Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Internship Location: Remote

Organization Type: State Government

Policy Areas: Health policy and health equity

After the death of George Floyd, staff across the Department of Health Services reached out to the Secretary’s Office to engage in more meaningful action to address inequities within and outside of the Department of Health Services. Governor Tony Evers issued Executive Order #59 to affirm the state government’s role in disrupting systemic racism. Evers states, “we must intentionally address and dismantle individual and systemic racism, discrimination, and bias through thoughtful and ongoing implementation of culturally responsive and equitable policies and practices.” The order calls for action from the Department of Administration’s Division of Personnel Management and the State Council on Affirmative Action, and states that each agency must create an equity and inclusion action plan to meet the goals of the Executive Order.  As a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator, I served as co-lead for the establishment of the DHS health equity advisory body which will advise Secretary’s Office on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. This body will consist of employees across the department who are currently working on health equity initiatives as well as external stakeholders. Its charges include strategies to help problem-solve and work in coordination with leaders across the Department to execute on key projects.