SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is spreading awareness about health issues that impact minority communities at higher rates than others during National Minority Health Month.
Illinois’s racial and ethnic minorities make up 39 percent of the state’s population, but share higher rates of disease burden such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, HIV, substance abuse, infant mortality, and low birth weight. Although health indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality have improved for most Americans, minorities still experience shorter life expectancy and higher rates of disability compared with non-minorities.
“We are committed to the vital work of raising awareness through outreach and education, and fostering public/private partnerships across the state in order to advance health equity and eliminate health disparities” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “I also want to recognize our valuable partners who are committed to the cause and doing great work in our communities.”
IDPH is partnering with other public health organizations and community partners to host an event in the north hall of the State Capitol on Tuesday April 17, 2018 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Information and resources on programs and initiatives focused on minority health in Illinois will be available.
National Minority Health Month, which is celebrated every year in April, is an effort to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minority populations. In accordance with this year’s National Minority Health Month theme, “Partnering for Health Equity,” IDPH’s Center for Minority Health Services will continue to bridge efforts and awareness across the state and increase partnerships in order to help accelerate health equity and make the state of Illinois a stronger and healthier state.
The IDPH encourages everyone to become part of this awareness month by participating in health promotion events and activities going on around the state. A listing of some of the IDPH sponsored community activities is available online at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/publications/minority-health-month-grantee-activities-032218.pdf.