The Office of Minority Health (OMH) was created in 1986 and is one of the most significant outcomes of the 1985 Secretary's Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health. The Office is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.
Poor health outcomes for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are apparent when comparing their health indicators against those of the rest of the . population. These populations experience higher rates of illness and death from health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, specific cancers, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, asthma, hepatitis B, and overweight and obesity. OMH's primary responsibility is to improve health and healthcare outcomes for racial and ethnic minority communities by developing or advancing policies, programs, and practices that address health, social, economic, environmental and other factors which impact health.
OMH programs address disease prevention, health promotion, risk reduction, healthier lifestyle choices, use of health care services, and barriers to health care. The Office also:
Culture is not neutral. Cultural groupings are ascribed differential status and power, with some holding privilege that they may not be aware of and some being relegated to the status of “other.” For example, language dialect and accent can be used to determine the status, privilege, and access to resources of groups. Similarly, in some contexts, racialized “others” are framed against the implicit standard of “whiteness” and can become marginalized even when they are the numerical majority. Cultural privilege can create and perpetuate inequities in power and foster disparate treatment in resource distribution and access.