Blog Archives

NIH Releases Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan for 2021-2025

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released its strategic plan for 2021 through 2025 to advance minority health and health disparities research across all NIH institutes, offices, and centers. The strategic plan, which was developed with input across the NIH and the minority health and health disparity research community, lays out goals and strategies for the agency to advance additional scientific research, support research-adjacent activities, and expand outreach and strategic communications on minority health and health disparities. These goals and strategies include:

  • Promoting research to understand and improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations.
  • Advancing scientific understanding of the causes of health disparities.
  • Developing and testing interventions to reduce disparities.
  • Creating and improving scientific methods to support health disparities research.
  • Supporting trainings and career advancement to enhance diversity and promote minority health and health disparities research.
  • Strengthening capacity to conduct minority health and health disparities research.
  • Ensuring representation of minority and other health disparity populations in NIH-funded research.
  • Promoting evidence-based community engagement of best practices.
  • Cultivating and expanding the community of minority health and health disparities researchers and advocates.

Both the strategic plan and an interactive webpage to explore the contents of the plan are available on the NIH website.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 13), Update, Volume 40 (2021)

Senate Health Committee Holds Hearing on COVID-19 Response and Addressing Health Disparities

On March 25, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing on health equity and health disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee members heard testimony from Vice President for Health Equity at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Dr. Consuelo H. Wilkins, Executive Vice President of the Seattle Indian Health Board Abigail Echo-Hawk, Managing Director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress Taryn Mackenzie Williams, and President and CEO of Atrium Health Gene A. Woods.

Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC), and Committee members all expressed concerns over deep health disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including for communities of color, individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and rural communities. The Committee members questioned the witnesses on a variety of topics including COVID-19 vaccines and how to equitably distribute them to at-risk communities, the effect of the pandemic on Indian and tribal health services, the increased importance of telehealth during the pandemic, diversity among clinal trial participants for vaccines, and incorporating health equity practices in health data and data management.

The witnesses’ testimonies and a full recording of the hearing are available on the HELP website.

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Posted in Issue 7 (March 30), Update, Volume 40 (2021)

NIMHD Funding Research on Vaccine Hesitancy and Health Disparities

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Notice of Special Interest announcing a new funding opportunity for research on hesitancy to participate in vaccines among populations that experience health disparities. The notice seeks submissions on a variety of social and behavioral research questions including evaluating strategies to increase vaccination rates among target communities and methods to address barriers of receiving vaccines among health disparate communities, especially those with a higher risk of experiencing vaccine hesitancy. The first available due date for applications is February 5, 2021, with the notice expiring on January 8, 2022. More information is available on the NIH website.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 5), Update, Volume 40 (2021)

NIMH Requesting Comments on Improving Mental Health Disparities

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is requesting stakeholder comments to inform potential research seeking to improve mental health outcomes among minority and health disparity populations. The request specifically seeks input on how certain social determinants can affect mental health outcomes, how racial discrimination may affect mental health outcomes, potentially understudied social or behavioral determinants of mental health, ideas or innovations to reduce mental health disparities, promising interventions to treat mental health disparities, tools to properly measure mental health outcomes, and ideas on preventing racial discrimination at the individual, family, or community level. Comment submissions will be accepted through October 30, 2020. More information is available on the NIH website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 1), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

NIMHD Holds 10th Anniversary Symposium

On March 3, the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) held the Innovations to Promote Health Equity symposium celebrating the Institute’s 10th anniversary. The symposium, held on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, featured comments from NIMHD Director Eliseo Perez-Stable and NIH Director Francis Collins and focused on the latest innovations in health disparities research organized into four topical panels: Division of Intramural Research, Community Health and Population Sciences, Integrative Biological and Behavioral Sciences, and Clinical and Health Services Research. A video recording of the full symposium is available on the NIH website. The symposium agenda and program booklet are available on the NIMHD website.

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Posted in Issue 6 (March 17), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

NIMHD to Celebrate 10th Anniversary with Scientific Symposium

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is hosting a scientific symposium titled Innovations to Promote Health Equity in honor of the institute’s 10th anniversary. The symposium will highlight new discoveries in minority health and health disparities research and will feature four panels focused on the following issue areas:

  • Integrative Biological and Behavioral Sciences
  • Community Health and Population Sciences
  • Clinical and Health Services Research
  • Multidisciplinary Intramural Research at NIMHD

The symposium will take place at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland on March 3, 2020 and will be webcast live on the NIH website. Registration for the event is free and open to the public. More information and a draft agenda for the symposium is available on the NIMHD website.

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Posted in Issue 4 (February 18), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

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)

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