My Shot: Help Close the Minority Healthcare Gap

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Healthcare is a basic necessity but unfortunately not readily available to everyone. Minority communities especially have to suffer the brunt of policies that are designed to exclude their needs and challenges when it comes to seeking healthcare. Ironically, the majority of people who contract diseases and die from it, including the recent COVID-19, are people that belong to minority communities.

From not being included in clinical trials and having fewer healthcare options to economic barriers, the challenges are manifold. Coming from a minority community myself, I can speak from experience that it is impossible to let this gap widen anymore. There has never been a more important time than now to fight for the rights of minority communities in the healthcare sector and to close the health gap to ensure they get the healthcare they need and deserve.

The National Minority Health Association (NMHA) announced that it is embarking on a PSA campaign that will play a key role in getting minority communities to take the COVID-19 vaccine and end this pandemic. The “Not Throwing Away My Shot“ vaccine trust campaign will debut as a public service announcement on cable networks, social media, and via local and national influencers. Inspired by the music of the award-winning theatrical production, Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the song will be performed by the Voices of Our City choir, which has been featured on America’s Got Talent™. “Not Throwing Away My Shot” will be a rallying cry and spearhead a multichannel engagement campaign created with the assistance and support of Dr. Ian Smith, host of “The Doctors” syndicated TV show, myVax™, and Sage Growth Partners (SGP)

As Executive Director of NMHA, my fight against this disparity is rooted in a personal experience that has left an indelible impact on my life. When I was in second grade, I was diagnosed with low vision which in medical terms qualified as being blind. I was prescribed glasses, given large type books, audiobooks—actually records back then, and magnifiers to read and study with. But how much could that really help given that I was losing my sight and losing it fast. I was failing my school and the only thing it could do for me was to move my desk between the front row and the blackboard. There was so much more that could have been done for me, so much more that would actually have helped only if the healthcare system was designed in a way to help people like me i.e. people suffering from unique health challenges and belonging to minority communities.
 
Today, with the pandemic still raging, the need to address this gap is even more pressing. Add to the fact that hesitancy exists toward the vaccine. We cannot have any more Black males dying because they are hesitant, or lack access to the vaccine, or couldn’t afford expensive healthcare, or Hispanics experiencing higher rates of  Alzheimer’s and Dementia. We refuse to accept Asians and Pacific Islanders living with 5x higher risk of contracting Hepatitis B or native Americans living with twice the likelihood of becoming diabetic. All of us deserve the same healthcare and medical attention as any other community that is not a minority.  To get there we need equity in healthcare.  You can help.
 
National Minority Health Association is an association founded with the intent to achieve this goal of closing this health gap. After achieving its mission of seeing Offices of Minority Health established in all 50 states, we are now deploying new programs that utilize patient-centered, value-based care, and new ways of enhancing care to patients where they are, lowering costs, and improving outcomes for minority and underserved communities. How you can help us achieve this is by becoming a member of the National Minority Health Association which will cost you $25 per year. Your benefit?  The knowledge that you are doing your part to close the disparity gap in healthcare.  Doesn't everyone deserve a fair chance and access to the healthcare system?

Through this, you can become a part of our grassroots efforts by not just raising awareness but also ensuring that this gap is bridged and that our healthcare access is not determined based on the color of our skin. Adding your name to this cause will help us build a community of allies and supporters that we need to make sure the cause gets the awareness and resources it needs.

Take a moment to check out our movement at www.thenmha.org 

I am the Executive Director of the  501c3 non-profit National Minority Health Association. NMHA is headquartered in Owings, MD and I am in Minnesota.

The funds being raised will go to the work of the NMHA including our "Operation Healthy You" program in an effort to help reduce achieve health equity and eliminate the disparity in healthcare in minority and underserved communities.
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Organizer

National Minority Health Association
Organizer
St. Paul, MN

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