NCDHHS Kicks Off "Active & Healthy" Minority Health Month

Raleigh

Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed April as Minority Health Month in North Carolina. This year’s is theme “Active & Healthy,” and health advocates will be promoting the benefits of incorporating even small amounts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity into daily routines.

Throughout April, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities will highlight the important role an active lifestyle plays in improving health and wellness, as well as the barriers that many in North Carolina’s minority and underserved communities face in accessing healthy foods, quality health care, parks and other settings that promote exercise. 

North Carolina has become increasingly diverse over the last 20 years. Racial and ethnic minority populations have increased from approximately 25 percent of the state’s population in 2000 to 36 percent, and the state is projected to be even more diverse in coming decades. Yet, historic and current policies and practices have created barriers for North Carolina’s minority communities to access quality health care, nutritious food and achieve good overall health. 

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke are among the most common causes of illness, disability and death in North Carolina and across the United States.

“Many chronic health conditions—and the factors that lead to them—are more common and often more severe for minority groups,” said Cornell Wright, executive director of DHHS’ Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities. “We are collaborating with partners to raise awareness about issues related to health disparities and how to take collective action to reduce the impact and improve health and longevity in North Carolina’s minority and underserved populations.” 

Many factors can create or limit opportunities for good health. In North Carolina, some communities are resource-rich while others lack the social, economic and environmental investments needed to support good health. The health of individuals is heavily influenced by the everyday environment where they live, learn, work and play. Continuous improvement of these drivers of health is a top priority of DHHS and its Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities and is crucial to improving the health and well-being of all North Carolinians.

The mission of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities is to promote and advocate for the elimination of health disparities among all racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved populations in North Carolina. 

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