Minority Health Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a minority group?
The U.S. President's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the following federal categories for race and ethnicity:
Five racial groups:
- American Indian or Alaska Native;
- Black or African-American;
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander;
- White; and
One ethnic group:
- Hispanic or Latino.
Every group, except White, is considered a minority group. These categories are used not only to produce data on the demographic characteristics of the population, but also to monitor civil rights enforcement and program implementation.
What are health disparities?
Currently, there are many definitions of health disparities. According to Carter-Pokras and Baquet (Public Health Reports, 2002), the most commonly used definitions of health disparities in the U.S. are:
- Differences that occur by gender, race or ethnicity, education or income, disability, living in rural localities or sexual orientation. (Healthy People 2010);
- Population-specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to care. (Health Resources and Services Administration - HRSA); and
- Differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States. Research on health disparities related to socioeconomic status is also encompassed in the definition. (National Institutes of Health - NIH).
For more information on health disparities in New York State, please see the NYS Minority Health Surveillance Report
What is cultural and linguistic competence?
- According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health,
- "…cultural and linguistic competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health developed 14 national standards (CLAS - Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) for assuring cultural and linguistic competence in health care.
Is there an OMH listserv and how do I subscribe?
Yes. The Office of Minority Health (OMH) Listserv was established to help build the capacity of community partners through
- Information sharing,
- participant networking, and
- collaborative involvement in minority health issues.
You can subscribe to the OMH Listserv by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there an index I can use to search different health and disease topics?
Yes. The New York State Department of Health's public Web site contains an "A to Z" index for this purpose. This index is located on the upper right hand side of all State Health Department Web site pages and it is also available in Spanish.
Please use our "How to Contact Minority Health Office" Web page