Minority Health Month: Bridging health equity across communities

Image of African American nurse talking to a Hispanic mother and her daughter. Daughter has a cast on her left wrist and is sitting on a hospital bed - Every community deserves good health. This April we celebrate National Minority Health Month. National Minority Health Month logo - Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation.

Flint, Mich- April is National Minority Health Month. It was created to bring awareness health disparities among minorities in the U.S.

It was originally called "Negro Health Week" and was spearheaded by Booker T. Washington more than a century ago.

Currently, according to Michigan data gathered by the Office of Minority Health, African Americans still report having fair or poor health more often than whites, followed by Hispanics.

Those groups also report having higher obesity rates. 40 percent of African Americans and 41 percent Hispanics identify as being obese compared to 31 percent of whites.

Another big issue, access to healthcare coverage. Hispanics report having the least access to coverage followed by African Americans.

The theme for this year's Minority Health Month is Bridging Health Equity Across Communities. Organizers hope to bring some of those staggering statistics down by taking action.

"We are focusing on two initiatives right now. The first is a legislative brief being held on April 27 at Michigan Capitol Building and we also announced grant funding for six communities across the state," said Manager of Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health , Sheryl Weir.

One of those grants is being used in Mid-Michigan's Genesee County at Genesee Health Plan off of Linden Rd.

If you would like to learn more about Minority Health Month and its history, you can visit the Office of Minority Health on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website right here.

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