On April 8, 2011, HHS unveiled its Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. The Plan, available by clicking here, outlines goals, strategies, and specific actions HHS will take to combat documented disparities in access to quality healthcare among racial and ethnic minorities.

The Plan is organized around five primary goals:

  • Transform healthcare by taking steps to increase minority access to quality care through insurance and innovative delivery system models
  • Strengthen the healthcare workforce by enabling professionals to better recognize and address healthcare disparities
  • Advance health and safety by increasing the availability and effectiveness of community-based programs to address areas such as obesity, tobacco-related illness, and maternal health
  • Advance scientific knowledge and innovation by increasing the quality and availability of data regarding minority populations and by supporting research to inform disparities reduction initiatives
  • Increase the efficiency, transparency, and accountability by streamlining grant administration and through regular monitoring and evaluation of the Plan

Simultaneously with its release of the Action Plan, HHS also released the National Stakeholder Strategy, which HHS describes as “a common set of goals and objectives for public and private sector initiatives and partnerships to help racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved groups reach their full health potential.” The Stakeholder Strategy, available by clicking here, is also centered around five main goals: (i) increasing awareness of the significance of health disparities; (ii) strengthening leadership for addressing health disparities; (iii) improving healthcare outcomes for minorities; (iv) improving cultural and linguistic competency and diversity in the healthcare workforce; and (v) improving data availability, coordination, and utilization of research.

Both plans emphasize data reporting and the need for coordination of efforts with and among community leaders to promote awareness and understanding. HHS’s Action Plan will be implemented with no additional funding. The HHS Press Release is available by clicking here.