April is National Minority Health Month, a time to bring awareness to the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans still experience higher rates of morbidity and mortality from health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and HIV/AIDS, when compared to non-Hispanic whites.

While it’s important to recognize these prevailing health disparities, we should also take time to honor the historic strides our nation has made to improve the outcomes of underserved populations.

Minority Health Milestones

  • 1915: Social activist Booker T. Washington established National Negro Health Week, which evolved into the National Minority Health Month recognized today.
  • 1955: The US Public Health Service created the Indian Health Services, a health delivery service for the nation’s American Indian and Alaskan Native populations.
  • 1985: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established the Task Force on Black and Minority Health, which characterized the health issues of the country’s minority populations.
  • 2000’s: The health and well-being of disadvantaged populations remain of concern, even in the 21st century, as policies such as the Healthcare Equality and Accountability Act of 2003 and the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act of 2010 push them to the forefront of the healthcare conversation.

The Center for Health Equity and Wellness at Adventist HealthCare is committed to improving minority health by providing programs that aim to prevent disease complications and empower those in our community to live their healthiest.

Learn how we’re working to improve the health of African immigrants through Project BEAT IT! (Becoming Empowered Africans through Improved Treatment of Diabetes, Hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS).

Are you a healthcare provider in the Washington, D.C. region? Get involved in improving African immigrant health by hosting a Project BEAT IT! training at your organization! For more information, please email Emeobong Martin at EMartin2@adventisthealthcare.com.