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Statement National Minority Health Month 2016 underscores efforts to accelerate health equity for the nation


Friday, April 1, 2016
Contact: OMHMedia@hhs.gov

National Minority Health Month 2016 underscores efforts to
accelerate health equity for the nation

On April 1, 2016 the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health will launch the annual observance of National Minority Health Month. The theme this year, Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation, will promote the extraordinary efforts underway by HHS and the Obama Administration to reduce disparities, advance equity, and strengthen the health and well-being of all Americans.

The observance of the 30th anniversary of the HHS Office of Minority Health will also begin during National Minority Health Month. Since its establishment in 1986, the HHS Office of Minority Health has served as the HHS 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.

The current transformation of America’s health care system through major legislative and policy changes, such as the Affordable Care Act, has accelerated efforts to improve the health status of minority populations that began more 30 than years ago through the release of the HHS Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health (commonly known as the Heckler Report) in 1985. This report also led to the establishment of the HHS Office of Minority Health.

During National Minority Health Month and throughout this 30th anniversary year, the HHS Office of Minority Health will highlight initiatives underway to forge a new era of health equity through public and private sector partners and stakeholder collaboration to address environmental, social, and economic conditions known as social determinants of health. These conditions affect daily living in the places where people are born, grow, live, work, learn and age and have significant impact on the health outcomes of individuals, families, and their communities, and the prosperity of our country.

To increase momentum toward achieving health equity, multi-sectorial efforts are increasing across federal, national, state, local, tribal and territorial partners, including HHS Office of Minority Health grantees, to reverse and repair the devastating impact of high school dropout rates, unsafe neighborhoods, unhealthy homes, lack of affordable transportation, pollution, low wage jobs, and limited healthy, affordable food options in far too many communities across the country.

The HHS Office of Minority Health will draw attention to the tremendous steps taken by HHS and the Administration to reduce disparities, advance equity, and strengthen our nation as a whole by prioritizing high quality education, safe neighborhoods, healthy housing, reliable transportation, clean air, stable employment, and nutritious foods. By taking these measures, collectively we will build a stronger foundation for our nation’s increasingly diverse populations to prosper for generations to come.

The HHS Office of Minority Health invites partners of all sectors to join efforts in April, and all year long, in creating a healthier nation. Visit the National Minority Health Month website to obtain toolkit materials and other information, share your health equity activities and programs, and sign up for OMH updates.

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7/6/2016 10:24:00 AM