September Health Equity Link

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September 2021  |  View as a webpage

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In this Issue

National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is proud to join federal and non-federal partners in raising awareness about this debilitating disease affecting approximately 100,000 people in the U.S.

Led by the NIH National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), this year’s theme, Advancing Sickle Cell Disease Research, aims to bring greater visibility to blood safety, as well as to the diagnosis, treatment, and management, of blood diseases.

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

  • Sickle cell disease occurs among 1 out of every 365 Black or African American births.
  • Sickle cell disease occurs among 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic American births.
  • About 1 in 13 Black or African American babies is born with sickle cell trait.

To help drive efforts, OMH encourages public and private organizations from across the country to join the NHLBI Blood Health Network, to work together to increase awareness and disseminate information about blood diseases, disorders, and safety.

This month, check out NHLBI’s Today’s Faced of Sickle Cell Disease featuring real stories of people living with sickle cell disease and visit the OMH Sickle Cell Disease Initiative website for to access materials, videos, and information regarding the latest advances, and health resources.

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National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month is a national observance led by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

This year’s theme, “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community,” reminds people in recovery and those who support them, that recovery belongs to all of us. We are all called to end gatekeeping and welcome everyone to recovery by lowering barriers to recovery support, creating inclusive spaces and programs, and broadening our understanding of what recovery means for people with different experiences.

National Addiction Professionals Day will be celebrated on September 20, as part of National Recovery Month. This day aims to celebrate the vital players of the health system and continuum of care: addiction professionals. The day was established by National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors to commemorate all the hard work that addiction professionals do on a daily basis.

Visit the National Recovery Month website to find upcoming events, resources, and downloadable materials.

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National Childhood Obesity Month

National Childhood Obesity Month

Every year, the CDC leads National Childhood Obesity Month to promote healthy growth in children and prevent obesity.

According to CDC, childhood obesity is a major public health problem. About 1 in 5 (19%) children in the United States has obesity and certain groups of children are more affected than others.

Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone, and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.

Parents and caregivers can help prevent obesity and support healthy growth. Visit MyHealthfinder for resources and guidance on how to help your child stay at a healthy weight. Additionally, to learn more about national objectives related to childhood obesity, check out Healthy People 2030’s objectives related to children’s health and overweight and obesity

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Food Safety Education Month

Food Safety Education Month

September is Food Safety Education Month, which is focused on spreading the word about the importance of food safety and preventing food poisoning.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning) annually – that’s about 1 in 6 Americans each year. Each year, these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

Following four simple steps at home—Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill—can help protect you and your loved ones from food poisoning.

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, please note that there is currently no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food or food packaging. Get answers to other questions about COVID-19 and food from CDC, the FDA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, OMH will work with federal and non-federal partners to disseminate information about disease prevention, health promotion and share the latest recommendations for Hispanics related to COVID-19.

The observance theme Esperanza: A celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope, encourages everyone to reflect on all of the contributions Hispanics/Latinos have made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It is also a reminder that we are stronger together.  

Visit the OMH website for more information, downloadable materials, and resources throughout the observance month.

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World Heart Day (September 29)

World Heart Day

Led by the World Health Federation, World Heart Day is celebrated every year on September 29. This observance day informs people around the globe that cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives each year, and highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control cardiovascular disease.

There are 520 million people globally living with cardiovascular disease that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in the last year. The pandemic has strained health services, complicating care for those at risk of, or living with heart disease. This healthcare crisis has highlighted the need to find alternative ways to connect people to heart health, particularly in lower resource areas and communities.

This year's theme, “Use Heart to Connect,” urges everyone to harness the power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention, and management of cardiovascular disease globally. From telehealth consultations to finding helpful online tools to manage your own care, everyone, everywhere should be able to benefit from digital heart health solutions.

Visit to find resources, tips, and info on how you can connect on World Heart Day.

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Knowledge Center

OMH Knowledge Center

In observance of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, the OMH Knowledge Center online library collection is featuring a variety of reports, journal articles, and consumer brochures in multiple languages designed to educate individuals on how to treat and live with sickle cell disease. To review the most recent resources, search the online catalog here.

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