Blog: National Partnership for Action
2013 Report to Congress on Minority Health Activities
Posted on 12/30/2013 by J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE
As 2013 comes to a close, it is with great pleasure that I share with you the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) 2013 Report to Congress on Minority Health Activities . As called for under Section 10334 of the Affordable Care Act, the biennial Report to Congress on Minority Health Activities summarizes the programs, policies, and initiatives of agencies across HHS that address minority health and health disparities. This 2013 Report to Congress demonstrates our Department’s commitment to eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity. Since the inaugural 2011 Report to Congress, all of the individual Offices of Minority Health have been established, and the leadership of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has appointed permanent directors of their respective Offices of Minority Health. In addition, the Office of Minority Health has been elevated to the Office of the Secretary and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities within the National Institutes of Health has been elevated to an Institute. Together, the directors of the Offices of Minority Health and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, along with the HHS Health Disparities Council, are providing strategic coordination of HHS efforts in disparities reduction and health equity. Furthermore, under the leadership of our Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, HHS released its first-ever Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in 2011. The HHS Disparities Action Plan is the most comprehensive federal commitment to reducing health disparities and charges all HHS agencies and offices to heighten the impact of their policies and programs to reduce health disparities. This strategic action plan builds on the foundation of the Affordable Care Act with the goals of transforming health care, strengthening the nation’s health and human services infrastructure and workforce, advancing the health, safety and well-being of the American people, advancing scientific knowledge and innovation, and increasing the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of HHS programs. It represents an unprecedented time of coordination and collaboration across the Department and with our partners to achieve the vision of “a nation free of disparities in health and health care”. In this time of historic transformation of health and health care in our nation, we face a remarkable moment of opportunity to end health disparities that have impacted minority communities for far too long and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential for health. To read the 2013 Report to Congress on Minority Health Activities, please click here.
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The NPA works to achieve health equity -- the highest level of health for all people. This blog is a venue for professionals from all fields and sectors to share their thoughts on pressing issues, news and events pertaining to health equity. Follow and participate in this candid discussion.
About the Author
About the author: J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health (Acting) in the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Minority Health is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.
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