U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the White House to Host a Minority Health Blogger Townhall Event

April 20, 2012
By Melissa Bynes Brooks

April is National Minority Health Month.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the White House observes this month by raising awareness about the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities. The month is also a celebration of the opportunities of the Affordable Care Act’s groundbreaking policies to reduce those health disparities.

Despite the progress our nation has made over the past 50 years, racial and ethnic minorities still lag behind the general population on many health fronts. Minorities are less likely to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy, more likely to suffer from serious illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer, and they are less likely to have access to quality health care.

HHS and the White House have organized a live in-person Minority Health Blogger Townhall scheduled for Tuesday, April 24th, 2012, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the White House. The event has been organized to engage with members of online and social media spheres to discuss the healthcare accomplishments that have been made possible for racial and ethnic minorities by the Affordable Care Act.

The Minority Health Blogger Townhall event will be an interactive, open dialogue with stakeholder groups and bloggers to highlight what the health care law, the Affordable Care Act, means for racial and ethnic minorities. There will be a discussion regarding racial and ethnic heath disparities and how the Administration is addressing these disparities.

The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. with opening remarks, followed by a question and answer period. The Townhall is in-person and on the record. It will also be live streamed via http://www.whitehouse.gov/live and http://www.hhs.gov/live.
The HHS and White House are encouraging members of the online community to submit questions. They will be using the hashtag #MinorityHealth.

The following members of President Obama’s Administration will be in attendance:

Cecilia Munoz, Director of Domestic Policy Council, the White House
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, US Department of Health & Human Services
Dr. Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General, US Department of Health & Human Services
Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health & Director of the Office of Minority Health, US Department of Health and Human Services
Mayra Alvarez, Director of Public Health Policy, Office of Health Reform, US Department of Health & Human Services

References

Dickelson, Nicole (2012). U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Via email to melissabynesbrooks@comcast.net, on April 20, 2012, from Nicole.dickelson@hhs.gov

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2012). News Release: Secretarial Statement on National Minority Health Month (2012). Retrieved, April 20, 2012, from http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/04/20120402c.html

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