The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health proclaims that April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), “a time to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups and encourage action through health education, early detection, and control of disease complications.” The 2022 NMHM theme is Give Your Community a Boost! As noted by the HHS Office of Minority Health, COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster, is one of the strongest tools we have to end the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately affected communities of color.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.” Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life, quality of life and health outcomes.
Health Services (DHS) has a mission and commitment to provide access to high quality healthcare to our diverse and historically underserved communities. DHS is constantly evaluating processes and procedures to ensure that our diverse patient base has access to health care screenings, preventive care, treatment and recovery services as needed. We use multilanguage services that enable us to help patients communicate effectively with their care team. We offer telehealth options to enable our vulnerable patients to see their care team without leaving home. The telehealth options also enable our patients who do not have paid time off of work to seek care without jeopardizing their livelihood. We screen patients to ensure that basic needs are met including food, housing and other factors that affect quality of life.