October Health Equity Link

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

October 2020  |  View as a webpage

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In this Issue

Hispanic Heritage Month

hhm 2020 twitter chat card

This month the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) continues to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by raising awareness about the health disparities impacting the Hispanic/Latino community and promoting physical activity, healthy nutrition, regular doctor visits and appropriate vaccination to help improve overall health. 

On Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 2 pm ET, OMH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) will co-host a bilingual Twitter chat that will focus on highlighting healthy behaviors that promote an active and healthy lifestyle, emotional wellness, vaccination, and sickness prevention in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The chat will also highlight the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to improving diversity in clinical trials as a way to improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations like the Hispanic/Latino community. Use the hashtag #HealthyLatinos to join the conversation.

Visit the OMH Hispanic Heritage Month webpage, also available in Spanish, for more information, downloadable materials and health resources.

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National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day - October 15

national latinx aids awareness day october 15

Every year on October 15, National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day is observed to address the impact of HIV and AIDS in the Latino community in the United States. Visit our Minority Population Profiles to learn how HIV/AIDS is impacting the Hispanic/Latino community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • In 2017, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 26 percent of the new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. and dependent areas.
  • One in 6 Hispanic/Latinos with HIV are unaware they have it.
  • Hispanic/Latinos have higher rates of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than some other races/ethnicities.
  • Poverty, migration patterns, lower educational level, and language barriers may make it harder for some Hispanics/Latinos to get HIV testing and care.

Help spread awareness and visit HIV.gov's website for resources, graphics, tools and more.

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Sleeve Up to Fight Flu

sleeve up campaign

This season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging everyone to roll their sleeve up for the annual influenza vaccine. By continuing to wear a mask, washing hands often, and getting a flu vaccine we can help stop the spread of flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 this fall and winter season. Additionally, HHS is asking everyone to get vaccinated against the flu by this Halloween and say Boo to the Flu!

According to the CDC:

  • Everyone aged 6 months and older needs a flu vaccine.
  • The flu can cause serious complications such as pneumonia.
  • Getting a flu vaccine lowers your chances of being hospitalized from the flu.
  • Getting a flu vaccine can help save medical resources this fall and winter.

Join the CDC in raising awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated by using the hashtag #SleeveUp to #FightFlu on social media and by sharing resources and graphics.

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National Health Literacy Month

know your patient rights medlineplus infographic

MedlinePlus is recognizing Health Literacy Month this October. Follow MedlinePlus.gov’s Twitter (@medlineplus) and Facebook (@mplus.gov) feeds with the following hashtags, #HealthLiteracy and #PatientRights, for empowering content on taking charge of your health care and learning about your patient rights.

This month, start the conversation on the importance of health literacy with these talking points from the CDC:

  • Nine out of 10 adults struggle to understand and use health information when it is unfamiliar, complex or jargon-filled.
  • Clear communication means using familiar concepts, words, numbers, and images presented in ways that make sense to the people who need the information.
  • Limited health literacy costs the healthcare system money and results in higher than necessary morbidity and mortality.

Visit the OMH Think Cultural Health website for more information on how to provide effective communication that considers the cultural, health literacy, and language needs of the populations you work with.

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National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

cdc breast cancer campaign

October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and OMH joins federal and non-federal partners in encouraging women to talk with their primary care providers about getting screened for breast cancer.

According to the CDC, African American and white women get breast cancer at about the same rate, but African American women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women. Regular screening is important in the early detection of breast cancer and the HHS Office on Women’s Health has resources to help us understand the importance of mammograms, clinical breast examinations and breast self-exams.  

OMH encourages regular screenings and check-ups with primary care medical personnel. An early diagnosis can help lead to successful treatments. For more information about breast cancer, treatment options available, clinical trials and research, please visit the National Cancer Institute’s breast cancer webpage.

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Knowledge Center

knowledge center see our newest acquisitions

October celebrates National Medical Librarians Month. The Knowledge Center online catalog features publications that describe case studies of library programs that support patient health for minority populations. Search here to see recent program descriptions or request additional information.

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