This National Minority Health Month, Give Your Community a Boost!

nat'l minority health month give your community a boost

April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM)! This year the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and its partners are highlighting the important role individuals and organizations can play in helping to reduce health disparities and improve the health of racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

This year’s NMHM theme is Give Your Community a Boost! This theme focuses on the continued importance of COVID-19 vaccination, including boosters, as one of the strongest tools we can use to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme also supports the many other efforts happening in communities throughout the country to advance health equity.

Visit the NMHM website in Englishexternal icon and Spanishexternal icon to find social media messages, graphics, and information you can use to Give Your Community a Boost!

CDC Pipeline Program Renamed in Honor of Congressman John Lewis

diverse group of young people

CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) is pleased to announce the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (CUPS) Program, which provides students from underrepresented backgrounds with career-building public health experiences, will be renamed the CDC John R. Lewis Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program.  It’s been nearly two years since we mourned the loss of American hero and civil rights icon Congressman John R. Lewis. Congressman Lewis was a fervent supporter of CDC, an advocate for minority health, and was renowned for his leadership in advancing policies that improve health in historically marginalized communities. Congressman Lewis will long be remembered for his persistent commitment to racial justice, civil rights, and health equity. His remarkable legacy continues through the work we all do in alignment with these values.

The CUPS Program was established in 2011 to equip the public health workforce with the diversity and health equity competencies needed to effectively address ongoing health inequities. The program delivers fieldwork opportunities, individual mentorship, and training in public health and minority health to selected undergraduate students. CDC partners with academic institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to implement the CUPS program, and the program is a key component of CDC’s commitment to advancing health equity. We are honored to announce this Congressional decision to rename the CUPS Program as a tribute to the legacy of Congressman Lewis.

Call for Papers: Public Health Reports Supplement on “Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities and Accelerating Progress Toward Health Equity in the United States”

Sharing practice-based knowledge from state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) public health practitioners is paramount because of the concurrent emergence of substantial challenges to public health systems, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and of new opportunities for structural public health action accompanying the growing interest in health equity. Information on how STLT professionals continue to advance health equity in the face of complex disparities and worsened inequities will improve knowledge of how essential services to optimize and close gaps in population health are sustained or strengthened in dynamic, diverse practice environments. Enhanced sharing of practice-derived and validated strategies for promoting health equity is key to leveraging active support for pro–health equity initiatives.

Public Health Reports (PHR), a peer-reviewed journal of public health research and practice and the official journal of the Office of the US Surgeon General and the US Public Health Service, invites submissions for a supplement on practice-based research on promising and effective strategies for advancing health equity by improving minority health and reducing health disparities. The supplement, organized by CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE), gives STLT public health practitioners the opportunity to discuss health equity–related insights and highlight their efforts to advance health equity.

Practice-based research refers to “systematic inquiry into the systems, methods, policies, and programmatic applications of public health practice.” PHR is seeking manuscripts that address public health practice in STLT jurisdictions that:

  • Enhance embedding of health equity principles into the design, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, policies, data systems, or funding structures;
  • Use innovative strategies to address environmental, place-based, occupational, policy, and/or systemic factors impacting health outcomes and driving health disparities;
  • Engage and mobilize community- and jurisdiction-based organizations, trusted leaders, and networks (such as those comprised by STLT offices of minority health/health equity) to develop new or scale up existing evidence-based strategies that address health disparities and long-standing inequities, including those in the social determinants of health;
  • Support transformation of the public health workforce to ensure diversity, inclusion, and health equity competence in existing and future staff; or
  • Address and reduce the impact of gender discrimination and gendered racism in the workplace.

Abstracts should be submitted to Ms. Kerry O’Rourke (Guest Managing Editor),, by no later than midnight eastern time of June 21, 2022. The guest editors will review all abstracts and then contact authors about the suitability of full manuscript submission by July 21, 2022. The submission deadline for full manuscripts is September 21, 2022.

See the full announcementpdf iconexternal icon with details about the abstract and full manuscript submission requirements.

CDC’s How Right Now Campaign Addresses Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic

Adults from racial and ethnic minority groups have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a new CDC studyexternal icon published in JAMA Psychiatry, the number of mental health-related emergency department visits was fairly stable from December 2020 to August 2021 among adults in the United States ages 18-64 years regardless of whether the United States was experiencing a COVID-19 case surge. However, some racial and ethnic minority groups showed substantial increases in visits for some mental disorders during and after COVID-19 case surges. Most notably, American Indian and Alaska Native adults had increases in the number of emergency department visits for multiple mental disorders after a COVID-19 case surge, including a 42% increase in trauma and stressor-related visits. During a COVID-19 case surge, Asian adults had increases in the number of visits for most examined mental disorders, including a 21% increase in emergency department visits with depression. This study highlights the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health messaging, as well as tailored prevention and intervention programs, for racial and ethnic minority groups that have been historically marginalized.

One of CDC’s mental health interventions How Right Now / Qué Hacer Ahora is a national communications campaign launched in 2020. The campaign was designed to promote and strengthen the emotional well-being and resiliency of populations adversely affected by stress, grief, and loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The newest version of the How Right Now campaign focuses on creating, updating, and distributing much needed resources to support the emotional well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native, black, and Hispanic adults. Resources informed by engagement and partnership with disproportionately impacted populations are necessary to improve mental health outcomes and reduce inequities. Scalable, evidence-based primary prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies tailored to the specific needs of individual populations that address the underlying and far-reaching impacts of structural and social determinants of health will help ensure everyone can attain their highest level of health.

HHS Announces Nearly $44 Million to Strengthen Mental Health and Substance Use Services for Populations at Risk for or Living with HIV/AIDS

woman speaking to therapist

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recently announced three funding opportunities to strengthen mental health and substance use services for individuals at risk for or living with HIV/AIDS. Totaling $43.7 million dollars, the funding opportunities reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to providing accessible, evidence-based, culturally appropriate substance use prevention, treatment and recovery services to all as part of HHS’s new Overdose Prevention Strategy. Funding will be awarded in the fall.

Learn more.external icon

Secretary Becerra and HHS Leaders Celebrate Twelve Years of the Affordable Care Act and Advancing Health Equity for All Americans

celebrating 12 years of advancing health equity for americans

Since its enactment on March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to an historic advancement of health equity in the United States. This landmark law improved the health of all Americans, including women and families, children, older adults, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ and communities of color. Thanks to the ACA, millions of Americans have gained health coverage without lifetime limits, and protections are in place for people with preexisting conditions. People have access to essential health benefits, including preventive and rehabilitative care, prescription drugs, wellness visits and contraceptives, and mental health and substance use treatment, among many others. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to building on the success of the ACA and making health care a right for all Americans.

The newly released Affordable Care Act Briefing Bookexternal icon features key findings from two dozen reports published by the Biden-Harris Administration from 2021 to the present. Read the Fact Sheet: Celebrating the Affordable Care Act.external icon

Page last reviewed: April 18, 2022