About CDC’s Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE)

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The future health of the nation will be determined to a large extent by how effectively we work with communities to eliminate health disparities among those populations experiencing a disproportionate burden of disease, disability, and death.

Persistent health disparities in our country are unacceptable and correctable. CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) advances health equity and women’s health issues across the nation through CDC’s science and programs. OMHHE also increases CDC’s capacity to leverage its diverse workforce and engage stakeholders to this end.

CDC is committed to bringing together partners from various sectors to gain collective expertise and perspectives, inform next steps, and create a shared commitment to reduce health inequities. Through the CORE Health Equity Science Intervention Strategy, CDC centers are collaborating with multi-sectoral partners to incorporate health equity as a foundational component in all our work.

Each division has submitted health equity action plans that are being incorporated into a broad, unified agency-wide strategy.

  1. Integrate health equity principles into CDC public health programs, policies, data systems, and funding structures.
  2. Mobilize partners to develop and implement evidence-based strategies that address health disparities and long-standing inequities including structural and social determinants of health.
  3. Catalyze tools and processes that ensure diversity and health equity competencies, transform infrastructure, and mobilize the existing and future CDC staff and public health workforce.
  4. Develop and implement strategies and policies to address and reduce the impact of gender discrimination and gendered racism, and promote health equity in the workplace.
OMHHE’s Priorities
  • Focus on solutions for reducing health disparities, improving women’s health, and ensuring a diverse and inclusive public health workforce.
  • Facilitate the implementation of policies and strategies across CDC that promote the elimination of health disparities in communities of highest risk.
  • Advance the science and practice of health equity.
  • Collaborate with national and global partners to promote the reduction of health inequalities.

Programs, policy, measurement, and infrastructure are the critical linkages for OMHHE’s operating principles. Learn more about our Paving the Way to Health Equity initiative.

OMHHE At a Glance

Mission: Increase CDC’s ability to achieve health equity and women’s health issues across the nation through science and programs.

Vision: All people have the opportunity to attain the highest level of health possible.

Compelling evidence that race and ethnicity correlate with persistent, and often increasing, health disparities among US populations demands national attention.

Associate Director for Minority Health & Health Equity, CDC
Leandris Liburd

Dr. Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA is the Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity at CDC. In this role, she oversees the work of CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity and the Office of Women’s Health. In addition, she provides agency leadership, direction, and accountability for CDC’s policies and programs to ensure they are effective in improving women’s and minority health. She also serves as the agency’s principal advisor on health equity issues with HHS and other federal agencies, national organizations, academic institutions, and the public.

History of the Office

CDC’s Office of Minority Health was established by the CDC Director on August 8, 1988 as a small coordination office, set up in response to Secretary Heckler’s 1985 landmark report on minority health.

Ten years later, the office went through the first of many strategic redirections and continued to transform over the next 7 years to become CDC’s Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD) in September of 2005, with established programs now serving a broader focus of expanded populations.

OMHD was later strategically aligned within the Office of Strategy and Innovation (OSI) to establish CDC goals and ensure health disparities were being addressed and incorporated into all CDC work and agency goals.

In 2008, OMHD was moved to the Office of the Chief of Public Health Practice (OCPHP), to be best positioned to accelerate health impact for groups at higher risk in the US, with a focus to develop CDC-wide health disparity elimination strategies, policies, and programs.

In 2010, the CDC restructure initially partnered OMHD with the Office of the Associate Director for Program (OADPG), with whom it shares a close collaborative relationship today, working to ensure all CDC Programs address health disparities at all levels, through planning, performance, accountability, and program evaluation.

At the beginning of 2011, the office transformed once again, to emerge as the new OMHHE, placed in the CDC Office of the Director (OD), and led by Dr. Leandris Liburd.

In 2018 OMHHE celebrated 30 years of service with the commemoration theme, Mission: Possible. View this timeline to learn more about achievements in minority health and OMHHE’s anniversary.

Name and Organizational Alignment

CDC is an Agency/Operating Division of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

Legislation requires the establishment of an Office of Minority Health within the Office of the Director at six HHS agencies – including CDC – with the head of each office reporting directly to the head of each agency.

Although CDC has had an Office of Minority Health in place for over 20 years (formerly the Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities), in order to comply with all provisions of the new statute, CDC organizationally re-aligned and re-named its office: Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE).

HHS approved all six of these minority health offices in April 2011.

Contact Us

If you are interested learning more about OMHHE’s health equity work, email us at omhhe@cdc.gov. If you are interested in student internship opportunities, please fill out our Internship Information Request form.

Page last reviewed: June 22, 2022