National Minority Health Month

National Minority Health Month is an inclusive initiative that addresses the health needs of people of color. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of local communities to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness in minority populations through prevention, early detection, and control of disease complications.

The History

In April 2001, the National Minority Health Month Foundation launched National Minority Health Month, in response to Healthy People 2010, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ health-promotion and disease-prevention initiative. Today, Healthy People 2020 has succeeded Healthy People 2010, and the Foundation has become the National Minority Quality Forum. The health profile of the United States has changed, as have responses to it. Booker T. Washington started the National Negro Health Week (NNHW) in 1915. From 1921 to 1953, NNHW was a program supported by the Public Health Service. By partnering with Congress and the White House, NMQF started National Minority Health Month in 1998 as a successor of NNHW.

Empowering Our Communities with Data

Advancing Clinical Data Diversity

Clinical trial diversity and inclusivity are the keys to discovery in evidence-based medicine and health care.The power of clinical data to drive equitable insights cannot be overstated. It is through the power of clinical data that systemic, environmental, and intergenerational processes of disease and illness can be understood and ameliorated. The demographic composition of the United States is changing. There is a lack of representation of communities of color in clinical trials. Increasing diversity and supporting equitable participation in clinical trials is vital. Engaging community clinicians in research is one way we can empower communities with clinical data.

Equitable Access to Data
Significant health inequities plague the U.S. healthcare system, impacting historically marginalized and minoritized communities. Individuals often experience higher rates of diabetes, adverse mental health outcomes, hypertension, obesity, asthma, heart disease, cancer and preterm birth. The lack of comprehensive data and archaic standards for collecting data contribute to the growing health equity gap. The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) data collection standards remain static. The 30-year delay in updates challenges the ability to accurately identify and appropriately address health disparities.

Data standards are the gatekeepers of insights. Decisions derived from data are only as useful as the quality of data itself. It is imperative that the conversation around the expanding world of data and data analytics is underpinned by high-quality data. Ensuring data standards are upheld means that data are collected, stored, accessed, extracted, transformed, analyzed, and interpreted in predictable and consistent ways.

By adopting robust and comprehensive race, ethnicity, language (REL), sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data, health entities can better monitor data access utilization and design sustainable community interventions that support health outcomes.

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), and 17 partner organizations announced the formation of the Data Equity Coalition, a new partnership to improve health outcomes through better, more accurate and more representative data on race, ethnicity and language (REL) and sexual orientation and gender identification (SOGI).

If you are a patient advocacy organization or want to improve our healthcare system, then the home of patient advocacy learning communities (PALc) is a place for you. NMQF’s PALc is a community of patient advocacy-led online learning networks joined together to amplify the patient voice in the digital age, where advocates can access big data analytics to transform millions of unique patient experiences into a rich source of information that can guide your advocacy.

Artificial Intelligence Data

Analytical methodologies are always transforming and expanding. The rapid insights driven by the analysis of high-dimensional, multifactorial datasets are unparalleled in their utility and application. More data is generated, recorded, analyzed, and interpreted every instant. Increasingly, our society is relying on complex and massive datasets for which traditional methods of analysis are limited and inappropriate. 

Artificial intelligence is expanding frontiers in medicine and health care. AI can play a crucial role in analyzing vast amounts of healthcare data collected by NMQF, especially related to minority health disparities. AI-powered predictive analytics can help forecast health outcomes and disease prevalence among minority populations. 

By employing AI algorithms, patterns, trends, and disparities within minority communities can be identified more efficiently, providing valuable insights for policymakers, healthcare providers, and community organizations. AI is enabling key stakeholders and clinicians to predict and improve outcomes, increase speed and precision of cancer screening without increasing cost. This capability allows NMQF to anticipate health challenges and allocate resources effectively to address them during National Minority Health Month and beyond.

Join our cohort of experts, academics, research scientists, stakeholders interested in the future of artificial intelligence in health equity.


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Special Initiatives

Join us at the 2024 National Minority Quality Forum Leadership Summit on Health Disparities and Health Braintrust!

Watch Health Equity In Action

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