On April 8, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and CBC Health Braintrust Chairwoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) released a joint statement to recognize National Minority Health Awareness Month.
“It is paramount that we continue to acknowledge and discuss the health disparities that affect minority communities,” the statement reads.
“Since its inception the CBC has been committed to advancing access to affordable health care for all Americans so that we can eliminate racial based health disparities. Ending health disparities means addressing inequities in environmental, social, and economic conditions in our communities.
“Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are some of the most debilitating diseases to disproportionately impact minority communities. We can reduce the rates of these serious illnesses by expanding access to coverage, which we have started by covering 20 million more Americans with the Affordable Care Act. But we must continue to do more to help spread information that will prevent illnesses in order to promote and maintain a healthier society. We must continue to target those vulnerable communities and utilize resources to close the health gap.”
Rep. Robin Kelly: “National Minority Health Month raises awareness about the persistent and pervasive health disparities impacting communities of color across the nation. From diabetes and kidney disease to breast and prostate cancer to HIV/AIDS, African Americans in particular remain at or near the top of nearly every negative health indicator. As such, it is critically important that we take this opportunity to spotlight these disparities.
“While there are many factors that contribute to health disparities in the African American community, the lack of diversity in medicine is a key contributor. Research shows that patients respond much better to culturally competent care. My principal focus this year as Chair of the CBC Health Braintrust is to promote diversity in medicine and strengthen the diversity pipeline to create more opportunities for African Americans in the medical profession. Increasing diversity and expanding access to health care are key steps in reducing health disparities in America and making our communities safer.”