Better Health Through Better Understanding
Did You Know?
- It is estimated that only 14 percent of the U.S. population has proficient health literacy.
- Nearly 20 percent of people in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home.
- It is estimated that over 60 percent of racial and ethnic minority patients over the age of 18 believe it is at least somewhat important to visit a health care provider who shares or understands their culture.
- In 2021, OMH awarded $250 million to local governments to promote evidence-based health literacy strategies that are culturally appropriate.
Every April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) observes National Minority Health Month to highlight the importance of improving the health of racial and ethnic minority and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities and reducing health disparities.
OMH is proud to announce the theme for National Minority Health Month 2023: Better Health Through Better Understanding.
This year’s theme focuses on improving health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN communities by providing them with culturally and linguistically competent healthcare services, information, and resources. When patients are provided with culturally and linguistically appropriate information, they are empowered to create healthier outcomes for themselves and their communities.
Continue to visit this page through April to learn more about the importance of:
- Increased health literacy for patients
- Providing culturally competent care for diverse populations
- Improving access to health care information for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP)
Check out the OMH Knowledge Center's 2023 Health Literacy and Limited English Proficiency Reading List, featuring factsheets and toolkits for consumers, reports and recommendations for professionals, and peer-reviewed journal articles. All the resources are available to read and download for free.
Get Involved in National Minority Health Month
Help us announce this year’s theme by sharing these messages and graphics.
Visit Healthy People 2030 to learn about health literacy and how it impacts your health.
Learn more about providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS).
About National Minority Health Month
The foundation for National Minority Health Month was laid by educator, author, and civil rights leader Booker T. Washington, who, in 1915, established National Negro Health Week (NNHW) to bring awareness to the health disparities affecting African Americans caused by poor working and living conditions. NNHW was recognized until 1951 and formed the basis for many of the health-focused observances we celebrate today.
In 2000, HHS launched Healthy People 2010, the third iteration of the Healthy People framework, with the explicit goal of eliminating health disparities for racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN communities. In 2002, as part of a response to this call for action, the U.S. Congress resolved that “a National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month should be established to promote educational efforts on the health problems currently facing minorities and other health disparity populations.”