Minorityhealth.hhs.gov: April 4, 2012.
In April 1915, Dr. Booker T. Washington dispatched a letter to the leading African American newspapers, proposing the observance of “National Negro Health Week.” Health was the key to progress and equity in all other things, he argued: “Without health and long life, all else fails.” He called on local health departments, schools, churches, businesses, professional associations, and the most influential organizations in the African-American community to “pull together” and “unite… in one great National Health Movement.”
That observance grew into what is today a month-long initiative to advance health equity across the country, on behalf of all racial and ethnic minorities – National Minority Health Month.
This April, as we commemorate National Minority Health Month, we also celebrate another milestone in health equity: the one-year anniversary of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) first-ever Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Through the HHS Disparities Action Plan, we are transforming health care by reducing disparities in health insurance coverage and access to primary care services; we are strengthening the health and human services’ workforce by improving the cultural competency and increasing the diversity of the public health and health care workforces; we are advancing the health and well-being of the American people by investing in community-based programs to reduce disparities; and we are advancing scientific knowledge by conducting research and implementing new data collection standards to better understand health disparities and design effective programs to reduce disparities. Read more