April is National Minority Health Month
Published April 3, 2017
WASHINGTON — The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) has launched the annual observance of National Minority Health Month. The theme this year, Bridging Health Equity Across Communities, emphasizes the collaborative, community-level work being done across the nation to help achieve health equity.
During National Minority Health Month 2017, the HHS OMH will highlight partner initiatives in communitiesthat address the indirect conditions that affect health, also known as social determinants of health. The conditions in the places where people are born, grow, live, work, play, learn, and age have significant impact on the health outcomes of individuals, families, and their communities.
As part of the 2017 observance, HHS OMH will host a #Bridge2Health Twitter Town Hall at 1:00 PM EDT on April 12 that will highlight examples from around the country of community-based efforts to address health disparities. Organizations can also support efforts to help reduce health disparities by participating in the HHS OMH Health Equity Thunderclap on April 28.
Health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations—or the differences in health, health care and well-being—have a detrimental effect on our nation and our communities. In the United States, it has been estimated that the combined cost of health disparities and subsequent deaths among racial and ethnic minorities due to inadequate and/or inequitable care is $1.24 trillion. Healthier communities mean lower health care costs, which translate into a stronger economy and a more productive, competitive America.
HHS OMH grantees, federal agencies, and other partners are driving the community-level efforts to close the gap on disparities in health and health care. Innovative programs and initiatives, combined with an understanding of the social determinants of health that impact the health of local communities, are moving our country toward being a nation free from disparities in health and health care.
The HHS OMH is the lead agency for improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs to help eliminate health disparities. Achieving a nation free of disparities in health and health care requires a focus on equity in all policies as a means of addressing the social determinants of health. Through the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities, the HHS OMH helps implement cross-sectoral efforts that are crucial for the health of our increasingly diverse nation.
Collaboration between organizations that make high quality education, safe neighborhoods, quality housing, reliable transportation, clean surroundings, nutritious food, and stable employment available to all Americans is key to helping end health disparities.
The HHS OMH invites partners of all sectors to join efforts in helping communities achieve their full potential for health. Visit the National Minority Health Month website to obtain promotional materials, share information on your activities and events, and sign up for OMH updates.