Impact Brief April 2023 – CEO Message
This year’s National Minority Health Month theme – “Better Health Through Better Understanding” – speaks to the heart of what we strive for as an organization: to create and promote more equitable and accessible structures so that everyone has the chance to live a healthy life.
Given that many of the leading causes of death for individuals in the U.S. result from chronic conditions, which are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health challenges, one of our goals is to look at how our connections and intersections affect our health, well-being, and the public health system that cares for us.
Despite being a global majority, Black, Indigenous/Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, and Latinx communities are marginalized and oppressed in the U.S. – leading to sharp disparities that affect their health and well-being due to an increased burden of illness and death compared to the entire population of the U.S. This is unacceptable. We must acknowledge and address the social determinants of health that affect these communities to create a more inclusive and effective healthcare system.
NACDD was an early adopter of the notion that the only way to improve the overall health of people in the U.S. was to focus on health disparities. As a result, in 2005, the Association formed the Health Disparities Interest Group, now known as the Health Equity Council. The Council has created tools to help build states’ capacity to address health inequities and convened meetings with partners to promote health equity. The current Chair of the Council is Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, Director and Epidemiologist for the Office of Health Equity in the Kentucky Department for Public Health. To learn more, contact NACDD’s Health Equity Consultant, Renaldo Wilson, at Rwilson_ic@chronicdisease.org.
Throughout April, we have been using our social media platform to raise awareness about work focused on reducing health inequities and social, economic, environmental, and structural disparities among different populations – concentrating mainly on groups that comprise the global majority. (Follow NACDD on LinkedIn and Facebook).
- Learn more about some of the work highlighted on social media here.
Our General Member Webinar, “Centering Equity in the Public Health Data Life Cycle,” discussed equity in creating surveys, collecting data, handling missing or misclassified data, analyzing data, disaggregating data, and communicating and disseminating data. (The recording of the webinar will be posted soon at chronicdisease.org/webinar-library.)
This month we also launched a four-part course on Advancing Health Equity. Each interactive course features videos with public health experts and leaders, application and reflection activities, resources, and an evaluation.
Reflecting on National Minority Health Month, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that all communities have access to the resources and support they need to lead healthy lives. We recognize this is a long-term journey and are constantly seeking ways to improve.
We’d love to hear how your health department or organization is helping make the world more equitable, safe, healthy, and just. We encourage you to share your success stories and start a conversation on NACDD’s Engage Community.