President Clinton, DHHS Secretary Donna Shalala, and U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher developed a plan for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health status by the year 2010. The NIH/SNMA health outreach effort supports their plan and specifically targets African Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Hispanic Americans.
Local middle and high school minority students and their families have been invited to the Fair in an effort to increase awareness about the many NIH-sponsored research and research training opportunities. Fair participants can also learn about fitness development and maintenance, youth violence prevention activities, and substance abuse prevention programs.
Dr. Yvonne T. Maddox, NIH acting deputy director, noted the significance of the Fair for youths as well as adults. "We made children ages 12 to 17 and their parents and teachers the target of the health fair because we believe there are childhood indicators of adult disease," she said. "We must begin early with youngsters, making them aware of disease prevention strategies."