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CDC Highlights Programs that Reduce U.S. Health Disparities

Programs address wide range of disparities across different health conditions

Press Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 11, 2016
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A supplement to the CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, highlights programs that reduce disparities by race/ethnicity, geography, disability, and/or sexual orientation across a range of different health conditions.

“Reducing and eliminating health disparities is fundamental to building a healthier nation,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “With science-based and effective interventions, we can close health disparity gaps in America."

The supplement demonstrates that we can make progress in overcoming public health disparities through meaningful community and local health authority involvement.

“Programs designed to build health equity are a smart investment for improving health outcomes. Public health professionals can enhance the impact of strategies for reducing health disparities, disseminate and tailor these strategies to reach more communities, and determine how to expand these strategies for even greater impact by rigorously applying lessons learned from these efforts,” said CDC’s Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity Leandris Liburd, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A.

The eight programs reported in the current supplement include:

  • A report on the Traditional Foods Project. During 2010–2012, American Indian and Alaska Native adults were about twice as likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. The experiences of this tribally driven effort suggest that traditional food activities are a way to facilitate dialogue about health in tribal communities, a key step in health promotion and diabetes prevention.
  • A description of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Community Asthma Initiative. Black and Hispanic children are hospitalized with complications of asthma much more often than are white children. The program demonstrates that interventions by community health workers can significantly reduce hospitalizations in these populations. This effective program has been adapted to local cultural variations in other cities and states.
  • A report on evidence-based interventions to improve levels of screening for colorectal cancer in two states, in Alaska (among Alaska Natives) and in Washington (among racial and ethnic minority and low-income populations).
  • A report documenting the reduction of disparities in hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection in the United States following incremental changes in hepatitis A vaccination recommendations to increase coverage for children and persons at high risk for HAV infection
  • Two reports outlining HIV prevention interventions shown to reduce HIV- and STD-related risk behaviors among Hispanic or Latino men and high-risk men who have sex with men, including substance users
  • A report describing three community-level interventions linked to reductions in youth violence.
  • An evaluation of the Living Well with a Disability program, which helps people with disabilities manage their health.

For more information about health disparities visit the CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity site.


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