October Health Equity Link

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u s department of health and human services - office of minority health

October 2019  |  View as a webpage

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In this Issue

Hispanic Heritage Month

HHM 2017 Tw Ch

Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) is a national observance recognized annually, beginning September 15 to October 15. This year, Hispanic Heritage Month will serve as a platform for increasing awareness of health disparities that persist among Latinos such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Heart disease and cancer in Latinos are the leading causes of death, accounting for about 2 of every 5 deaths. The lack of physical activity can increase the risk of these disparities.

This year, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) will focus on raising awareness about the importance of daily physical activity in an effort to improve health outcomes. OMH will highlight the 2nd edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s (ODPHP) Move Your Way campaign throughout the month.

On October 9th at 2 pm ET both OMH and ODPHP will host a bilingual Twitter chat focused on health disparities and perceived barriers to health outcomes among the Latino community, how to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle and sharing bilingual resources.

Visit OMH’s HHM webpage for more information, resources and events occurring during the observance period.

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Youth Engagement in Sports: Collaboration to Improve Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition (YES) Initiative


On September 19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the National Youth Sports Strategy, the first federal roadmap that outlines steps that the nation can take to ensure that all youth have the opportunity, motivation, and access to play sports.

As a part of the new strategy, the HHS Office of Minority Health and the HHS Office on Women’s Health announced $6.7 million in grants to 18 communities to promote youth sports participation. The YES grants will support local partnerships that offer youth sports and nutrition activities for racial and ethnic minorities, girls, and disadvantaged youth, particularly in areas where few youth programs exist.

The full list of grant recipients is available at minorityhealth.hhs.gov.

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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day – October 15

Latino HIV AIDS awareness day

The theme for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is “Living with HIV Or Not...We're Fighting This Together.” The observance will focus on the tools and resources available to address HIV in communities and the elimination of HIV-related stigma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more Latinos have HIV compared to other racial and ethnic minorities. Therefore, Latinos have an increased chance of having an HIV-positive partner if they have other Latino partners.

The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA), the Hispanic Federation and other organizations organize this day to build capacity for non-profit organizations and health departments to reach Latino communities, promote HIV testing, and provide HIV prevention information and access to care.

Visit  HIV.gov's website for resources and more.

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National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer banner

Breast cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in women after skin cancer. Breast cancer is also the most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Women can also help lower their risk of breast cancer by being active and healthy in the following ways:

  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Breastfeed your children, if possible
  • Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours has had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

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National Health Literacy Month

Health Literacy Month 2019

October is National Health Literacy Month. Health literacy focuses on ensuring health information easy to understand and making the health care system easier to navigate. Poor communication is one barrier to health literacy, and it can prevent people from accessing and understanding vital health information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidance and tools to help make health information accurate, accessible and actionable.

Visit health.gov to learn more about the importance of health literacy and the many resources available for communities.

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Knowledge Center

OMHRC logo. Knowledge Center. Laptop propped up by books. See our latest acquistions.

The OMH Knowledge Center online catalog provides access to a broad spectrum of government documents, article abstracts, and other reports related to health disparities. Read about how nutrition awareness and increased physical activity can improve the health status of racial and ethnic minorities. Search here to see a summary of recent publications on this topic.

To find out more about how to use the Knowledge Center Online Library, watch this video.

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