The text of the bill below is as of Oct 3, 2002 (Passed the Senate).
SCON 139 ES
S. CON. RES. 139
Whereas in 2000, the Surgeon General announced a goal of eliminating, by 2010, health disparities experienced by racial and ethnic minorities in health access and outcome in 6 areas: infant mortality, cancer screening, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus infection, and immunizations;
Whereas despite notable progress in the overall health of the Nation there are continuing health disparities in the burden of illness and death experienced by African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Asians, and Pacific Islanders, compared to the population of the United States as a whole;
Whereas minorities are more likely to die from cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, chemical dependency, diabetes, infant mortality, violence, and, in recent years, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome than nonminorities suffering from those same illnesses;
Whereas there is a national need for scientists in the fields of biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and health services research to focus on how best to eliminate health disparities between minorities and the population of the United States as a whole;
Whereas the diverse health needs of minorities are more effectively addressed when there are minorities in the health care workforce; and
Whereas behavioral and social sciences research has increased awareness and understanding of factors associated with health care utilization and access, patient attitudes toward health services, and behaviors that affect health and illness, and these factors have the potential to be modified to help close the health disparities gap that effects minority populations: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that--
(1) a National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month should be established to promote educational efforts on the health problems currently facing minorities and other populations experiencing health disparities;
(2) the Secretary of Health and Human Services should, as authorized by the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, present public service announcements on health promotion and disease prevention that target minorities and other populations experiencing health disparities in the United States and educate the public and health care professionals about health disparities;
(3) the President should issue a proclamation recognizing the immediate need to reduce health disparities in the United States and encouraging all health organizations and Americans to conduct appropriate programs and activities to promote healthfulness in minority and other communities experiencing health disparities;
(4) Federal, State, and local governments should work in concert with the private and nonprofit sector to recruit and retain qualified individuals from racial, ethnic, and gender groups that are currently underrepresented in health care professions;
(5) the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality should continue to collect and report data on health care access and utilization on patients by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and where possible, primary language, as authorized by the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, to monitor the Nation’s progress toward the elimination of health care disparities; and
(6) the information gained from research about factors associated with health care utilization and access, patient attitudes toward health services, and risk and protective behaviors that affect health and illness, should be disseminated to all health care professionals so that they may better communicate with all patients, regardless of race or ethnicity, without bias or prejudice.
Passed the Senate October 3, 2002.
S. CON. RES. 139
Expressing the sense of Congress that there should be established a National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month, and for other purposes.