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Brown ArrowHealth Disparities

Healthcare disparities refer to differences in access to or availability of facilities and services. Health status disparities refer to the variation in rates of disease occurrence and disabilities between socioeconomic and/or geographically defined population groups. [Both definitions are from the 2009 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).]

Search Queries Using NLM Resources: Health Disparities

News: Health Disparities

Data, Tools, and Statistics

Listing of Disparity-related data tools and statistics.

  • AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - The Innovations Exchange offers health professionals and researchers the opportunity to share, learn about, and ultimately adopt evidence-based innovations and tools suitable for a range of health care settings and populations.
  • CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report - United States, 2011 - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - Health disparities are differences in health outcomes between groups that reflect social inequalities. Despite progress over the past 20 years in reducing this problem, racial/ethnic, economic and other social disparities in health still exists and need to be addressed. This report is the first in a periodic series examining health disparities in the United States.
  • Culture, Language and Health Literacy - (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA))  - This collection of resources, including toolkits, videos, and workbooks, is aimed at healthcare providers, to enable them to better address the cultural, language and health literacy needs of their consumers.
  • - (Center for Advancing Health USA, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)  - allows visitors to explore how metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. perform on a diverse range of social measures that comprise a well-rounded life experience. The site provides access to socioeconomic indicators for metropolitan areas in the form of tables, thematic maps, and customizable reports.
  • HRET Disparities Toolkit - (Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET))  - The Toolkit is a Web-based tool that provides hospitals, health systems, clinics, and health plans information and resources for systematically collecting race, ethnicity, and primary language data from patients.
  • HSRR (Health Services and Sciences Research Resources) - (National Library of Medicine, National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology)  - HSRR is a searchable database of information about research datasets, instruments/indices and software employed in Health Services Research, the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Public Health. The database includes brief descriptions of research resources and links to PubMed.
  • Health Care Disparity-related Links - (Adventist Health Care US)  - This site provides access to a listing of health care disparity-related resources, organizations, and links.
  • Health Data Interactive - (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC (NCHS))  - Tables with national health statistics for infants, children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Tables can be customized by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic location to explore different trends and patterns.
  • Health Disparities Calculator - (National Cancer Institute, NIH (NCI))  - Statistical software designed to generate multiple summary measures to evaluate and monitor health disparities (HD). HD*Calc was created as an extension of SEER*Stat that allows the user to import SEER Data or other population based health data such as National Health Interview Survey, California Health Interview Survey, Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
  • Health Disparities Resources for Researchers - (National Cancer Institute, NIH (NCI))  - Lists links to resources for researchers of health disparities. Incldues instruments and questionnaires, surveys, various studies, and links to health disparities reports.
  • Health Equity State Snapshots - (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO))  - Summaries of data collected through ASTHO's Health Equity-Minority Health Survey to assess health equity efforts in the U.S. states and territories.
  • Healthy People 2010 Final Review - (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC (NCHS))  - The Healthy People 2010 Final Review presents a quantitative end-of-decade assessment of progress in achieving the Healthy People 2010 objectives and goals over the course of the decade.
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Map - (Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI))  - This map is a free, open resource for those interested in sharing IHI's mission of improving health care. This includes access to various "How To Guides," for example, prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia; prevent surgical site infection; prevent adverse drug events, etc.
  • Mapping Medicare Disparities - (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS))  - This interactive tool was designed to identify areas of disparities between subgroups of Medicare beneficiaries in outcomes, utilizations and spending. Search limits include year, county or state, age, condition, and gender.
  • NHQRDRNet Online Query System - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - Online query system that allows you to access national and state data on the quality of, and access to, health care from scientifically credible measures and data sources. This is an interactive tool to explore data from the National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports.
  • National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - This website includes access to all reports from this series, as well as a data query section, which allows researchers to find data based on geographic, subject, and topic area.
  • National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - Provides state-specific health care quality information, including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. The goal is to help state officials and their public- and private-sector partners better understand health care quality and disparities in their state.
  • Poverty Main - (U.S. Census Bureau)  - Poverty data from the US Census Bureau.
  • Roots of Health Inequity Web Course - (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO))  - This is a web-based course aimed at the public health workforce.
  • Surveillance Research: Health Disparities - (National Cancer Institute, NIH (NCI))  - Provides links to the following types of information: statistics by race/ethnicity, network for cancer control research among AI/AN populations, socioeconomic status and cancer, Native American initiatives, cancer in women of color monograph, status of cancer surveillance in minority and underserved populations, and SEER expansion.
  • Women of Color Health Data Book (2015) images/pdf.gif icon - (Office of Research on Women's Health, NIH)  - This statistical summary examines the major causes of morbidity and mortality among US women of color.
  • Women of Color Health Information Collection - (Office of Research on Women's Health, NIH)  - The collection includes the Women of Color Health Data Book (2014), as well as discrete collections on Breast Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Diabetes Mellitus, and Cardiovascular Disease with data on race/ethnicity and disease.

Grants, Funding and Fellowships

Links to disparity-related grants, funding and fellowships.

  • Fellowships - Included here is the Louis Stokes Urban Health Public Policy Fellows Program, a policy training and leadership development program that targets early to mid-level policy professionals who are committed to eliminating health disparities.
  • Addressing Disparities - Cycle 1 2016 - (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) US)  - Deadline application for this funding opportunity is June 6, 2016 which will fund comparative clinical effectiveness research studies that evaluate and compare interventions to reduce or eliminate disparities in health and health care
  • Health Services Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01) - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to encourage innovative exploratory and developmental health services research to improve minority health and/or reduce health disparities at the health care system-level as well as within clinical settings.
  • Health Services Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R21) - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to encourage innovative exploratory and developmental health services research to improve minority health and/or reduce health disparities at the health care system-level as well as within clinical settings.
  • Biomedical and Behavioral Research Innovations to Ensure Equity (BRITE) in Maternal and Child Health (R15) - (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH (NICHD))  - Funding is available for health equity research related to NICHD mission areas including: preterm birth; infant mortality; sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); maternal mortality; reproductive health; uterine fibroid tumors; childhood, adolescent, and/or adult obesity; violence prevention; perinatal HBV and HIV/AIDS prevention; HIV/AIDS prevention; asthma; intellectual and developmental disabilities; pediatric injury prevention; and medical rehabilitation.
  • Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) - (Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA))  - Comprising six bureaus and 12 offices, HRSA provides leadership and financial support to health care providers in every state and U.S. territory. HRSA grantees provide health care to uninsured people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers and children. They train health professionals and improve systems of care in rural communities.
  • Hispanic Health Services Research Grant Program - (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS))  - The purpose of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Hispanic Grant Program is to implement Hispanic American health services research activities to meet the needs of diverse CMS beneficiary populations.
  • The Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program - (Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) US)  - Brings talented college seniors and recent graduates to Washington, D.C., where they are placed in congressional offices and learn about health policy issues, with a focus on issues affecting racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities.
  • The Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellowship in Minority Health Policy - (Commonwealth Fund)  - This Fellowship is designed to prepare for physicians for leadership roles in formulating and promoting health policies and practices that improve the access to high quality care at the national, state, and/or local levels for the minority, disadvantaged, and most vulnerable populations.

Guidelines, Journals, Other Publications

Disparity-related publications.

  • 2013 Healthcare Disparities Report - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - AHRQ produces the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiency of care. The reports present, in chart form, the latest available findings on quality of and access to health care. The National Healthcare Quality Report tracks the health care system through quality measures, such as the percentage of heart attack patients who received recommended care when they reached the hospital or the percentage of children who received recommended vaccinations. The National Healthcare Disparities Report summarizes health care quality and access among various racial, ethnic, and income groups and other priority populations, such as residents of rural areas and people with disabilities.
  • Disparities Policy - (Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) US)  - A compilation of Kaiser Family Foundation reports and Web links on various aspects of minority health.
  • Equity of Care Blog - (Equity of Care US)  - Updated biweekly, this blog provides commentary by leaders in the field who are taking up the challenge of improving the quality of care for all patient populations and eliminating health care disparities.
  • HHS Disparities Action Plan - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - The HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities outlines goals and actions the Department of Health and Human Services will take to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.
  • Health Equity and Prevention Primer - (Prevention Institute)  - Web-based training series for public health practitioners and advocates interested in policy advocacy, community change, and multi-sector engagement to achieve health equity.
  • Quality/Equality Glossary - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))  - A glossary of key terms in the fields of health care quality, disparities reduction and quality improvement.
  • Systems Practices for the Care of Socially At-Risk Populations - (National Academy of Medicine (NAM))  - The second in a series of five reports to ASPE, this document examines performance among providers erving socially at-risk populations and identifies methods to account for social risk factors in Medicare payment programs.
  • Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care - (National Academy of Medicine (NAM))  - Congress, in 1999, requested an IOM study to assess the extent of disparities in the types and quality of health services received by U.S. racial and ethnic minorities and non-minorities; explore factors that may contribute to inequities in care; and recommend policies and practices to eliminate these inequities. This is the resulting report from the IOM study.

Key Organizations/Programs

Key organizations that focus on disparities.

  • AHRQ - Minority Health - (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))  - Links to AHRQ's minority health programs, reports, workshops, etc.
  • Behavioral Health Equity - (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA))  - The Office of Behavioral Health Equity works to reduce mental health and substance use disparities and improve access to quality care.
  • Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion - (Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Administration (HSR&D))  - An HSR&D Center of Excellence whose mission is to reduce disparities and promote equity in health and health care among vulnerable groups of veterans and other populations.
  • Center for Health Equity and Wellness - (Adventist Health Care US)  - Center for Health Equity and Wellness was created to raise community awareness about local health disparities, improve capacity to deliver population-based care, and develop solutions to eliminate local disparities in health care.
  • Commonwealth Fund Vulnerable Populations - The goals of the program are to improve the overall quality of health care delivered to low-income and minority Americans, and to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. The program builds on efforts to improve quality of care overall in the United States, focusing on safety-net hospitals and ambulatory care providers serving large numbers of low-income and minority patients.
  • Disparities in Mental Health Services Research - (National Institute of Mental Health, NIH (NIMH))  - This program plans, stimulates, disseminates, and supports research on the complex factors that influence disparities in mental health services, particularly across special population groups such as racial and ethnic groups, as well as women and children, and persons living in rural and frontier areas.
  • Health Equity Research and Policy - (Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC))  - Slides from meetings of the group, as well as the work of the organization are highlighted.
  • Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) - (American Hospital Association (AHA))  - Management research to provide operational advice on improving quality, reducing costs and eliminating disparities. Link to toolkits, resources, and reports.
  • National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S., National Partnership to End Health Disparities (NPA))  - The mission of the National Partnership for Action is to mobilize and connect individuals and organizations across the country to create a Nation free of health disparities, with quality health outcomes for all people.
  • National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - The mission of the National Partnership for Action is to mobilize and connect individuals and organizations across the country to create a Nation free of health disparities, with quality health outcomes for all people. The campaign, launched by the Office of Minority Health (OMH) focuses on health status and health outcomes among racial and ethnic minority populations.
  • Network on Inequality, Complexity, and Health - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - Created by NIH in August 2010, the Network consists of experts who will explore new approaches to understanding the origins of health disparities, or differences in the burden of disease among population groups. Using state-of-the-science conceptual and computational models, the network's goal is to identify important areas where interventions or policy changes could have the greatest impact in eliminating health disparities.
  • New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) - (New York Academy of Medicine)  - NYAM has been advancing the health of people in cities since 1847. An independent organization, NYAM addresses the health challenges facing the world's urban populations through interdisciplinary approaches to innovative research, education, community engagement and policy leadership. Drawing on the expertise of diverse partners worldwide and more than 2,000 elected Fellows from across the professions, our current priorities are to create environments in cities that support healthy aging; to strengthen systems that prevent disease and promote the public's health; and to implement interventions that eliminate health disparities. Provides New York City and New York State health and community data resources.
  • Office of Minority Health (OMH) - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - 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. Detailed information on cultural competency can be found on this site.
  • Social Determinants of Health Series - (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)  - This website provides information on the Annual Symposium on the Social Determinants of Health.

Meetings / Conferences / Webinars

Disparity-related meetings.

  • IMHD Health Disparities Research Institute - (National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, NIH (NIMHD) USA)  - The Summer Institute will be held from August 15, 2016, to August 19, 2016 in Bethesda, MD. Applications from postdoctoral students, assistant professors, early career research investigators, and scientists engaged in minority health and health disparities research will be accepted.
  • From Coverage to Care: Podcast - (Commonwealth Fund)  - This podcast from May 1, 2015 examines the effects of the ACA on ethnic and racial minorities, and their ability to obtain health insurance.
  • HHS' Action Plan to Reduce Health Disparities (Webcast Transcript) - (Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) US)  - The April 25, 2011 program addressed the contents of the strategy and its timeline for implementation as well as its implications for providers. The panelists also discussed how the new strategy relates to other recently released HHS strategies including the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care, the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy, the Healthy People 2020 initiative and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. Panelists also consider what the strategy's role as it relates to health reform implementation.
  • Health Affairs Podcasts - (Health Affairs)  - This series of recordings, both recent and archived, reflect on issues covered in the journal
  • Supporting a Movement for Health and Health Equity - Workshop Summary - (National Academy of Medicine (NAM))  - This publication presents the results of a workshop, held December 5, 2013 held by the IOM Roundtable on Population Health Improvement and the Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities.