Each April U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) organizes National Minority Health Month. Its goal is to highlight the important role individuals and organizations can play in helping to reduce health disparities and improve the health of racial and ethnic minority and American Indian/Alaska Native communities.
This year’s theme focuses on the focuses on the continued importance of COVID-19 vaccination, including COVID-19 boosters, and sharing credible information as important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately affected communities of color.
The CDC’s Health Equity COVID Data Tracker page contains useful information about the disparate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on various demographic groups, including a great tool from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences designed to help visualize the risk profiles of vulnerability to COVID-19 at the county level. This model incorporates various social and environmental determinants of health including demographics, air pollution and underlying health disparities.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on health disparities among minority populations, this has been a longstanding issue. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) releases annual reports on national healthcare quality and disparities which highlight the longstanding effect of these disparities. One useful tool they provide allows for state-by-state visualizations of health disparities according to different metrics and broken down by categories.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out the resources below! The OMH has also put together a great calendar of related events being put on by its partner organizations. They will keep adding events throughout the month.