HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Statement on National Minority Health Month

HHS: April 4, 2014

In April, we commemorate National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness about health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minorities. This year’s theme – “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity” – embodies the ambitious goal put forward by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)  to achieve “a nation free of disparities in health and health care.”

Despite some recent progress in addressing health disparities, great challenges remain. Minorities are far more likely than non-Hispanic whites to suffer from chronic conditions, many of which are preventable. This is a particularly troubling statistic, because chronic diseases account for seven of the ten leading causes of death in our nation.

For example, African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are more than three times as likely to receive the same diagnosis. And Latinos are twice as likely to die from liver cancer. Read More