CMS Office of Minority Health: Welcome to the Third Edition of Health Equity Quarterly

November brings us an opportunity to welcome two health observances, National Diabetes Awareness Month and National Rural Health Day.

CMS OMH will recognize National Diabetes Awareness Month as part of our ongoing strategy to share resources and initiatives that aim to improve access to health care services and improve health equity. Factors including lack of access to health care, quality of care received, and socioeconomic status have disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minority populations in both the prevalence of this disease and health outcomes. Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent form of diabetes, with about 90-95% of the estimated 34 million people living with diabetes having type 2 diabetes. There are also an additional 88 million Americans with prediabetes. As incidences of new diabetes cases have become more prevalent among non-Hispanic Blacks, coupled with existing cases being highest among American Indian and Alaska Native people, it’s important to highlight and address health disparities in diabetes impacting minority populations. Visit our Health Observances website to find resources to help promote diabetes awareness.

As we approach National Rural Health Day on November 18, CMS recognizes that more than 57 million Americans live in rural areas and face several unique challenges. Those challenges can differ dramatically among the different kinds of rural areas across the country. Rural residents tend to be older and in poorer health than their urban counterparts, and rural communities often face challenges with access to care, financial viability, and the important link between health care and economic development. Starting in November, our Rural Health webpage will highlight multiple tools and resources that can be distributed to providers, patients, and other organizations to help improve the health of rural Americans.

To further support the health of rural communities and recognize National Rural Health Day, please join CMS, along with representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for a partner webinar to discuss federal COVID-19 resources, health care workforce mandates, health care coverage related to the COVID-19 vaccine, and more.

Date: Monday, November 15

Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET

To register:

All Americans deserve the opportunity to have comprehensive, affordable, and accessible health care. Join CMS OMH this Diabetes Awareness Month, National Rural Health Day, and beyond to make that a reality.  – Dr. LaShawn McIver