Everyone in America should have the chance to live a healthy life, regardless of who they are and where they live.
That’s the message of Minority Health Month, which each April aims to raise awareness about disparities in health care affecting minorities.
This year’s theme, Advancing Health Equity Now: Uniting Our Communities to Bring Health Care Coverage to All, seeks to reduce disparities and improve health care outcomes with affordable access to care.
Health disparities — differences in health outcomes that are closely linked with social, economic, and environmental disadvantage — are often driven by the social conditions in which individuals live, learn, work and play.
Racial and ethnic minorities still lag behind in many health outcome measures. They are less likely to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy, more likely to suffer from serious illnesses, such as diabetes or heart disease, and when they do get sick, are less likely to have access to quality health care.
According to the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities:
- Infants born to black women are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to die than those born to women of other races/ethnicities and American Indian and Alaska Native infants die from SIDS at nearly 2.5 times the rate of white infants.
- Cancer is the second leading cause of death for most racial and ethnic minorities. African American men are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer and Hispanic women are more than 1.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer.
- African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to have diabetes as white individuals; diabetes rates among Hispanics are 1.5 times higher.
- Although racial and ethnic minorities constitute one-third of the U.S. population, they make up more than half of the 50 million uninsured people.
Want to help?
Like other community health centers across the country, HealthNet’s full-service primary care centers are purposefully located in high need areas and are open to all, regardless of ability to pay.
Sign up today to be an advocate for the community health center nearest you! Together we can make an impact in improving access to care and reducing health disparities in Indy.