Minority Health Month Ends, BlazeSports’ Commitment to Reducing Health Disparities Continues

As April comes to a close today, and with it Minority Health Month, BlazeSports reiterates our commitment to working year-round to address health disparities for all Americans. National Minority Health month, designated by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, is intended to raise awareness about health disparities and encourage
action – specifically preventative measures – to reduce them. “As people with disabilities and people of racial/ethnic minority status face health and healthcare disparities that put them at disadvantage in their quality of life compared to their counterparts, the health and wellness of these populations are public policy concerns that warrant increased attention and action.” (ACHM
Report July 2011).

In recent years, reports including the National Council on Disability’s The Current State of Health Care for People with disabilities, have made progress in raising awareness  about the health disparities experienced by persons with disabilities – such as people with disabilities reporting poorer health, the use of health care at a significantly higher rate than do people without disabilities, the higher prevalence of secondary conditions (e.g., obesity) and  the use preventive services at a lower rate than do persons without disabilities. Yet while health care practitioners have become more knowledgeable about disabilities generally,  many Americans remain misinformed about the impact of disability on specific populations – despite African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos typically experience disability at a higher rate than do Whites/Caucasians.

Last summer (July 2011), the HHS Advisory Committee on Minority Health (ACHM) released a report of recommendations entitled Assuring Health Equity for Minority Persons with Disabilities. The report indicates that  “while there is a substantial need for increased public awareness about disabilities in general, there is a specific need for data regarding health disparities among minorities with disabilities. It is particularly important to raise awareness about the burden of disability and race/ethnicity vis- à-vis health disparities and inequities. Aside from the public health issues that most racial/ethnic minorities face, minorities with disabilities experience additional disparities in health, prejudice, discrimination, economic barriers, and difficulties accessing care as a result of their disability—in effect, they face a “double burden.”

BlazeSports is proud to be working with the Department of Health and Human Services to promote and encourage physical activity and preventative measures for all Americans – including individuals with disabilities. As part of these efforts, BlazeSports supports the recommendations of the ACHM:

  1. Raise awareness about minorities with disabilities.
  2. Recognize disability as a fundamental component of cultural competency.
  3. Require competency for all health care providers and professionals.
  4. Improve research and practice on disabilities in minority populations.
  5. Strengthen the health care workforce to ensure high quality care for people with
    disabilities.

For more on Minority Health Month, visit: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/splash_page.aspx
To read the full ACMH report, visit:  A Recommendation Report from the HHS Advisory Committee on Minority Health (ACMH): Assuring Health Equity for Persons with Disability. http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/Assets/pdf/Checked/1/ACMHHealthDisparitiesReport.pdf

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