FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Black Hawk County Public Health
The Black Hawk County Board of Health approved a position statement recognizing the role that bias plays in community health outcomes. The statement, “All forms of bias, including racism, are a public health crisis,” was adopted by the Board last week. It specifically denounces negative forms of bias including but not limited to racism, transphobia, heterosexism, xenophobia, ableism, oppression, and sexism. Going forward, the Board will use this position statement to respond to current public health issues as they arise.
The statement aligns with the Health Equity Policy adopted by the Black Hawk County Board of Health in February 2020. The Board seeks to deepen and broaden the work already underway by the department and in the community to combat bias and support those marginalized by its impact.
Board Chair Wes Pilkington, PharmD is pleased to see the Board of Health taking a position against bias and recognizing the role it plays in achieving health equity. “It is up to us to speak up when we recognize laws and practices that are negatively impacting the health of our communities,” Pilkington said. The Board feels it is essential that Black Hawk County Public Health continue to advocate for the needs of ALL our citizens."
By calling out the negative role bias plays in communities, the Board hopes to see more inclusive policies and practices being adopted locally, as well as at the state and national levels. The full position statement can be found on the Black Hawk County Public Health website.
Black Hawk County Public Health exists to ensure that people in our community have equitable opportunities and resources to lead healthier, more fulfilling, and longer lives. Established in 1969, the health department's mission is to protect people in our community from health hazards, promote healthy behaviors, and prevent disease. Black Hawk County Public Health was accredited by the National Public Health Accreditation Board in 2022. For more information about health department services visit the Black Hawk County Public Health website.