April is National Minority Health Month. Every year, April is recognized as a month to help educate people on the well-documented health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities. National Minority Health Month was first designated by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health to raise awareness of health disparities and to encourage action to reduce them. Their website, http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/, offers tools for staying informed, ways that individuals and organizations can be involved, and suggested activities for peer educators.
Springer Publishing Company has long been at the forefront of this serious issue. We recently published Multiple Minority Identities which analyzes the shift from the old multicultural paradigm that depicts members of a minority group as being limited to racial and ethnic categories, to a modern definition of minorities. This title also provides self-administered inventories to help clinicians assess their need for additional supervision or training. In addition, our title Cancer Disparities, co-published with the American Cancer Society, is the first to examine the biological, racial, and socioeconomic factors that influence cancer incidence and survival. This book presents 15 previously unpublished, evidence-based interventions to reduce and eliminate cancer disparities.
We also have just released two books, Counseling Hispanics Through Loss, Grief, And Bereavement and Grief Therapy with Latinos, that address the unique losses that may be faced by Hispanics. Both titles help the reader understand the relevant cultural values and their effect on the grieving process.
As a final example, our title Diabetes and Health Disparities investigates the epidemiology of diabetes in minority communities, arguing that the determinants of diabetes include not only personal choices, but also broader social and contextual factors, such as community racism, residential segregation, and cultural patterns.
As Secretary of Health and Human Service Kathleen Sebelius recently said in a Huffington Post blog, “Despite the progress that we as a nation have made over the past 50 years, racial and ethnic minorities still lag behind their non-Hispanic white counterparts on many health fronts: Minorities are less likely to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy, more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, colon cancer, asthma, and heart disease, and they are less likely to have access to affordable, quality health care.”