HHS Region 8 includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and over 30 federally recognized tribes.
This week, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region 8 Director Lily Griego, appointed by the Biden-Harris Administration, visited Utah to speak with state and community leaders about how the Biden-Harris Administration and HHS are working to strengthen equitable access to care in Utah and across the nation. During her trip, Director Griego also spoke with state and community leaders about the Biden-Harris Administration and HHS’ initiatives to tackle the nation’s mental health and substance use crisis through HHS’ National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health and Overdose Prevention Strategy.
Meetings during Director Griego’s trip included:
- A community vaccination event in Provo with the Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community
- A roundtable on women’s health, including maternal health and maternal mental health
- A roundtable on Latino community health care access
- Meetings with Tribal leaders and representatives on health, mental health, and substance use treatment
- Meetings with local hospital and community health leaders
“The discussions I had with community leaders in Utah are critical to advancing our equity work at the Federal level. I was profoundly moved to hear Utahns’ personal stories about how federal funding is helping minimize gaps in coverage and care, and how community leaders are developing innovative solutions to address local health and wellness needs,” said Director Griego.
Director Griego added, “I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend sharing how we are working to advance equity across all of Secretary Becerra’s priorities, including COVID-19, reducing health care costs, expanding access to care, and improving behavioral and mental health care.”
It was through the conversations with the women’s and Latino roundtable, the Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, and those elected to serve, that Director Griego was able to hear the needs of local communities in terms of equity, specifically in rural, ethnic, and cultural ways to continue the President’s work of a whole of government approach to serving our Country.