The Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is planning to launch what it calls a “Statewide Healthy and Equitable Communities plan.”

The strategy entails an expansion of state oversight, contact tracing and public media campaigns. Underwritten by a grant from the CDC, the design includes various strategies to respond to COVID and related social issues. On Sept. 24, DHSS sent out a survey to help the state further develop its plan. The public has until Oct. 1 to weigh-in.

The word “equitable” is never once defined in the survey, but the term is commonly used in leftist circles to refer to perceived social inequities born of racism or historic oppression.

One of DHSS’s stated goals is to establish a new team in the Division of Public Health that is focused on ensuring Alaska is comprised of “healthy and equitable communities.” This work will include coordinating vaccination, quarantine and isolation efforts and addressing “social” factors that increase risk of COVID.

The state also aims to use public funds to control media messaging across Alaska with a concerted effort to “counter” what it deems to be “misinformation.”

Another part of the plan is to vastly expand and improve government data collection and surveillance of certain populations deemed “higher risk from COVID.” Data will be analyzed to inform new strategies to respond to the virus.

Other goals entail building new infrastructure for “COVID-19 prevention and control,” as well as reviewing “state hiring practices and “state grant and procurement processes.”

Some program resources will go towards training workers in health and equity protocols.

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AK seeks input on CDC-funded surveillance-data collection plan to push health & equity

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.