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For Immediate Release
April 20, 2016

Contact Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9313 or

Working Toward Health Equity for Minorities in Nebraska

Lincoln – April is Minority Health Month. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity, there is much yet to do to improve the health of Nebraska’s minority populations.  
Key findings in Nebraska’s Health Disparities Report show racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to:
     • Have diabetes
     • Be physically inactive
     • Not have a personal physician
     • Have inadequate prenatal care
     • Not receive emotional support
     • Die earlier

“As Nebraska population becomes more and more diverse, it is important that we are aware of the diversity of the consumers using our services,” said Josie Rodriguez, Administrator of the Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity. “We work to foster alliances with minority populations in Nebraska and the organizations that serve them, and promote projects and programs that advance health equity in our state.” 

Minority Health Initiatives
DHHS receives $1.58 million in minority health initiative funding each year to help improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities in Nebraska. The funding is distributed to community-based organizations in areas that have five percent or more minority population. Two federally qualified health centers also receive funding.
The organizations and health centers use the dollars for projects that focus on the prevention and reduction of obesity, cardiovascular disease, infant mortality, diabetes, asthma and other chronic diseases. For information on the current projects, go to
From 2014-2015, these projects served more than 23,000 racial and ethnic minorities statewide and provided more than 34,000 health screenings and checks, almost 8,000 health education sessions and helped more than 1,000 people find a medical home.

Minority Health Conference
The 2016 Minority Health Conference is today at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney. The conference provides a forum for public health professionals and other stakeholders to explore and gain practical knowledge in the areas of public health practice, minority health research in Nebraska, social determinants of health, and partnerships for collaborative impact.  

DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips will welcome attendees. Keynote speakers for this year’s conference include: 
     • Captain Carmen Clelland, PharmD, MPA, CDC Associate Director of Tribal Support, Atlanta, GA;
     • Sudah Shaheb, MD, Endocrinologist, Macy, NE;
     • Dr. Paul Estabrooks, PhD, Chair of UNMC Department of Chair of UNMC Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health, Omaha, NE

For more information about the 2016 Minority Health Conference, please go to the Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity website at