August Health Equity Link

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HHS Office of Minority Health


August 2023  |  View as a webpage

Health Equity Link

In this Issue

New Report: Federal Policy to Advance Racial, Ethnic, and Tribal Health Equity

Federal Policy to Advance Racial, Ethnic, and Tribal Health Equity Report

Racial and ethnic minority populations and tribal communities often face preventable inequities in health outcomes due to structural disadvantages and diminished opportunities around health care, employment, education, and more.

The HHS Office of Minority Health commissioned the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene an interdisciplinary committee to conduct an analysis of federal policies that contribute to preventable and unfair differences in health status and outcomes experienced by all U.S. racial and ethnic minority populations.

As a result, the new report titled “Federal Policy to Advance Racial, Ethnic, and Tribal Health Equity,” analyzes how past and current federal policies create, maintain, and/or amplify racial, ethnic, and tribal health inequities. It also identifies key features of policies that have served to reduce inequities and makes recommendations to help achieve racial, ethnic, and tribal health equity.

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National Minority Donor Awareness Month

National Minority Donor Awareness Month

August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month, aimed at creating a positive culture for organ, eye, and tissue donation to improve the quality of life of diverse communities.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network reports that racial and ethnic minorities account for almost 60 percent of individuals on the U.S. transplant list and 49 percent of those who have received organ transplants in 2022. Specifically, 28 percent of those waiting for a life-saving organ transplant are Black/African American, while 22 percent are Hispanic/Latino.

Shared ethnicity is not a requirement for matching organ donors and recipients. Matches between donors and recipients of different ethnicities are quite common. However, having a more diverse donor registry gives racial and ethnic minorities on the transplant waiting list a better chance of finding a good 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.

To learn more, join HRSA’s DoNation Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roundtable on August 16, at 2:00 p.m. ET for a discussion with organ donation experts. Additionally, you can help those in need by signing up as an organ, eye, and tissue donor at Every registration counts.

Learn More Más información

National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month, held in August, is the perfect time to highlight the importance of routine vaccination. As schools prepare to reopen and the flu season approaches, it is vital to remind everyone that receiving all recommended vaccines is the best defense against severe illness.

People from racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected when it comes to receiving recommended vaccines. Many factors can contribute to lower vaccination rates, including concerns about vaccine safety and limited access to care and health coverage.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions in routine immunizations for children and adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although routine vaccination rates are increasing, they remain uneven and have not yet recovered among all groups. Many children and adults who delayed vaccination during the pandemic are still behind schedule.

Take advantage of this time to inform your community about the benefits of vaccination and encourage them to prioritize their health by getting vaccinated. Visit the CDC’s Vaccines and Immunization website for more information, resources, immunization schedules, and more.

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National Breastfeeding Month

National Breastfeeding Month

National Breastfeeding Month is celebrated annually in August and is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and parents.

The observance also aims to raise awareness of racial disparities in breastfeeding numbers and work towards reducing them by providing culturally sensitive support, education, and resources to communities facing more significant breastfeeding challenges.

Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure a child's health and survival. Although more than 80 percent of mothers in the U.S. start off breastfeeding, less than a quarter exclusively breastfeed their baby at 6 months. According to the CDC, fewer non-Hispanic Black infants (74.1 percent) are ever breastfed compared with Asian infants (90.8 percent), non-Hispanic white infants (85.3 percent), and Hispanic infants (83.0 percent).

Visit the HHS Office on Women's Health website for useful online resources that can help you decide if breastfeeding is right for you, address breastfeeding challenges, and teach you how to pump and store breastmilk. Breastfeeding resources for mothers also include a fact sheet and a guide to breastfeeding.

Learn More Más información

National Health Center Week (August 6-12)

National Health Center Week

Every year, the National Association of Community Health Centers leads National Health Center Week (NHCW) to celebrate and raise awareness of the work done by community health centers across America, especially in addressing disparities in health care access and affordability in racial and ethnic minority communities.

This year’s theme, The Roadmap to a Stronger America, aims to highlight the commitment and passion of community health center staff, board members, and supporters who make it possible to provide quality, comprehensive health care services to more than 30 million patients across every state and territory.

Each day of NHCW will focus on a particular topic:

  • August 6: Public Health in Housing
  • August 7: Healthcare for the Homeless
  • August 8: Agricultural Worker Health
  • August 9: Patient Appreciation
  • August 10: Stakeholder Appreciation
  • August 11: Health Center Staff Appreciation
  • August 12: Children’s Health

Visit the NHCW website for more information about events during the observance week and use the HRSA Find a Health Center tool to locate a health center near you.

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OMH Knowledge Center

OMH Knowledge Center

This August, as we celebrate National Minority Donor Awareness Month, the OMH Knowledge Center is sharing a collection of documents and journal articles related to organ donation and transplantation as it relates to racial and ethnic minorities. The collection explores health disparities in organ transplant wait lists, minority communities' attitudes, and beliefs about organ donation, culturally and linguistically appropriate care in organ transplantation, and more.

This collection is available for free through the online catalog.

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.

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