April is National Minority Health Month. This initiative, led by the Office of Minority Health (OHM), is committed to improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities throughout the country through education, awareness events and critical conversations. This year, the theme of the month is shining a light on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Minority Communities
Studies have already been completed on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities, and the results are alarming. The cumulative infection and death rates related to the pandemic were higher among minority groups. Minorities were also more likely to experience hospitalization as a result of their infection. Some of this is due to existing disparities and social vulnerabilities that were exploited by the devastating pandemic.
Some of the factors pinpointed through research include:
- Discrimination throughout medical systems
- Lower access to healthcare and higher rates of uninsured individuals
- Working occupations that are more likely to be deemed essential, including healthcare facilities, farms, grocery stores, public transportation and factories
- Educational, income and wealth gaps that can limit future career opportunities and make minorities more likely to hold low-paying or less stable jobs
- Steep housing costs that lead to multigenerational households where social distancing is not possible
These factors are just some of the things that will be examined in the aftermath of the pandemic and during National Minority Health Month to ensure better health outcomes in the future.
Another key initiative of this year’s National Minority Health Month is encouraging communities throughout the country to be #VaccineReady. How can you prepare yourself and your community for the vaccine rollout?
- Familiarize yourself with how the various COVID-19 vaccines work and the differences between the most common types on the market, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
- Read the fact sheets from the CDC talking about the symptoms you might experience after getting the vaccine, what to do if you experience them and how to report them.
- Talk with your doctor before getting the vaccine to discuss any concerns that you have and get more information about your risk factors.
- Check the convenient VaccineFinder tool from the CDC to discover vaccination sites near you.
- When it is your turn to get the vaccine, register as soon as possible and ensure that you schedule the second dose (if required) in a timely fashion. When we all work together, there can be great, dramatic results.
Celebrate National Minority Health Month with Healthcare Resolution Services
HealthCare Resolution Services is a professional services firm dedicated to providing healthcare industry clients with value-added consulting solutions and health information management services. From our headquarters in Columbia, MD, we provide services to practices throughout the country. To learn more about how we can optimize your business, call us today at (866) 599-4277.