New Connecticut Panel to Discuss Minority Health Disparities
In response to a 1999 Connecticut Department of Public Health study on minority health disparities, the newly formed Connecticut Advisory Commission on Multicultural Health has set the "ambitious goal" of ending racial disparities in the state by 2010. The "mission" of the 19-member panel is to study what conditions contribute to health problems that disproportionately affect blacks, Hispanics, women and people with disabilities. The report found that minorities were more at risk for infectious diseases, low birth weight, asthma, diabetes and other ailments. However, the study indicated that whites were more at risk than some other races for heart disease, stroke, injuries and some kinds of cancer. Commission Chair Marie Spivey said, "I think it's very important we know what the real disparities are, and what contributes to them and how we can prevent" them. The panel also hopes to raise public awareness and find ways to reduce or eliminate disparities. Though the panel will not have a budget or statutory authority, Spivey said, "We are determined we are going to change this around in our state. This will not be just a dog-and-pony show, but something that will work." The panel will hold its first meeting Nov. 30 (AP/Hartford Courant, 11/14).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.