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Partnerships & Collaborations

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health

The mission of the Office of Minority Health (OMH) is to improve and protect the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will eliminate health disparities.

OMH was established in 1985 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It advises the Secretary and the Office of Public Health and Science on health policy issues affecting health status and access to care among minority populations. It coordinates programs to help HHS implement minority initiatives, including the HHS Disparities Initiative, the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, the HHS Hispanic Agenda for Action, the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, the Executive Order on Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Federal Programs and the HHS Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative.


  • Know What to Do for Life Campaign. This national education campaign is designed to help reduce the infant mortality rate among African Americans by increasing awareness about the disparate rates of infant mortality, SIDS, premature birth and low birth weight within the African American community. The campaign will also highlight many of the risk factors associated with these conditions and promote risk reduction among parents and caregivers.

    This initiative represents a collaborative effort among OMH, CDC, HRSA, IHS, NIH and the Office on Women’s Health. National, State and local partners will help promote infant mortality prevention.

    The Know What to Do for Life campaign is part of HHS’s Closing the Health Gap: Infant Mortality Initiative’s three-part approach to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in infant deaths, including research coordination among HHS agencies, risk reduction efforts in communities and communications activities to improve awareness of factors that contribute to infant mortality.
  • Grants and Cooperative Agreements. OMH organizes demonstration projects through joint agreements with operating divisions of the department, funds grants for health projects conducted by minority community organizations and coalitions and funds cooperative agreements with major national minority organizations.
  • Staff Consultants. Regional minority health staff consultants serve in each of the ten HHS Regional Offices, and help build a network of consumers and professionals working on minority health issues. OMH works with established State offices of minority health and provides technical assistance, as requested, to minority community groups.
  • OMH Resource Center (OMHRC) serves as an information and referral service on minority health issues for professionals, community groups, consumers and students; encourages public participation in HHS programs, and assists in conducting health campaigns; distributes publications; manages exhibits; publishes funding opportunities; maintains a list of volunteer resource experts available to the public and conducts literature searches.

    OMHRC operates a toll-free telephone service (800-444-6472), accessible throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and provides a TDD telephone (301-589-0951) for the hearing-impaired. Bilingual information specialists answer English- and Spanish-language inquiries.

Data: Maintains a minority health knowledge center and database and works with Federal departments to improve collection and analysis of data on the health of racial and ethnic minority populations. It monitors efforts to achieve Healthy People 2010 goals for minority health.

Publications: During the first phase of the Know What to Do for Life campaign, HHS is releasing new radio and print public service advertisements (PSAs) that encourage audiences to learn more about SIDS and the risk factors for LBW and premature delivery. A toolkit for community and faith-based organizations will be distributed during the summer of 2005 to help disseminate the message at the local level. OMH also publishes OMH Newsletters, and assists in distributing scientifically valid and culturally competent health information including Federal and non-Federal publications. Many documents are available on the Web site.

OMH Resource Center
P.O. Box 37337
Washington, DC 20013-7337
301-251-2160 (fax)