Public Health Week story 5 -- minority health

April 10, 2009

A disproportionate burden of disease among racial and ethnic minorities results in greater health care expenditures not only for these groups but for the rest of society.

In order to close these gaps, health care reform must work to reduce geographic, racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in health care delivery.

Given national attention to health reform initiatives to reduce health disparities, this month serves as an impetus to raise awareness of and implement initiatives to reduce health disparities among minority populations.

National Minority Health Month (NMHM) is recognized nationally every April. The goals of NMHM are to build public/private partnerships, foster cultural competency among health care providers, encourage health education and training, and expand the use of state-of-the-art technology. Everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, deserves good health.

The mission of UNMC's Center for Reducing Health Disparities in the College of Public Health is to improve public health and the quality of health and wellness of racial/ethnic minorities, underserved and rural populations by reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities.

The center has a number of events and activities organized to highlight the importance of minority health within the context of building a stronger, healthier community together. A calendar of events for Minority Health Month is available on the center's Web site.

The center encourages individuals and organizations to participate in the month's activities. Some other ways that you can support Minority Health Month in addition to participating in community events include:

  • Organizing awareness events such as chats, health fairs, house parties;
  • Distributing materials; and
  • Making a commitment to collaborate in a participatory manner with poor and underserved communities in your research to improve the health of all people.

For more information about Minority Health Month, please contact Athena Ramos at 559-2095 or aramos@unmc.edu.