April 2021: Minority Health Month

WHEREAS, the current COVID-19 pandemic has renewed an emphasis on minority health improvement that addresses systemic racism, discrimination, and the social, economic, and environmental determinants that drive persistent racial and ethnic health disparities and inequities; and,

 

WHEREAS, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minorities, with African American Michiganders representing a 70% higher death rate from the virus compared to white Michiganders; and,

 

WHEREAS, United States' Middle Eastern and North Africans who call Southeast Michigan home face racial and ethnic discrimination as well as persistent socioeconomic and health disparities which are not yet captured in the Federal data on minority health; and,


WHEREAS, minority racial and ethnic populations experience poorer outcomes than the general population for almost every health and social condition; and,

 

WHEREAS, without a focused effort to eliminate health disparities and inequities, the burden of poor health on marginalized populations will multiply and the associated costs will be staggering; and,

 

WHEREAS, racial and ethnic health disparities and premature death create a costly health burden for the State of Michigan, with a combined estimated annual cost of trillions of dollars; and,

 

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan recognizes racism as a public health crisis, and all state departments have been directed to address the resulting inequities through data and analysis, policy and planning, engagement, communication, advocacy, and training; and,

 

WHEREAS, planned efforts have been made in Michigan to get vulnerable and minority communities vaccinated for COVID-19 through community partnerships and providing the necessary information and resources; and,

 

WHEREAS, implementation of policies, practices, surveillance, and research should include a focus on achieving health equity that addresses the social, economic, and environmental determinants that drive persistent racial and ethnic health disparities and inequities; and,

 

WHEREAS, the use of equity impact assessments help assess, create, and promote equitable decision-making, processes, and policies to reduce and eradicate social disparities and inequities; and,

 

WHEREAS, policies, programs, and implementation strategies are culturally and linguistically tailored to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of racial and ethnic populations; and,

 

WHEREAS, the establishment of Minority Health Month in April would encourage organizations in Michigan to assess the impact of their policies and procedures and utilize evidence-based and promising practices to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes of racial and ethnic populations; and,

 

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan continues to demonstrate its commitment toward improving the health of racial and ethnic populations during the current COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing through the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the MDHHS Office of Race Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the MDHHS Office of Equity and Minority Health, and Labor and Economic Opportunity's Office of Global Michigan, as well as external partnerships;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2021 as Minority Health Month in Michigan.