August Health Equity Link

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August 2022  |  View as a webpage

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In this Issue

Advancing the Response to COVID-19 Blog Series

Blog for Health Equity Series: Advancing the Response to COVID-19

The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is committed to advancing the response to COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority communities. In September 2020, OMH hosted a virtual symposium highlighting state, tribal, territorial, and community-based efforts to address COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minorities and American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

In this five-part blog series, OMH follows up with some of the virtual symposium presenters to learn how they have continued to make positive impacts in the communities they serve during the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic.  

National Minority Donor Awareness Month

One Voice, One Vision... To Save and Heal Lives. National Minority Donor Awareness Month.

National Minority Donor Awareness Month is a collaborative initiative of the National Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation Multicultural Action Group. It seeks to create a positive culture for organ, eye, and tissue donation in racial and ethnic minority communities.

Data provided by shows that racial and ethnic minority individuals on organ transplantation waiting lists are less likely than white patients to have a transplant performed. While nearly 50 percent of white patients on waiting lists received a transplant, only 27 percent of Asian patients, 31 percent of Black patients, and 32 percent of Latino patients did.

A more diverse donor registry gives racial and ethnic minorities on the transplant waiting list a better chance to find a suitable donor match. Because the immune system markers used to match organ donors and recipients are inherited, people with rare markers are more likely to match someone from a similar ethnic background.

Visit, available in English and Spanish, to learn about donation, sign up to be an organ donor, and visit Donate Life America to find social media posts in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Learn More

National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month. #ivax2protect

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. During NIAM, we encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider to ensure you and your family are protected against serious diseases by getting caught up on routine vaccination.

While many serious diseases are no longer common in the United States thanks to vaccines, these diseases still exist and can spread when people are not vaccinated. Even if you received the vaccines you needed as a child, the protection from certain vaccines can wear off. You may also be at risk for other diseases due to your job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. Find out what vaccines you and your family may need based on different risk factors, including pregnancy.

Protect yourself and your loved ones. Find vaccine providers near you:

Learn More

National Breastfeeding Month

Picture shows a young Black mother, smiling as she breastfeeds her baby

Breastfeeding has health benefits for both babies and mothers. Breast milk provides a baby with ideal nutrition, supports its growth and development, and can help protect baby and mom against diseases such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding for about six months and then continuing breastfeeding while introducing complementary foods until the child is 12 months old or older.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fewer Black infants (75.5 percent) are ever breastfed compared to Asian infants (92.4 percent) and Latino infants (85.0 percent). Many Black and Latina mothers face complex barriers when starting and continuing to breastfeed, including unsupportive work policies, lack of parental leave, cultural norms and lack of family support, and unsupportive hospital practices and policies.

The HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH) provides information, guidance, and support, available in English and Spanish, on breastfeeding topics such as:

  • Getting a good latch
  • Common breastfeeding challenges
  • Pumping and storing milk
  • Breastfeeding at work and in public

OWH has also developed the It's Only Natural campaign for Black women and their families about the health benefits of breastfeeding. You can also call the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 1-800-994-9662 for further support and resources.

Learn More Más información

National Health Center Week (August 7-13)

National Health Center Week. Community Health Centers: The Chemistry for Strong Communities

National Health Center Week, observed August 7-13, is a celebration of the work done by health center programs. Health centers provide millions of patients with low-cost primary and preventive care services every year. They are also important in addressing disparities in healthcare access and affordability for members of racial and ethnic minority communities.

Each day of National Health Center Week will focus on a particular topic:

  • August 7: Public Health in Housing
  • August 8: Healthcare for the Homeless
  • August 9: Agricultural Worker Health
  • August 10: Patient Appreciation
  • August 11: Stakeholder Appreciation
  • August 12: Health Center Staff Appreciation
  • August 13: Children’s Health

The HRSA Health Center Program began in 1965 and provides federal funding to public or nonprofit organizations that provide comprehensive primary health care to underserved populations as Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Use the HRSA Find a Health Center tool to find the health center closest to you.  

Learn More

International Overdose Prevention Day (August 31)

Save a life. Talking about overdose can help. #EndOverdose.

According to data from the CDC National Vital Statistics System, the rate of overdose deaths has increased by over 250% since 1999. This increase is related to both prescription opioids, illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and stimulants. Data from the CDC National Center for Health Statistics also show that, in 2019, American Indian or Alaska Native people had a higher drug overdose death rate than any other racial or ethnic minority group (30 per 100,000).

International Overdose Prevention Day, observed yearly on August 31, serves as a call to action to share information and resources on how to stop drug overdoses and save lives:

If you or someone you know struggles with a substance use disorder, help is available. Visit or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

Learn More Más información

OMH Knowledge Center

Looking for minority health library services or resources? Visit the OMH Knowledge Center.

This month, the OMH Knowledge Center is featuring a collection of articles related to health disparities and health equity in international contexts. This collection includes various documents and articles on capacity building, global trends, healthcare spending, refugee/immigrant health, and more. Many of these resources are available for free and can be accessed through the online catalog here.

Looking for more information on a topic included in this collection? View our search tips page for guidance on searching the online catalog, or contact the OMH Knowledge Center directly for research assistance.

Learn More

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