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

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.

OMHHE’s Goals
  • Reduce health disparities and address social determinants of health to advance health equity.
  • Enhance and sustain diversity and inclusion across CDC and the public health workforce.
  • Manage and expand the CDC health equity enterprise.
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

Guiding Principle: Increase CDC’s impact on health equity

Mission: Advance health equity and women’s health issues across the nation through CDC’s science and programs, and increase CDC’s capacity to leverage its diverse workforce and engage stakeholders toward this end

Vision: A world where all people have the opportunity to attain the best 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 Offices of Minority Health and Health Equity, Women’s Health, and Diversity & Inclusion Management. 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.

Name and Organizational Alignment

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

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 officespdf iconexternal icon in April 2011.

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 reportexternal icon 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 the 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 transforms 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.

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: November 8, 2021