DHHS, NIH News  
National Center on Minority Health
and Health Disparities (NCMHD)

Thursday, October 30, 2003

NCMHD Press Office

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Seeks Public Comment on the NIH Strategic Research Plan and Budget to Reduce and Ultimately Eliminate Health Disparities,Fiscal Years 2002-2006

The National Institutes of Health is posting the NIH Strategic Research Plan and Budget to Reduce and Ultimately Eliminate Health Disparities, Fiscal Years 2002-2006, on the NCMHD website at www.ncmhd.nih.gov to invite public comment on the NIH health disparities research agenda. The NIH is seeking comments on its research plans for Fiscal Years 2004-2006.

"Despite tremendous medical advances and improved public health in America in recent decades, African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and other medically underserved communities continue to suffer an unequal burden of illness, premature death and disability. In developing and updating the Strategic Plan to eradicate these health disparities, the NIH affirms its ongoing commitment to biomedical research discovery that will ensure improved health for all Americans," said NIH Director, Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

The Plan was developed by the NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) in collaboration with the NIH Office of the Director, the other NIH Institutes and Centers, and the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The NCMHD leads, coordinates, supports and assesses the NIH effort to eliminate health disparities. The NCMHD supports and conducts basic, clinical, social sciences, and behavioral research; promotes research infrastructure and training; fosters emerging programs and the dissemination of health information; and reaches out to minority and other health disparities communities.

According to Dr. John Ruffin, Director, NCMHD, "The Strategic Plan defines a broad framework for future efforts of research partners throughout the country to advance scientific knowledge that will improve diagnostic, treatment, and prevention strategies for reducing and eliminating the health disparities afflicting racial and ethnic minority populations and other health disparities populations across the Nation."

He further noted that "the genesis of heath disparities is multi factorial and requires a coordinated interdisciplinary effort. The Strategic Plan reflects the ongoing commitment of a strong research alliance that is necessary to eliminate health disparities. At the heart of this coalition of NIH Institutes and Centers are our constituencies. Their input is essential to our success in identifying innovative and diverse approaches to eliminate health disparities."

The Strategic Plan has three main goals:

  • Research — to investigate the development and progression of diseases and disabilities that cause disparities in health in minority and other populations.

  • Research Infrastructure — to increase minority health and health disparities research training, career development and institutional capacity.

  • Public Information and Community Outreach — to ensure the public, healthcare professionals, and research communities are informed about the latest advances in health disparities research.

The NIH Strategic Research Plan and Budget to Reduce and Ultimately Eliminate Health Disparities, Fiscal Years 2002-2006 is currently posted on the NCMHD website at www.ncmhd.nih.gov. Written comments should be sent to the Strategic Plan Review Group, NCMHD, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, Bethesda, MD 20892-5465 or may be transmitted electronically, via e-mail, to NIHHealthDisparitiesPlan@mail.nih.gov and should include contact information, such as, name, organization, address, and telephone and fax numbers.

The NCMHD is a component of the National Institutes of Health within the Department of Health and Human Services.

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