Skip Navigation

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
OMH Logo US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health The Office of Minority Health 1-800-444-6472
OMH Home | En Español
About OMH
Disparities Efforts
Our Services
Offices of Minority Health
Press Releases
Federal Clearinghouses
Search Library Catalog
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) Home

We're in!

We support health equity for all Americans.

National Partnership for Action logo

Office of Minority Health on Twitter

FYI ... Money & MoreFYI ...
Money & More

Join Our Mailing ListKeep Informed!
Join Our Mailing List

Image of a person asking a questionNeed Help?
Contact Us

HIV/AIDS Awareness Days

Email Updates E-mail subscriptions envelope OMH Content

African Americans in Alabama get help to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke

Office of Minority Health   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2013

Contact: CMS Media Relations
(202) 690-6145

HHS Office of Minority Health
Division of Information & Education
(240) 453-8833

African Americans in Alabama get help to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke

African Americans living in parts of Alabama will get improved access to community-based health services to prevent heart attacks and strokes through a new public, private partnership led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Morehouse School of Medicine and HHS awarded $900,000 to the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. to target three counties in Alabama where African Americans face significantly high rates of cardiovascular disease. The National Baptist Convention will build on the strengths of faith-based organizations to connect communities to vital health care resources like hypertension management services, including blood pressure monitoring, free or low-cost medication, and patient counseling and education.

The Million Hearts Stroke Belt Project is being funded jointly through the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS/OMH).

"Partnerships that help reduce health disparities and save lives is our priority at HHS," said J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., deputy assistant secretary for minority health. "This project helps educate and empower people to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke."

"The Affordable Care Act has made preventive services more accessible to Americans, including those at higher risk of heart disease and stroke," said Cara V. James Ph.D., CMS/ OMH director.

African Americans are 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease, according to 2009 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. African Americans living in Alabama – one of the states that comprises an area referred to as the "Stroke Belt" – lack access to health care. Fifty-four of the 67 counties in Alabama have a shortage of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers.

The Million Hearts Stroke Belt Project seeks to reverse this trend. The project supports the Million Hearts initiative, which counts on public, private partnerships to help prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The project is a key part of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities [PDF | 1MB] and the National Prevention Strategy [PDf | 1.5MB] to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.

Together, OMH and CMS/OMH operations are 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. To learn more, visit:


You will need Adobe Acrobat® Reader™ to view PDF files located on this site. If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat® Reader™, you can download here for free. Exit Disclaimer

Content Last Modified: 1/31/2013 3:34:00 PM
OMH Home  |  HHS Home  |  |  Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  HHS FOIA  |  Accessibility  |  Plain Writing Act  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Viewers & Players

Office of Minority Health
Toll Free: 1-800-444-6472 / Fax: 301-251-2160

Provide Feedback