Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Program Statement

The Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Program is responsible for the development, promotion, and administration of health promotion programs for populations of color, which include: African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Arab/Chaldeans, American Indians, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.

This responsibility is carried out primarily through grants to local health departments and community-based organizations. Funding supports highly targeted and evidenced-based prevention, health promotion, and screening services.


African Americans continue to bear a disproportionate burden of disease incidence, years of potential life loss, premature death and lack of adequate access to care and treatment

The goal is to reduce health disparities by supporting a portfolio of social/behavioral interventions that will have the greatest impact among racial and ethnic minorities. This is accomplished by funding programs that target populations at the greatest relative risk in terms of behavior and geographic location.

Program goals for all disparate populations include:

  1. Promoting the provision of and improvement in quality prevention and care services;
  2. Promoting broader access to timely and disease-appropriate services;
  3. Developing broader community-based decision capacities;
  4. Continuously attempting to link people to services;
  5. Promoting more comprehensive and inclusive departmental program planning initiatives;
  6. Promoting recognition and integration of the objectives as presented in Healthy Michigan 2010 for the improved health of individuals, communities and the state through the reduction and elimination of health disparities in vulnerable populations.

African Americans continue to bear a disproportionate burden of disease incidence, years of potential life loss, premature death and lack of adequate access to care and treatment. These disparities span the entire range of DCH programs, particularly in Critical Health Indicators, and as such require a commitment to comprehensive, highly targeted and continuous departmental programming as well as appropriate allocation of resources.


Progress has been seen in reducing the overall mortality and premature mortality rates in the African American population, yet data suggests that more work needs to be done.

The planning efforts continue to be predicated upon the information presented in "The Challenge of a Lifetime". This is an evidence-based document, commissioned by the department, illustrative of the magnitude of the problem of health disparities in this vulnerable population.

Progress has been seen in reducing the overall mortality and premature mortality rates in the African American population, yet data suggests that more work needs to be done.

Between 1990 and 1998 the overall and premature mortality in African American males decreased 10% and 23% respectively, however since 1998, the rates have declined only 5% for each.

The female death and premature mortality rates are even more alarming. Between 1990 and 1998 the overall and premature mortality rates for African American females declined by 5% and 15% respectively. Unfortunately, between 1998 and 2002 a slight increase (5%) was seen in overall mortality rates with premature death rates staying approximately the same.