About Us

Mission

The mission of the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health is to promote health equity for all and reduce health disparities. (We define health disparities, as adopted from the National Center for Cultural Competence, as population-specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to health care).

Background

The Federal Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and Minority Health, in 1985, documented the wide and persisting disparity in health status between minorities and Whites. This study indicated six problem areas that accounted for more than 80% of the excess mortality: cancer; cardiovascular diseases and stroke; chemical dependency; diabetes; homicides, suicides and unintentional injuries; and infant mortality. AIDS was added later as a seventh leading health problem.

Federal health experts declare that most of the disparity is due to behavioral patterns that contribute to health status and life expectancy.

New Jersey initiated its response to this disparity in the late 1980's when the minority community, key legislators and the Department of Health expressed concerns about the growing gap in minority health status. In June 1989, the first "Health Profile: Black and Minority Populations inNew Jersey - Preliminary Report" was published.

The Office of Minority Health was created by the state legislature in 1991 to reduce and ultimately eliminate racial, ethnic health disparities by fostering equal access to programs that promote, support and enable all populations in New Jersey to achieve optimal health, dignity and independence. Specific activities include:

  • Promoting community health outreach and education through partnership with community based organizations, including faith-based groups
  • Assisting with policy analysis to improve health care access and services for minority populations
  • Providing funding to community based organizations for community outreach
  • Assisting in improving methods for collecting and reporting data on minority health
  • Sponsoring annual Minority Health Month activities
  • Developing effective outreach campaigns
  • Coordinating selection and supervision of comprehensive minority health fellows
  • Assisting community based organizations in identifying potential funding sources
  • Assisting with development of standards for organizational and health professionals’ competency services
  • Supporting public and professional education on minority health issues
Last Reviewed: 1/24/2017