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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Minority Health and Health Equity


To accelerate the work of the CDC and its partners in improving health by eliminating health disparities, promoting conditions conducive to health, and achieving health equity.

Strategic Goals

  • Reframe eliminating health disparities as achievable.
  • Facilitate the implementation of policies across CDC that promote the elimination of health disparities.
  • Assure implementation of proven strategies across CDC programs that reduce health disparities in communities of highest risk.
  • Advance the science and practice of health equity.
  • Collaborate with national and global partners to promote the reduction of health inequalities


Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA serves as director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she provides agency leadership, direction and accountability for CDC's policies and programs to ensure they are effective in improving minority health and achieving health equity. Liburd also serves as the agency lead in coordinating CDC engagement with HHS, other federal agencies, national organizations and the public on issues of health equity. Prior to joining the OMHHE, Liburd served for seven years as chief of the Community Health and Equity Branch where she directed a broad range of public health programs addressing the elimination of health disparities, the social determinants of health and the REACH U.S. program. Liburd has written extensively on community-based public health approaches for chronic disease control, the influence of culture and gender on health and the elimination of health disparities. Liburd holds a BA degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a MPH in Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a MA in Cultural Anthropology, and a PhD in Medical Anthropology from Emory University.

Overview of their work

CDC's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity provides leadership to CDC on issues relating to minority health, health disparities and health equity. The OMHHE works to ensure efforts to reduce health disparities remain in the mainstream and at the forefront of public health; advances the science of health equity by supporting data collection, program evaluation, and identifying measurement challenges; and cultivates partnerships with organizations that share our mission to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity.
Achievement Highlights:

  • The OMHHE awarded a new cooperative agreement to four academic institutions to establish a Summer Undergraduate Student Program to increase exposure to the practice of public health and minority health issues among undergraduate students who are underrepresented in public health and medicine.
  • OMHHE provides updated health disparity data on racial/ethnic and other minorities on their website.
  • In collaboration with HRSA and ODPHP, OMHHE co-leads the development and promotion of the Healthy People 2020 Social Determinants of Health topic area.
  • OMHHE supported enhanced awareness of migrant initiatives and involvement in regional Migrant Stream Health Forum Conferences.
  • CDC carried out several activities in support of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities, including
    • Implementation of the Community Transformation Grants in communities and states, including seven tribal organizations and one territory. These 61 Community Transformation Grants are designed to tackle the root causes of poor health, and to improve where Americans live, work, play, and go to school, to reduce chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, which are a significant portion of the health care costs in the U.S. By promoting healthy lifestyles, especially among population groups experiencing the highest rates of chronic disease, these grants will help improve health, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending.
    • Collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Million Hearts Campaign, to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes over five years, by reducing the number of people who need treatment and improving the quality of treatment for those who need it, including minority populations at greatest risk for cardiovascular disease. With an extensive public and private partnership, Million Hearts provides a necessary focus showing that the ABCS (Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, Smoking cessation) are a top priority. Recent CDC efforts to support Million Hearts include a February 21st Grand Rounds entitled "Preventing 1 Million Heart Attacks and Strokes by 2017: The Million Hearts Initiative" ( and publication of CDC Vital Signs in February on sodium reduction, a major component of the Million Hearts initiative (
    • Development of a grassroots communication and social marketing campaign to help reduce the impact of influenza among Hispanic, African American and American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) populations by building partnerships among communities, private and public organizations.
    • Development of the Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Projects to improve underserved children's risk for obesity.

Ways to Connect:

Media contact:

Rhonda Smith
(404) 639-7292

Content Last Modified: 3/16/2012 2:32:00 PM
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