April is National Minority Health Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. The WellPower blog team is committed to raising these issues to public consciousness, and writing about the ways that social determinants like education, housing, and jobs affect health.
Throughout April, we will be blogging about issues that are aligned with this year’s Minority Health Month theme; Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity. This brings to mind the old saying that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Although there are many benefits to preventing negative health outcomes, preventive care is vastly underutilized in the U.S. – particularly among racial and ethnic minorities.
Some of the reasons why population groups are not receiving preventive care:
- Lack of access to health care services due to transportation issues, the inability to take time off of work, or the money to pay for non-essential visits.
- Language barriers between the patient and the provider and/or the need for more culturally competent practices on the part of the medical facility.
- Lack of health insurance. Although the Affordable Care Act has expanded health insurance to millions of Americans, many states have not expanded Medicaid, making it impossible for low-income individuals and families to purchase insurance.
Stay tuned to WellPower throughout the month of April to learn more about this issue. Additional resources can be found on the Office of Minority Health website at: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/nmhm14/.
We’d love to hear from you! You are invited to comment on our posts on the WellPower website and via Twitter at @WellPowerBlog #NMHM14.
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