National Minority Health Month begins on April 1, 2019. The theme, Active & Healthy, highlights the health benefits from even small amounts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity throughout the day. Every move counts! And physical activity promotes health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases and other conditions that are more common and oftentimes more severe among racial and ethnic minority groups.
The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at HHS invites you to share the theme, hashtag, and logo with your partners, and we will present more information on OMH activities for National Minority Health Month in the coming weeks.
Visit the OMH websiteExternal to learn more about National Minority Health Month, and sign up for the National Minority Health Month topicExternal on our email list to be notified when we post new tools and resources to support your #NMHM19 events and programs!
CDC Educates and Promotes the Benefits of Physical Activity
CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) is at the forefront of protecting the health of Americans by encouraging regular physical activity, good nutrition, and preventing adult and childhood obesity. The evidence is clear—physical activity fosters normal growth and development, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, and can make people feel better, function better, and sleep better. Some health benefits start immediately after activity, and even short bouts of physical activity are beneficial. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd editionExternal outlines the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. It also highlights individual and community-level strategies that can make being physically active easier in the places where people live, learn, work, and play.
Active people generally live longer and are at less risk for serious health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. For people with chronic diseases, physical activity can help manage these conditions and complications. For more information on why physical activity matters, what CDC is doing to educate the public about the benefits of physical activity, and how CDC’s work is making a difference, visit DNPAO’s website.
Using What Works to Increase Physical Activity-The Community Guide
Communities can increase students’ physical activity by making it safer and easier for students to walk or bike to school using active travel-to-school interventions featured in The Community GuideExternal and CDC’s Health Impact in 5 Years. Physically active childrenCdc-pdf tend to have better grades, attention, attendance, and classroom behaviors. All children ages 6–17 should get 60 minutes or moreCdc-pdfExternal of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.
The State of Health Equity (SHE) at CDC Forum, hosted by the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE), is an annual event to raise awareness across CDC of various issues that can advance health equity efforts. These events encourage all public health disciplines to be involved in advancing health equity. “This is one in a series of meetings to try to bring focus to our work in eliminating health inequity, or bringing health equity to our nation. It really is a testament to our belief that we have to take deliberate action to improve health equity,” remarked Stephen Redd, MD (RADM, USPHS), deputy director for Public Health Service and Implementation Science and director, Center for Preparedness and Response, CDC.
This year’s theme was Building Equity & Community Resilience in Public Health Emergencies and the forum convened experts from various backgrounds and disciplines to apply a health equity lens to public health emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities through deliberate communications and interdisciplinary partnerships. “We must promote policies that support reducing health disparities and achieving health equity. We must also clarify and promote organizational structures that facilitate the integration of health equity in programs and research,” said Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA, director, Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, CDC.
Attendees at the 2019 SHE Forum received a firsthand account of the recent public health emergency, Hurricane Maria, from Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, MD, secretary of health, Puerto Rico Department of Public Health. The hurricane paralyzed Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, communication system, transportation infrastructure, healthcare system, and other vital systems. The hurricane shined a light on the continuous need for health equity. As Puerto Rico continues to recover, pursuit to decrease health disparities and social vulnerabilities remains persistent.
Topics also included incorporating social vulnerability in disaster management planning, preparing and responding to emergencies through a health equity lens, and advancing equity in community resilience for public health emergencies.
Presenters and moderators included:
- Renée Funk, DVM, MPH&TM, MBA, DACVPM (CAPT, USPHS), Associate Director for Emergency Management, National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, CDC
- Mitchell Stripling, MPA, Assistant Commissioner, Agency Preparedness and Response, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, MD, FAANS, FACS, Secretary of Health, Puerto Rico Department of Public Health
- Daniel Dodgen, PhD, Senior Advisor for Strategy, Policy, Plans and Requirements, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)
- Sachiko A. Kuwabara, PhD, MA, Director, Office of Risk Management and Operational Integrity, Division of Emergency Operations, Center for Preparedness and Response, CDC
- Amy Wolkin, DrPH, MSPH, Senior Advisor for At-Risk Populations, Center for Preparedness and Response, CDC
- Julio Dicent Taillepierre, MS, Team Lead, Initiatives and Partnerships, Office of Minority Health h and Health Equity, CDC
- Patrick Breysse, PhD, CIH, Director, National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, CDC
Following the introductory forum in 2012, the forums have highlighted crucial areas for health equity including measurement, essential program elements, policies that support health equity, and infrastructure that support health equity. A recording of the forum is on the OMHHE website along with information on how to obtain continuing education credits.