Our History and Mission
The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was created in 1986 as one of the most significant outcomes of the landmark 1985 Secretary's Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health. The mission of the Office of Minority Health is to improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.
Our Work Today
OMH is focused on the collective goal of the success, sustainability and spread of health equity promoting policies, program and practices. OMH's primary function of promoting policy program and practice adoption is supported by additional functions including convening partners, collecting, analyzing and reporting data, disseminating information, and conducting demonstrations and evaluations.
For FY 2020 and 2021, OMH has three overarching programmatic priorities:
- Supporting states, territories and tribes in identifying and sustaining health equity-promoting policies, programs and practices
- Expanding the utilization of community health workers to address health and social service needs within communities of color
- Strengthening cultural competence among healthcare providers throughout the country.
Specific OMH focus areas, including priorities of Congressional appropriators, the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Health, are: (1) Prevention (physical activity and nutrition), (2) Clinical conditions, such as substance use disorder, hypertension, HIV, maternal health, sickle cell disease and trait, diabetes (including prevention of peripheral artery and kidney disease, Lupus, Alzheimer's, and cancer prevention (e.g., stomach, liver and cervical), and (3) Individual social needs and social determinants of health.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health leads the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH), which is comprised of three divisions in the national office and 10 Regional Minority Health Analysts in the HHS regional offices
Division of Policy and Data
Develops health policies and initiatives that address elimination of health disparities and advance health equity. Leads development, implementation and coordination of strategic plans, policy studies and evaluations, and statistical and data policy and analyses. Works to improve data availability and quality for minority populations.
Division of Program Operations
Leads programmatic activity for OMH, including federal grants and cooperative agreements. DPO develops, implements, and monitors health policy demonstrations designed to help eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. DPO supports OMH-funded initiatives, public and private community-based practices and innovative program models designed to address health disparities through improvements in public awareness, education, prevention and service delivery to minority communities.
Division of Information and Education
Increases public awareness of the Office of Minority Health's strategic priorities and initiatives to eliminate health disparities and advance health equity by coordinating communications activities with all internal and external partners, stakeholders and the public. Coordinates outreach activities and campaigns, traditional and social media engagement, and the work of the Office of Minority Health Resource Center.
Our Statutory-Required Resources
The Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competency in Health Care and National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (The National CLAS Standards) help organizations provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to better serve our nation's increasingly diverse communities. The Center helps fill fulfill the requirements of P.L. 101-527.
The Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC), created in 1987, is a one-stop source for minority health literature, research and referrals for consumers, community organizations and health professionals. OMHRC also offers capacity building and technical assistance services designed to increase the strength and competence of health care agencies and programs. OMHRC is authorized by section1707 of the Public Health Service Act.