A report from the Institutes of Medicine, entitled Unequal Treatment—Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care (released March 20, 2002) , points out that minorities often experience a lower quality of health services and, as a result, have higher mortality rates.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health Resource Center http://www.omhrc.gov/
Established in 1986, the Office of Minority Health aims to improve and protect the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will eliminate health disparities.
Center for Disease Control’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD) http://www.cdc.gov/omhd/
The OMHD aims to accelerate CDC’s health impact in the U.S population and to eliminate health disparities for vulnerable populations as defined by race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, geography, gender, age, disability status, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities.
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) http://ncmhd.nih.gov
The NCMHD aims to promote minority health and to lead, coordinate, support, and assess the NIH effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities. They conduct and support basic, clinical, social, and behavioral research, promote research infrastructure and training, foster emerging programs, disseminate information, and reach out to health disparity communities.
Health information is important in every community. The public should have access to accurate, reliable health information.
Focus on improving Health Literacy by providing medical information for users of all ages, literacy, and language skills.
To meet the needs of the community it is important to have basic health information, such as that found in general medical reference works. It is also necessary to have materials that cover specific health topics.
Webb County Profile Learn what your community needs and supply that information
94.7% of Webb county is Hispanic. This illustrates the need for bilingual health information resources.
Percentage of county living below poverty (26.8%) exceeds state rate (16.2%).
Health Statistics Greater than State Rate Lower than State Rate Medicaid covered births Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Births to adolescent mothers AIDS Late or no prenatal care Death from heart disease Tuberculosis Death from stroke Hepatitis A Death from lung cancer Varicella (chickenpox) Motor vehicle injury Death from diabetes Infant deaths Fetal deaths
Designed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to provide minorities and other consumers seeking health information at their public libraries with the latest medical information in accessible and easily understandable formats. ( http://www.healthlit.org )
Far too often, ordinary citizens are placed at risk for unsafe care because important health care information is communicated using medical jargon and unclear language that exceeds their literacy skills. This is according to a call to action released by the Joint Commission in its recent public policy white paper, “’What Did the Doctor Say?’: Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety."
The quality of health information on the Internet varies, and must be evaluated to confirm that it is current, reliable, and unbiased. Internet usage among consumers is growing. Librarians can help them evaluate the information they find, and guide users to easy-to-read information.