with expertise in advocacy, medicine, program design, public health, law and policy, research and quality improvement. Please contact our office at healthyopportunities@fssa.in.gov with questions.

The Office of Healthy Opportunities aims to identify risk factors and appropriately address them.

Identifying risk factors includes:

  • Community engagement: Identifying gaps in services and experiences through forums
  • Policy surveillance: Assessing program and policy structures for inequitable gaps in services and outcomes
  • Research and evaluation: Understanding effectiveness in programs and services and identifying target populations using program data, especially in partnership with WISE Indiana

Addressing risk factors encompasses:

  • Education and training: Convening frontline staff and engaging policy experts on how to provide equitable services
  • Policy engagement: Program and division-level training on identifying policy gaps and remedying policy them
  • Increasing staff knowledge and representation: Addressing hiring practices and employee experiences to better serve constituents
  • Connecting constituents to tangible resources: Collaborating with and supporting IN211 and other division programming

Workgroups and teams