Washington Proposes Health Equity Rules

The Washington Board of Massage (Board) and Department of Health (Department) proposed two new rules related to health equity. The Board and Department are considering amendments to continuing education (CE) and initial training requirements. You can share your thoughts on the rules with the Department by July 7.

The first proposed rule would establish health equity continuing education requiring a licensee to complete four hours of health equity as part of the current CE requirements every two years. The proposed rule would not change total CE hours; the four hours in health equity would be absorbed into the existing 24 required CE hours.

The goal of health equity CE is to provide health-care workers with the skills to recognize and reduce health inequities in their daily work. CE content would include implicit bias training to identify strategies to reduce bias during assessment and recognize structural factors that manifest as health inequities, such as racism and poverty. 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.

In addition to requiring health equity CE, the second proposed rule would require the Board to add health equity awareness to initial education and training requirements for licensure.

How do you feel about health equity training CE and health equity education in massage schools? Elevate your voice and provide written testimony to show your support of, or opposition to, the proposed rules by emailing megan.maxey@doh.wa.gov by July 7, 2023.