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[ISDH]Celebrate National Minority Health Month
Start Date: 4/3/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 4/3/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS—The Office of Minority Health at the Indiana State Department of Health held an opening ceremony this week to kick off April as National Minority Health Month. Partners from around the state, including the Marion County Minority Health Coalition, Minority Health Partners Group, the American Indian Center and Health Care Excel, presented at the ceremony. The observance is designed to raise awareness about health issues that affect minority populations, reduce health disparities and provide information about current practices and guidelines that have been implemented to address health disparity and equity.


“Reducing infant mortality is a top priority of the Indiana State Department of Health,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Black infant mortality in our state is especially high—about twice the national average. It has been trending downward since 2009, but it is still too high, especially when compared to other groups.”


Infant mortality is an indicator of the overall health of the population and is defined as the number of deaths during the first year of life per 1,000 live births in a population group. For 2010, the overall Indiana infant mortality rate was 7.5 per 1,000 live births. Among African Americans, the infant mortality rate was 14.7 per 1,000 live births. The Hispanic rate was 8.6 per 1,000 live births and the white rate was six per 1,000 live births.


This year’s theme, “Advance Health Equity Now: Uniting our Communities to Bring Health Care Coverage to All,” highlights the efforts to close the gap in health disparities and improve access to health care. 


Racial and ethnic minorities often receive poorer quality of care and face more barriers in seeking care including preventive care, acute treatment or chronic disease management, than do non-Hispanic white patients, according to the annual Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality National Health Disparities Reports (NHDR). Since 2002, the NHDR have documented the status of healthcare disparities and quality of care received by racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the United States.


Disparities in the health of minorities are prevalent in blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Non-Hispanic blacks in Indiana have a diabetes prevalence of 14 percent, while non-Hispanic whites have a prevalence of nine percent, according to estimates from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.


The Office of Minority Health has put together a calendar of Minority Health-related events taking place throughout April, including events such as the Latino Health Organization Fair and the Indiana Minority Health Coalition Town Hall Luncheon. For more information about these and other events and to view the calendar, visit


“I encourage everyone to participate in one or more of the activities planned throughout the month,” said Antoniette Holt, director of the Office of Minority Health. “Health disparities affect everyone. One person can make an impact, but with everyone working together, we can make a lasting impact by raising awareness, promoting prevention and creating effective changes to improve health for everyone and eliminate health disparities.”


In July, the Indiana State Department of Health will host the 2013 INShape Indiana Black and Minority Health Fair, as part of the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration. The Health Fair offers a great opportunity for attendees to receive many free health screenings, as well as learn ways to improve health and prevent disease.


In collaboration with organizations around the state, the Indiana State Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health educates Hoosiers about health disparities that affect minorities.  For more information, contact the Office of Minority Health at 317-233-7685, or visit Follow the Office of Minority Health on Twitter @INMinorityHth.



Contact Information:
Name: Amanda Turney
Phone: 317.233.7254
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Health, Indiana State Department of

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