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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health


The CMS Office of Minority Health activities focus on improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations in concert with established operational mechanisms in the Agency as they implement various payment reform, regulations, coverage policies, health information technology, quality improvement, public awareness and outreach, data analysis, and development of innovation and demonstration projects.

Strategic Goals

  1. Establish the CMS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and integrate disparity reduction into CMS,
  2. Effectively manage disparities data and evaluate impact,
  3. Support initiatives that increase access to quality healthcare for minorities and
  4. Reduce racial inequities related to targeted health outcomes.


Cara V. James is the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Prior to joining the Office of Minority Health at CMS, Dr. James was the Director of the Disparities Policy Project and the Director of the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, where she was responsible for addressing a broad array of health and access to care issues for racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved populations, including the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act, analyses of state-level disparities in health and access to care, and disparities in access to care among individuals living in health professional shortage areas. Prior to joining the staff at Kaiser, she worked at Harvard University and The Picker Institute. Dr. James is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities and has served on several IOM committees including the Committee on Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020. She has published several peer-reviewed articles and other publications, and was a co-author for one of the background chapters for the IOM Report Unequal Treatment. Cara received her Ph.D. in Health Policy and her B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University.

Overview CMS OMH's core functions:

  • Coordinate minority health initiatives within CMS,
  • Serve as the liaison between CMS, the HHS Office of Minority Health, and other agency Offices of Minority Health,
  • Participate in the development of CMS policies, regulations, plans and programs to ensure that minority health interests are represented,
  • Serve as a resource to other CMS components, providing subject matter expertise on minority health disparities and interventions for addressing them,
  • Monitor environmental factors and trends for potential impact on minority health,
  • Gather and share knowledge of minority health initiatives pertinent to CMS within the public and private sectors,
  • Facilitate management and improvement of CMS minority health data and
  • Report on progress in implementing strategies and meeting goals and objectives.

Ways to Connect

Media contact

Brian Cook, CMS Press Officer
(202) 690-7356

Content Last Modified: 7/11/2012 8:09:00 AM
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Office of Minority Health
Toll Free: 1-800-444-6472 / Fax: 301-251-2160

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