|March 30, 2008|
Gov. Blagojevich promotes state health programs for minorities in observance of National Minority Health Awareness Month
Governor fights against health disparities cited in recent national survey
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In advance of the April observance of Minority Health Awareness Month, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded people to take advantage of several successful state programs which help minorities take better care of themselves and their families.
A recent survey by researchers at Harvard University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that minorities are more likely than white patients to rate their health care as fair or poor. But, here in Illinois, the Governor has implemented programs to dispel health disparities among minorities.
“Significant health disparities, including differences in the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rate exist among minority groups for preventable health conditions and diseases like cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS,” said Gov. Blagojevich. Although the health status of all Illinois citizens has improved, we are working hard to ensure all men, women and children receive the necessary care to eliminate health disparities among our minority populations.”
Gov. Blagojevich announced the Communities of Color Initiative, in July 2003, administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Center for Minority Health Services to address health disparities within the African American and Hispanic communities. The initiative works in conjunction with community-based, faith-based, educational institutions and local health departments to provide health prevention information and screening services to these, often underserved communities.
“Gov. Blagojevich has been very innovative with his approach to help reduce health disparities. He has created partnerships by reaching out to non-traditional organizations and faith-based groups, which include predominately minority members. This new approach has been very successful.” said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The state has addressed the issue of inadequate access to health care. During his tenure, the Governor has increased access to health care services for medically underserved and minority communities.
Some of Gov. Blagojevich’s accomplishments with regard to dispelling minority health disparities:
Each year the state sponsors activities and offers services during the April observance of Minority Health Month. Activities will be held throughout the state to encourage communities of color to become more engaged with their health care needs. (A list of events accompanies this release.)
For more information about minority health services, call the Center for Minority Health Services at (217) 785-3411 or log on to the website at www.idph.state.il.us.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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