The Tennessee Department of Health joins minority health advocates and providers nationwide in observance of National Minority Health Month this April. This annual observance is designed to raise awareness about health issues that affect racial and ethnic minority populations. Activities planned during the month encourage faith-based and community-based organizations, businesses, health care professionals, academic leaders and others to get involved in efforts to improve the health status of minority populations and eliminate health challenges.
“Attention must be focused on efforts to close the gap in health disparities that disproportionately affect minorities in all areas of our state and across our nation,” says TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “We encourage individuals to advocate and take positive actions for both their personal health and the health and prosperity of their families and communities. Disparities can be eliminated if we join together for action with understanding.”
Research shows the burden of disease for a number of health conditions is not borne equally by all population groups. Racial and ethnic minorities suffer disproportionately from some illnesses and premature deaths and often experience poorer health outcomes than white individuals. The Tennessee Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination seeks to partner with organizations, community groups and citizens concerned about minority health disparities. The office is committed to educating and informing others about conditions that adversely affect minority populations and is dedicated to developing solutions for eliminating health disparities.
“Minority Health Month serves as a call to action to build unity, get involved and invest in efforts to reduce health disparities and advance better health for all Tennesseans,” says Lesia Walker, MPH, director of the TDH Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination. “No one should be limited in achieving good health because of their social position or other social determinants. We encourage Tennesseans to join us in creating an environment that helps more people in our state live longer, healthier lives.”
The mission of the TDH Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination is to promote health policies, programs and services designed to improve health and quality of life by preventing and controlling the disproportionate burden of disease, injury and disability among racial and ethnic minority populations. For more information, contact the office at 615-741-9443 or visithttp://health.state.tn.us/dmhde/index.shtml.
Woody McMillin, Tennessee Department of Health