Blog Archives

AHRQ Releases 2016 Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released the 2016 edition of its Congressionally-mandated National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR). This year marks the 14th annual release of the report, which compiles over 250 individual measurements to present a comprehensive overview of the equity and quality of our health care system. The report is available on the AHRQ website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 5), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Answers “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceThe latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Dr. Courtney Ferrell Aklin and Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who write about how the social and behavioral sciences help us understand the social determinants of health and address health disparities. Read it here and subscribe.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 2), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

NAM Releases Report: Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice’s Committee on Community-Based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United States recently released a report, Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity, which reviews the “state of health disparities and explores the underlying conditions and root causes that contribute to health inequity.” Highlighting the need for additional research, among the report’s recommendations is a call on the funders of research (government, foundations, and higher education) to “support research on (a) health disparities that examines the multiple effects of structural racism (e.g., segregation) and implicit and explicit bias across different categories of marginalized status on health and health care delivery; and (b) effective strategies to reduce and mitigate the effects of explicit and implicit bias.” The Committee’s recommendations also called for the convening of multidisciplinary teams that include non-academics to “(a) understand the cognitive and effective processes of implicit bias and (b) test interventions that disrupt and change those processes towards sustainable solutions.”

Key recommendations from the report will be highlighted at a January 25 public meeting as part of NAM’s Culture of Health program. That meeting will also address “health equity across settings, how health equity crosses boundaries, and how structural inequities shape the experience and development of young children.” A call to action and next steps will be discussed as well. Additional information is available here.

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 24), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

HHS Office of Minority Health Releases Compendium of Publicly Available Datasets

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) recently announced the release of a new resource, the Compendium of Publicly Available Datasets and Other Data-Related Resources, to aid researchers, public health practitioners, and policymakers with data on health and health care disparities and social determinants of health. A free resource, the Compendium provides “descriptions of and links to 132 public datasets and resources that include information about health conditions and other factors that impact the health of minority populations.” The new resource was created by the Federal Interagency Health Equity Team of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) to advance research, public policy, and the public’s knowledge of issues related to health equity. The Compendium is available on the NPA website.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Candidates Sought for CDC Health Disparities Advisory Subcommittee

The Health Disparities Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACD, CDC) is seeking nominations for new members. The Subcommittee provides expert advice to the CDC Director and Health and Human Services leadership on ways to reduce health disparities, including through research, program and policy analysis, and other CDC activities. Candidates should have expertise in “health policy, public health, global health, preparedness, preventive medicine, the faith-based and community-based sector, and allied fields.” More information is available in the Federal Register notice. Nominations are due by September 30, 2016.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Academies Release Workshop Proceedings on “Framing the Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity to Advance Health Equity”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health Improvement recently released the proceedings of a workshop titled, Framing the Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity to Advance Health Equity. The workshop was designed to share “strategies for individuals, organizations, and communities to advance racial and health equity.” It addressed such topics as “increasing awareness about the role of historical contexts and dominant narratives in interpreting data and information about different racial and ethnic groups, framing messages for different social and political outcomes, and readying people to institutionalize practices, policies, and partnerships that advance racial and health equity.” The proceedings are available here.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 9), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Tri-Caucus Introduces 2016 Health Equity and Accountability Act

On June 15, led by Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL), members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) (H.R. 5475). The groups, also known as the Congressional Tri-Caucus, have introduced versions of the legislation since 2007, which has served to inform other health-related legislation considered by the Congress, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Introducing the bill, Rep. Kelly, chair of the CBC Health Braintrust, noted that HEAA “is a reminder that there is much work to be done to improve health outcomes in minority populations.” She was joined at the bill’s roll out by CAPAC chair Judy Chu (D-CA), CAPAC Health Taskforce co-chair Barbara Lee (D-CA), CHC Health Task Force chair Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), CHC chair Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and CBC chair G.K. Butterfield (D-NC).  The bill currently has 18 co-sponsors.

Among other things, if enacted, the bill would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research addressing minority health and health disparities. Issues and topics addressed by the 800-page bill include: data collection and reporting; workforce diversity; mental health; healthcare outcomes for women, children and families; “high impact minority diseases” (cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, lung disease); health information technology; accountability and evaluation; and social determinants of health, the built environment, and environmental justice.

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Posted in Issue 14 (July 12), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIMHD Accepting Applications for Health Disparities Research Institute

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applicants to its Summer Institute on Health Disparities Science. The Institute which will be held on the NIH campus from August 15-19, 2016, is designed to “support the development of individual research projects by promising scientists early in their careers and … stimulate research in the disciplines supported by science on minority health and health disparities.” The course includes lectures, seminars, and small group discussions on research relevant to minority health and health disparities along with sessions by NIH scientific staff engaged in related health disparities research across the various NIH Institutes and Centers. Early career researchers from diverse backgrounds, as well as individuals interested in research on minority health and health disparities within academic, community-based, nonprofit, and other non-academic settings are encouraged to apply. Applications are due June 1, 2016.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 17), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIH Minority Health Institute Moves Ahead on Science Visioning of Health Disparities

At the June 9 meeting of National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NACMHD), outgoing Acting Director Yvonne Maddox updated the Council on the Institute’s Science Visioning process for health disparities research.  NIH Deputy Director Larry Tabak will serve as the Institute’s Acting Director until newly appointed director Eliseo Perez-Stable’s arrival in September.

To initiate the process, the Institute released a request for information in April (see Update, May 4, 2015).  Maddox reported that a trans-NIH Science Vision Advisory Group had been appointed and working groups are being established. The working groups will hold discussion forums around areas of science “to establish foundational concepts for advancing the science of health disparities research.”  The trans-NIH advisory group is populated by senior NIH leadership and led by Irene Dankwa-Mullan, Acting Deputy Director, NIMHD Division of Extramural Scientific Programs. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 11 (June 16), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NIH Requests Comment on Precision Medicine Cohort, Strategies to Address Community Engagement and Health Disparities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking feedback (NOT-OD-15-107) to help it in creating a national research cohort of one million or more Americans as part of the President’s proposed Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) (see Update, May 19, 2015).  The agency is specifically interested in feedback relating to the development and implementation of effective community engagement strategies for the cohort, and the ability to conduct transformative research to address health disparities.  The aim is to assemble a “cohort reflective of the rich diversity of the U.S. population.” (more…)

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Posted in Issue 10 (June 2), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

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