American Public Health Association
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Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Health

Background

Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities Action Plan was generated because the Governing Council of the APHA designated Policy Resolutions in both 2001 (Racism as a fundamental cause of ethnic disparities in health) and 2000 (Eliminating Racial/Ethnic Disparities) as priority areas for APHA Action.

Action Plan Goals

  1. To provide APHA guidance for implementation of its policy statements on the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in health.
  2. To develop and monitor a legislative strategy for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health.
  3. To assist the APHA in developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating a strategy for implementation of the APHA/DHHS National Campaign to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health.

Action Steps

1. Short-term

To make recommendations for implementing the following APHA policy statements on the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities:

2001 Policy Statements

Problem

Policy Solution (APHA)

Target Audience

Recommended Action

Health disparities of American Indians/Alaskan Natives(AIAN)

Calls on the President and Congress to take all necessary steps to eliminate health disparities including proposing and enacting legislation utilizing Government -to- Government consultations

Seek advice for entire policy statement from:
-AIAN Caucus
-Epidemiology Section

Support efforts that will (1) address and provide long-term care for AIAN elders, (2)prevent and control the spread of HIV/AIDS; (3)decrease infant mortality; (4) decrease diabetes mellitus; and other health issues and concerns for the AIAN population.

Widespread dissemination to media and legislators

Seek advice to develop Fact Sheets on each topic from:
-AIAN Caucus
-Epidemiology Section
-Gerontological Health Section
-HIV AIDS Section
-Maternal and Child health Section
-Medical Care Section
-Social Work Section

Pledges to maintain a high priority on activities related to the health of this population including to develop and enhance understanding of and support for the needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Maintains that no AIAN from any tribe, no matter how small or remote, should be without identifiable and realistic access to the benefits of health care and public health protection.

Racism as a fundamental cause of ethnic disparities in health

Reaffirms previous APHA resolutions that condemned racism and its impacts on health and health care,

Seek advice on entire statement from:
-AIAN Caucus
-API Caucus
- Black Caucus
-Latino Caucus
-SAAPHI
-Spirit of 1848 Caucus
-Epidemiology Section
-Medical Care Section
-Social Work Section

Commends the National League of Cities on their efforts to launch a Campaign to Promote Racial Justice

Calls on the President and Congress of the United States to endorse a National Campaign Against Racism

All communities


-Conduct a National Billboard Campaign using an APHA minigrant.
-Develop a fact sheet for dissemination to legislators and the media.

Calls on the Congress to fund the Institute of Medicine to prepare a report summarizing current knowledge on impacts of racism on health and, by analyzing processes that mediate these impacts, identifies points of intervention.

Calls on the DHHS to explicitly address racism as a part of its national Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health by the Year 2010.

Calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the National Institutes of Health to place a high priority on research on the impacts of racism on the health and well being of the nation.

Calls on the Congress to appropriate funds for investigating the impacts of racism on the health and well being of the nation.

Calls on the Congress to appropriate additional funds for developing evidence-based programs to eliminate ethnic health disparities.

Calls on the President and Congress to recognize and promote legal redress for discrimination in health and health care.


2000 Policy Statements

2002Incidence of blindness, lower extremity amputation, and oral health complications in minority populations due to diabetes

Promote awareness of the need for annual foot screening and examinations for individuals with diabetes and make appropriate referrals to podiatrists and other foot care providers.

Seek advice on entire statement from:
-Epidemiology Section
-Podiatric Health Section
-Medical Care Section
-Vision Care Section

Promote awareness of the need for annual dilated fundus exams for all individuals with diabetes and to make appropriate referrals to ophthalmologists and optometrists.

Promote awareness of the need for at least annual oral health examinations for all individuals with diabetes and to make appropriate referrals to oral health providers.

Encourages federal, state, and privately funded health care organizations to target high-risk minority populations, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans for annual foot and vision care.

Promote interdisciplinary diabetes management and appropriately timed referrals.

2005Lack of widespread knowledge of effective interventions for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health

Reaffirms the joint announcement of APHA and DHHS as partners in a national campaign to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.

Seeks advice on entire statement from:
-Epidemiology Section
-Medical Care Section

Supports the action plan of the DHHS for eliminating ethnic disparities in health, particularly activities to identify existing interventions/programs effective in eliminating health disparities and the community-based demonstration projects that are identifying new strategies by expanding our knowledge of intervenable risk factors for eliminating disparities (e.g, REACH 2010 projects).

Urges the DHHS and Congress to ensure that the current plan for targeting specific priority areas for elimination be continued, particularly in future administrations, and to expand funding to fully implement effective interventions for first eliminating disparities in the six priority areas, and then to the focus areas specified in Healthy People 2010 in which ethnic minorities experience a 25% or more difference in health outcome.

Urges the DHHS to provide a summary of effective strategies for eliminating health disparities to the public.

Urges the public health community to promote effective strategies through presentation, publication,and implementation.

Urges the convening of a meeting to identify what works, how to translate interventions into effective programs, and what are the remaining underlying reasons for health disparities.

Public health practitioners, legislators, and public health policy analysts

APHA to lead in developing a Joint Panel with DHHS to convene a meeting and identify the sponsors.

20006Unaffordable medicines: the price factor

See policy statement 20006

Seek advice from:
-Medical Care Section
-Health Law Forum

200012Rising rates of asthma

See policy 200012

Seek advice from:
-Epidemiology Section
-Black Caucus
-SAAPHI

200018Public health impacts of job stress

See policy 200018

Seek advice from:
-Occupational Health Section
-Environmental Health Section

200020Low income affects health (Raising income to protect health)

See policy 200020

Seek advice from:
-Faith Caucus
-Spirit of 1848 SPIG


Older Policy Statements
(Unclear About Previous APHA Action)

9812Diabetes among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians (AI/NH)

See policy 9812

Seek advice from:
-AIAN Caucus
-Epidemiology Section

9612Threats to Affirmative Action are threats to health

See policy 9612

Seek advice from:
-AIAN Caucus
-API Caucus
-Black Caucus
-Latino Caucus
-Health Law Forum

9613Hispanic underrepresentation in the health professions.

See policy 9613

Seek advice from:
-Latino Caucus
-Medical Care Section
-Public Health Nursing

9501Opposition to Anti-Immigrant Statues.

See policy 9501

Seek advice from:
-API caucus
-Black Caucus
-Latino Caucus

9202Prevention of diet-related chronic diseases.

See policy 9202

Seek advice from:
-Food/Nutrition Section
-Epidemiology Section

9105Cervical and breast screening.

See policy 9105

Seek advice from:
-Epidemiology Section
-Medical Care Section


2. Long-term

  1. Assess the current status of implementation of the APHA/DHHS National Campaign to eliminate racial and disparities in health

  2. Develop a comprehensive strategy for implementing the National Campaign.

  3. Monitor the strategy for implementing the National Campaign.

  1. Evaluate the impact of strategy for the National Campaign and refine the strategy as needed.