Maternal & Infant Health
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April is National Minority Health Month, but what is it about?

April 1, 2024
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National Minority Health Month was originally known as National Negro Health Week (NNHW) in 1915. Led by Booker T. Washington. The week was established after the negative findings by the Tuskegee Institute about the poor health status of Black Americans and its economic costs in the beginning of the 20th century. Washington presented this data at the Tuskegee Negro Conference in 1914, resulting in the U.S. Public Health Services creating NNHW. The awareness week's purpose was to educate Black communities throughout the U.S. about strategies to attain health care and inform students on appropriate health practices.

The purpose of National Minority Health Month is “to bring awareness about the disproportionate burden of premature death and illness in people from racial and ethnic minority groups.”

Eventually, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) started Healthy People 2010 (its third iteration of the initiative), which focused on ending health disparities for all ethnic minority groups. Soon, the U.S. Congress passed a concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res 388) to declare National Minority Health Month in 2002. According to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the purpose of National Minority Health Month is “to bring awareness about the disproportionate burden of premature death and illness in people from racial and ethnic minority groups.” Moreover, this month “encourages action through health education, early detection and control of disease complications.”

Opportunities to commemorate and participate in National Minority Health Month

Federal, state, and local governmental agencies will host various events to provide education about health disparities and ways to address them for people of color. The Ohio Commission on Minority Health recently commemorated the month by hosting its 2024 Virtual Statewide Minority Health Month Kickoff Ceremony. The Commission also listed various activities and events that will occur across the state by various organizations. Concurrently, The Center for Community Solutions will have a National Minority Health Month series focusing on health issues that are affecting people of color in our communities. Topics will include maternal health, trauma informed leadership, HIV/AIDs advocacy, and more. To know when our blogs will be posted, sign up for our 5 Things You Need to Know Newsletter.

Resources

To learn more about other work and events regarding racial equity and health, check out the following resources:

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