WHEREAS, National Minority Health Month is an inclusive initiative recognizing the unique health needs of African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and other minority populations with the aim of strengthening the capacities of local communities to eliminate the disproportionate incidence of premature death and preventable illness among these populations; and
WHEREAS, since 2001, April has been observed across the country as National Minority Health Month; and
WHEREAS, the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity at the Virginia Department of Health strives to identify health inequities affecting minority populations and promote equitable opportunities to be healthy; and
WHEREAS, inequities in health begin before birth as a result of an individual’s race/ethnicity, family income, place of residence, and ability to access affordable healthcare leading to unavailable or unnecessary healthcare, social and economic costs, and reduced lifespan and quality of life; and
WHEREAS, despite improvements in healthcare for minority Virginians, significant disparities and inequities persist, such as enduring poverty and limited educational attainment; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity is focused on identifying community strategies and actions that increase health opportunities for all people, no matter where they reside in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, this year’s theme, “Partnering for Health Equity,” reflects the Commonwealth’s continuous and collective efforts to increase momentum toward achieving a nation free of disparities in health and healthcare;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2018 as VIRGINIA MINORITY HEALTH MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.