Michelle Robinson has been named to lead a new state agency that focuses on issues of equity in health care, Gov. Tony Evers and the state Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Tuesday.
Robinson will begin her job as director of the Office of Health Equity at DHS starting Oct. 25. The equity office was created earlier this year to “advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the department while also coordinating the development and implementation of policies and programs to address root causes of health inequities,” according to a DHS statement. The office includes the Wisconsin Minority Health Program, established by state law in 1999 to develop policies to improve the health of vulnerable populations in the state and coordinate efforts to reduce health disparities.
Robinson is currently director of the Office of the Inspector General at the state Department of Children and Families (DCF), where she also holds the position of equity and systems change research and policy officer. She is vice-chair for the Governor’s Health Equity Council, which Evers established early in his term to create a plan to address health disparities in the state and produce “long-lasting and equitable health outcomes for all Wisconsinites,” according to the council’s website.
Robinson previously was a research, data and policy associate for the Race to Equity Project at Kids Forward, a Madison based research, policy and advocacy organization focusing on children and families, particularly low-income families. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
At the Office of Health Equity, Robinson stated that she will “strive to make Wisconsin a place where your zip code, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, religion, physical and mental ability, or education does not determine your ability to be safe, healthy, and thriving.”
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