Blog Archives

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)

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)

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