WHEREAS, National Minority Health Month is an inclusive initiative recognizing the unique health needs of African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, and other racial/ethnic 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, 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 shortened lifespan; and
WHEREAS, despite improvements in healthcare for racial/ethnic minority Virginians, significant disparities and inequities persist and increase, such as income inequity and educational disparity; and
WHEREAS, the theme for the 2019 observance is "Active and Healthy," reflecting the Commonwealth's commitment to promote physical activity as an important part of being healthy, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases, many of which disproportionately impact racial/ethnic minorities; and
WHEREAS, the Office of Health Equity works to address the social determinants of health, and leverages National Minority Health Month to highlight the social causes of disease in racial/ethnic minorities; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2019 as VIRGINIA MINORITY HEALTH MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.