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State of Illinois and IDPH Observe National Minority Health Month

News – Friday, March 31, 2023

2023 Theme – Better Health Through Better Understanding!

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is joining public health stakeholders around the state in celebrating National Minority Health Month this April by hosting and promoting a series of community events highlighting immunizations, health screenings, and public health-related educational activities.

“Reducing health disparities in Illinois is a strategic goal for IDPH, echoed in our mission statement and the agency’s guiding principles,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Our communities’ voices and their partnership are vital to shape community-driven and community-built policies and programs that meet the needs of our state’s diverse residents.”

Observed every year in April, National Minority Health Month raises awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minority populations. This year’s theme is “Better Health Through Better Understanding,” which focuses on improving health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN (American Indian and Alaska Native) communities by providing them with culturally and linguistically competent healthcare services, information, and resources. These resources create healthier outcomes for themselves and their communities.

Currently, four in ten Illinoisians are from racial and ethnic minority populations. However, disease burdens such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, HIV, substance abuse, infant mortality, and COVID-19 infection and deaths rates remain higher among these populations. In partnership with communities, IDPH continues to work towards stopping health disparities, accelerating health equity, and making Illinois a stronger and healthier state.

IDPH encourages everyone to become part of this awareness month by learning about health inequities in your communities and evidence-based practices to eliminate them. In addition, the department encourages everyone to participate in the various events and activities happening in communities around the state and virtually online.