NIMHD Quarterly News: Spring 2017

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Director's Message

Dr. Eliseo Perez-Stable

Spring has sprung, and NIMHD research and program endeavors are in full bloom. We are proud to present our inaugural issue of the external newsletter, and we hope you find it both thought-provoking and informative.

As director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, my job is to be a leader in research that leads to understanding and improvement of minority health and the reduction of known health disparities in the United States. NIMHD is also charged with helping guide and coordinate with other NIH Institutes and Centers on these issues.

Through teamwork with scientific leaders and researchers across NIH, I work to bridge the gap in health equity. That means helping to ensure that all segments of our population can reach the highest levels of health possible, so that everyone has a fair chance to live a long, healthy, and productive life.

Dr. Booker T. Washington once said, “Without health and long life all else fails.”

It was he who originally organized National Negro Health Week in 1915 as a call to action, because formal health care was rare for the black population in America. Now we are here in 2017, still facing obstacles in the health equity for all racial and ethnic minorities and poor people from all groups.

Every April, NIMHD joins the HHS Office of Minority Health and other sister agencies to recognize National Minority Health Month. This year, our theme is “Understanding Social and Environmental Determinants to Bridge Health Equity.” We recognize the impact of social and environmental determinants on health and health behaviors, and this theme encourages us start a conversation on ways these determinants can be used to reduce health disparities.

We need you to be a part of this effort—to start conversations that can change your life and the lives of others.

Recent Features

Workshop Examines the Use of Race and Ethnicity in Genomics and Biomedical Research

NIMHD hosts genomics workshop

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) hosted a 2-day workshop in October at the NIH Neuroscience Center Building in Rockville, Maryland, to discuss the use of race and ethnicity data in biomedical and clinical research and their application to minority health and health disparities research. | Read more.

The Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research Walks Beside, Not in Front of, Diverse Hawaiian Communities to Control Diabetes

Native Hawaiians are twice as likely to develop diabetes as Whites living in Hawaii and four times more likely to die of stroke. These are the kinds of health problems being addressed by the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research and its network of community partners. | Read more.

Study Finds Site of Delivery Contributes to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pregnancy-Related Severe Maternal Morbidity

Pregnant woman in hospital

A recent study examining the impact of hospital quality on racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related morbidity in New York City found that differences in the hospitals where Black and White women deliver contribute to the disparity in severe maternal morbidity rates. | Read more.

A New NIH Experience Charted for the Next Generation of Minority Health and Health Disparities Researchers

“Imagine you are a 65-year-old woman who has hypertension and diabetes that have been poorly controlled due to your everyday life stressors,” began Dr. Lisa A. Cooper, as the auditorium fell silent. Cooper, who is a professor of medicine at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, used the example to address the disparities she often saw with regard to hypertension and cardiovascular risk factors. | Read more.

Do Youth Have the Ability to Understand and Participate in HIV Prevention Research?

Do youth have the ability to participate in research

The number of people who become infected with HIV every year is falling in the United States, in part because there are new ways to prevent HIV infection. But for young gay and bisexual men, HIV infection rates are still rising. | Read more.

New at NIMHD

NIMHD Holds Inaugural Minority Health 5K

Minority Health 5k Speakers

To celebrate National Minority Health Month, we held our inaugural Minority Health 5K on the NIH campus on April 12th. Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, NIMHD director (R), and Rear Admiral Peter Kilmarx, Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Director of the NIH John E. Fogarty Center (L), gave opening remarks. Dr. Regina James, NIMHD Director of Clinical & Health Sciences Research (C), co-hosted the event's Facebook Live broadcast. More than 400 participants joined us to run, walk, dance, and enjoy an afternoon of fun and physical activity! 


Minority Health 5k Zumba

Courtney Duckworth, NIH Office of Research Services Fitness Instructor, leads fitness warm-up exercise at NIMHD Minority Health 5K.

Minority Health 5K Participants

Runners starting off at the NIMHD Minority Health 5K.

#HealthEquityTwitter Chat Discussion on the Social and Environmental Determinants of Health 

#HealthEquityChat Twitter Chat

We hosted a Twitter chat on April 25th with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Minority Health on understanding social and environmental determinants of health to bridge health equity. Check out the full discussion on Storify! 

Changing the National Dialogue Regarding Mental Health Among African American Men

Brother, You're on My Mind mental health initiative

 Mental health is a topic that many African American men consider taboo and avoid discussing. To help start conversations about mental health, we partnered with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., to launch the Brother, You're on My Mind initiative. Through the initiative, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity chapters across the country educate fellow fraternity brothers and community members on depression and stress in African American men. We've created a toolkit, complete with everything members need to plan an educational mental health event from start to finish. These materials tailored for African American communities are available for any organization to use. | Learn more and download toolkit materials.

NIMHD Launches Language Access Portal


We've launched a new resource for our stakeholders who work with health disparity populations that have limited English proficiency: the Language Access Portal (LAP). The LAP contains information in multiple languages for six disease areas where major health disparities have been identified in non-English speaking populations. Disease areas currently include cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more. New disease areas will continue to be included, and additional resources will be incorporated as they become available. The new portal supports NIH’s comprehensive Language Access Plan by providing access to reliable cross-cultural and linguistically appropriate health information from NIH and other federal agencies. | Learn more.

Recent Staff Publications

On the Blog

For the First Time, Healthy People Initiative Focuses on Social Determinants of Health

By Nancy Breen, Ph.D. | The Healthy People initiative is a federal program that provides “science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans.” For the past 40 years, Healthy People has monitored the health of Americans and set benchmarks for how we can all be healthier. | Read more.

Introducing the Language Access Portal

By Kelli Carrington, M.A. | Many of us know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed during a doctor’s visit by information about health conditions, medicines, and behavior recommendations. For patients who don’t speak or understand English fluently, the situation can be more than overwhelming—it can be dangerous. | Read more.

Addressing Mental Health in African Americans Through FAITH

By Tiffany Haynes, Ph.D. | Rural African Americans are disproportionately exposed to numerous stressors, such as poverty, racism, and discrimination, that place them at risk for experiencing elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Elevated levels of depressive symptoms can lead to a host of negative outcomes, including poor management of chronic illnesses (e.g., hypertension, diabetes), poor social and occupational functioning, and development of clinical depression. | Read more.

Funding Opportunities and Notices

  • Information on Specialized Centers of Excellence on Minority Health and Health Disparities funding opportunity announcement (U54)
  • Information on NIMHD Endowment Program for Increasing Research and Institutional Resources (S21)
  • Mechanisms of Disparities in Chronic Liver Diseases and Cancer (R01)
  • Mechanisms of Disparities in Chronic Liver Diseases and Cancer (R21)
  • Mechanisms and Consequences of Sleep Disparities in the US (R01)
  • Mechanisms and Consequences of Sleep Disparities in the US (R21)
  • Advancing the Science of Geriatric Palliative Care (R01)
  • Advancing the Science of Geriatric Palliative Care (R21)

Learn more about NIMHD funding opportunities.

Upcoming Conferences and Events

Applications Now Open for 2017 NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute

Participants from the 2016 NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute.

Applications are now open for the 2017 NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI), taking place from August 14 through 18. The HDRI aims to support the research career development of promising minority health and health disparities research scientists early in their careers and stimulate research in the disciplines supported by health disparities science. 

The program will feature lectures, mock grant review, seminars, and small-group discussions on research relevant to minority health and health disparities. It will also include sessions with NIH scientific staff engaged in related health disparities research across the various institutes and centers. The deadline to submit applications is May 12, 2017, 11:59 p.m. ET. View testimonials from last year's HDRI to find out what participants can expect. | Learn more about the HDRI.