Washington Adopts Health Equity Continuing Education

A new continuing education requirement established by the Washington Board of Massage and the Department of Health (DOH) aims to educate massage therapists on health equity so that the highest level of fair and just health and wellness may be provided to all.

The newly adopted massage rule adds two hours of health equity education that must be completed every two years as part of continuing education (CE) requirements. The adopted rule does not change total CE hours; the two hours in health equity are absorbed into the existing 24 required CE hours. The proposed version of the rule, which was introduced this summer, suggested a minimum of four hours in health equity CE every two years. The rule was amended after input from the public.

The goal of health equity CE is to provide health-care workers with skills to recognize and reduce health inequities in their daily work. CE content may include implicit bias training to identify strategies to reduce bias during assessment. The objective is to see a positive impact on a practitioner’s interaction with clients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities, and with varying race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, religion, age, ability, socioeconomic status, and other categories of identity.

The DOH developed a Health Equity Continuing Education Website for massage therapists that offers information on course requirements, free trainings, paid trainings, and other educational opportunities. The DOH also created this helpful FAQ. If you have questions or concerns after reviewing the above resources, feel free to contact DOH program staff at massage.therapy@doh.wa.gov.

Effective date: January 1, 2024