09 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

MOHEC Celebrates Black History Month and Its Commitment to Health Equity

Author: admin

African-American-family-of-four-smiling-together_Depositphotos_7851149_original-kPersistent health disparities that exist between White and Black Americans are among the significant challenges facing public health today. As we celebrate Black History Month, the Missouri Health Equity Collaborative (MOHEC) wants to raise awareness of the disparities and the present initiatives promoting health equity. Black Americans have greater difficulty accessing health care services and tend to receive a lower quality of health care than Whites do.

Local and state-level data show that racial minorities are more likely to lack health insurance coverage and to not have a regular primary care and dental care provider. They often work in jobs that don’t provide health care insurance and face legal and structural barriers that affect their ability to access the health care system. All of these factors translate into lower quality of health care than the majority of the population, even when patients’ insurance status, education, and income are the same.

In order to better understand these differences in health, we must look at the social determinants of health, or what the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation calls “where we live, learn, work, and play.” In 2014, MOHEC fostered multiple discussions across Missouri focused on poverty, economic development, and unemployment and their impact on minority health status; these conversations also examined the impact education has on health outcomes. Communities around the state are identifying solutions to the barriers they face, resources needed to achieve health equity, and ways to create lasting partnerships and strengthen present collaborations. This year, MOHEC will work closely with our Collaborative partners and focus activities around promoting inclusive care environments, supporting and strengthening Missouri’s health equity movement, and developing and disseminating evidence-based health equity tools and practices.

In honor of 2015 Black History Month, we encourage you to visit the University of Missouri’s planned activities. More information is available at http://diversity.missouri.edu/announcements/2015/bhm15-calendar.pdf

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