Take Action During National Minority Health Month
The theme for National Minority Health Month 2023 is #Better Health Through Better Understanding. In the United States, people who belong to racial and ethnic minority and indigenous communities bear a disproportionate burden of illness and premature death. National Minority Health Month, which occurs each April, provides an opportunity to increase awareness of prevention and early detection initiatives, and take focused action to remove barriers to care, raise health literacy, reduce health disparities, and improve health outcomes for members of these communities.
The origin of National Minority Health Month
National Minority Health Month (NMHM) began with National Negro Health Week, established by American educator, author, and political advisor Booker T. Washington in 1915 to bring awareness to the health disparities affecting Black Americans due to poor working and living conditions, but it wasn’t until 2002 that NMHM received official recognition in the U.S.
That year, Congress passed H. Con. Res. 388, a resolution stating that “a National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month should be established to promote educational efforts on the health problems currently facing minorities and other health disparity populations,” and charging “all health organizations and Americans to conduct appropriate programs and activities to promote healthfulness” in underserved populations.
How can I participate in National Minority Health Month?
According to the Office of Minority Health (OMH), the Department of Health and Human Services is focusing this year’s NMHM on providing minority populations with “culturally and linguistically competent healthcare services, information, and resources.”
- A health disparities report that includes information about state-specific initiatives
- The Healthy People 2030, a health disparities data widget for health disparity information
- A knowledge center to access resources regarding the health status of racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website also has a Minority Health page, containing:
- Reports on health disparities and strategies
- Resources on addressing racism as an obstacle to health equity
- Blog posts, articles, and links concerning racial and ethnic approaches to community health and tribal support
- Free health literacy training
For those who like to get involved physically and have fun, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are hosting a Minority Health Walk, Run, Roll 5K, rain or shine, on the front lawn of their main campus in Bethesda, Maryland on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET.
Click here to register.