|Home > About NIH > NIH Almanac > Organization|
The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) promotes minority health and leads, coordinates, supports, and assesses the NIH effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities. The NCMHD works independently and in partnership with the NIH Institutes and Centers and with other Federal agencies and grassroots organizations in minority and in other medically underserved communities to:
1990 The Office of Research on Minority Health (ORMH) was established, with the encouragement of Congress, by the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH).
1991 The ORMH convened an advisory Fact-Finding Team (FFT) to conduct three regional conferences with grassroots constituencies. The FFT issued a report with 13 recommendations from the community that guided the initial efforts of the ORMH.
1992 The Minority Health Initiative (MHI), the centerpiece of the ORMH agenda, was launched and initially funded at $45 million. This multi-year biomedical and behavioral research and research training program co-funds through its partnerships 1) interventions to improve prenatal health and reduce infant mortality; 2) studies of childhood and adolescent lead poisoning; HIV infection and AIDS; and alcohol and drug use; 3) research in adult populations focused on cancer, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, mental disorders, asthma, visual impairments, and alcohol abuse; and 4) training for faculty and for students at all stages of the educational pipeline from precollege and undergraduate through graduate and postdoctoral levels.
The ORMH initiated a study designed to present an overview of NIH extramural research training programs for minority students and to assess the feasibility of conducting a trans-NIH assessment of these programs.
1993 Public Law 103-43, the Health Revitalization Act of 1993, established the Office of Research on Minority Health in the Office of the Director, NIH.
1994 The National Conference on Minority Health Research and Research Training was held in Chicago.
1996 Conferences were held in Honolulu, Hawaii; Miami, Florida; and Puerto Rico to inform ORMH constituencies of the progress made, to solicit feedback on those achievements, and to obtain information on the needs of minority populations.
1997 The Advisory Committee on Research on Minority Health was established to provide advice to the Director, ORMH, and to the Director, NIH, regarding research and research training with respect to minority health issues.
1998 The first meeting of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health was held.
2000 The ORMH celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities was established by the passage of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, Public Law 106-525, which was signed by the President of the United States on November 22, 2000.
2001 Dr. John Ruffin was sworn in as the first director of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
2002 The first Strategic Research Plan and Budget to Reduce and Ultimately Eliminate Health Disparities was developed to establish priorities for the initiation and funding of the first wave of broader efforts to reduce health disparities. Three programs, mandated by Congress, were implemented to expand the infrastructure of Institutions committed to health disparities research and to the education and training of minorities and the medically underserved: 1) Project EXPORT Centers of Excellence, 2) the Endowment Program, 3) the Loan Repayment Program for Health Disparities Research and the Extramural Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds. The NCMHD also assumed responsibility for the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions Program.
The first National Advisory Council of the NCMHD was convened.
1993 P.L. 103-43, the Health Revitalization Act of 1993, established the Office of Research on Minority Health in the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health.
2000 P.L. 106-525, Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, established the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Dr. Ruffin was appointed the first director of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on January 9, 2001. In this role he leads the NIH effort to address health disparities in racial and ethnic populations and in other medically underserved populations, including the urban and rural poor. The former director of the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health, NIH, Dr. Ruffin developed the largest program in the country promoting biomedical research and research training. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Dr. Ruffin received his Baccalaureate degree from Dillard University and a Master's degree from Atlanta University. He earned a Ph.D. at Kansas State University in systematic and developmental biology and then pursued postdoctoral studies at Harvard University.
Dr. Ruffin's professional life has been devoted to improving the health status of minority populations in the United States and to developing and supporting education programs for minority researchers and health care practitioners. Prior to joining the NIH, he was Dean of the College of Arts and Science at North Carolina Central University.
Dr. Ruffin's life-long commitment to academic excellence and promotion of numerous partnerships with government, private industry, and academic institutions to support minority health research and research training have earned him much recognition. He has received Samuel L. Kountz Award for his significant contribution to the cause of increasing access and participation in organ and tissue transplantation in minorities, the NIH Director's Award, the National Hispanic Leadership Award, the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society Award, the National Medical Association Award of Appreciation, a Special Recognition Award by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and most recently the Presidential Merit Award.
|This page was last reviewed on June 22, 2005 .|
National Institutes of Health (NIH)