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NJ Celebrates National Minority Health Month

April 3, 2017 | Community News

As the Executive Director of the New Jersey Office of Minority and Multicultural Health (OMMH), Dr. Carolyn Daniels, D.H.Sc., M.Ed., is on a mission—to foster accessible and high-quality programs and policies that help minorities in New Jersey achieve optimal health, dignity, and independence. Since she joined the New Jersey Department of Health in 2011, she and her strong and mighty team of five have focused on the monumental tasks of eliminating health disparities, removing barriers to care and ensuring that cultural, linguistic and health literacy appropriate care is provided to all racial/ethnic groups in the state.

April is National Minority Health Month and this year’s theme is Bridging Health Equity Across Communities. “It’s a very exciting time of the year for us beginning with a proclamation from the Governor’s Office,” said Dr. Daniels. During the month, NJ’s OMMH office will join forces with its long-time partners the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, as well as three County Health Departments to raise awareness about the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities and conduct Regional Health Equity Forums.

Below are dates and times for the Regional Health Equity Forums:

  • Passaic County Health Department (April 7, 2017, @ 8:30 am – 12:30 pm)
  • Cumberland County Health Department (April 12, 2017, @ 8:30 am – 12:30 pm)- Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett will provide opening remarks
  • Monmouth County Health Department (April 25, 2017 @ 8:30 am- 12:30 pm)

 

Across New Jersey, there also will be nearly 70 public health events focusing on various issues that impact minorities, including diabetes prevention, blood pressure screening, prostate cancer, and nutrition. For a complete list of Minority Health Month events click here.

Throughout the year, the OMMH office partners with a variety of organizations to achieve its goals including: nonprofits, hospital community-focus programs, federally qualified health centers, faith-based health ministry programs, schools, local and county health departments whose service areas includes racial/ethnically diverse populations. Support services range from:

  • Promoting community health outreach and education through partnership with community-based organizations, including faith-based groups
  • Assisting with policy analysis to improve health care access and services for minority populations
  • Providing funding to community-based organizations for community outreach
  • Assisting in improving methods for collecting and reporting data on minority health
  • Sponsoring annual Minority Health Month activities
  • Developing effective outreach campaigns
  • Coordinating selection and supervision of comprehensive minority health fellows
  • Assisting community-based organizations in identifying potential funding sources
  • Assisting with the development of standards for organizational and health professionals’ competency services
  • Supporting public and professional education on minority health issue

 

“Since 2011, we have changed our grant funded program and now require evidence-based interventions and, the alignment of prevention strategies to the goals of the NJ Department of Health (NJ DOH) State Health Improvement Plan,” stated Dr. Daniels. “I’m also proud that we created a statewide Hepatitis B Coalition in response to the increasing concern of the Hepatitis B virus that is disproportionately prevalent among American Asian and Pacific Islanders and West African immigrant populations.” Other accomplishments include establishing the OMMH office as a central point of contact for all things related to cultural and linguistic health care service appropriateness and the modified version of the National CLAS Standard/Blueprint. Also, in 2015, OMMH partnered with the Rutgers University-Newark African American Brain Health Initiative and the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience. Through a $1 million federal grant from HHS-OMH, the goal is to understand why older African Americans are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and other age-related brain health problems than their white counterparts.

For more information about the New Jersey Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, visit www.nj.gov/health/omh/

 

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