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HHS Unveils Plan to Mitigate Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

April 15, 2011—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) April 8 released the “HHS Action Plan to Reduce Health Disparities,” a report outlining five goals for the department to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities, as well as strategies and specific action items to achieve those goals. According to the document, the actions presented in the plan “represent mainly new efforts beginning in FY 2011 and beyond” and are “intended to be carried out with current agency resources, so that implementation can proceed without delay.”

The action plan identifies “Strengthen[ing] the Nation’s Health and Human Services Infrastructure and Workforce” among the five goals, which “involves addressing the critical shortage of primary care physicians, nurses,” and other health professionals. The plan calls for improved workforce diversity through pipeline programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as emphasis on language translation services, promoting the use of community health workers, and improving health professions cultural competence education and training.

Other department goals include:

  • transforming the health care system through insurance coverage expansion;

  • advancing the health, safety, and well-being of the American people by mitigating disparities across health indicators;

  • advancing scientific knowledge and innovation to benefit all populations; and

  • strengthening transparency and accountability of HHS programs.

HHS concurrently released the “National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity,” a community-driven set of goals and objectives for public and private sector initiatives.


Tannaz Rasouli
Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
Telephone: 202-828-0525


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806