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City of Akron Declares April Minority Health Month


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of City of Akron Press Office
Published: 04-05-2022

Akron, Ohio, April 5, 2022 — Yesterday, Akron City Council with support from Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan declared April Minority Health Month in Akron. The goal is to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minority populations and to encourage action through health education, early detection, and control of disease complications.

National Minority Health Month was first recognized nationally by Congress in 2002 with its origin dating back to 1915 with the establishment of National Negro Health Week by Booker T. Washington. The theme for this year’s National Minority Health Month is Give Your Community a Boost! The theme focuses on the continued importance of COVID-19 vaccination, including boosters, as one of the strongest tools we can use to protect communities from COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected communities of color. CDC data show that some racial and ethnic minority groups — particularly Black, Hispanic or Latino, and American Indian or Alaska Native people are at increased risk of getting sick, having more severe illness, and dying from COVID-19.

“Several preventable health crises including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infant mortality and violence are prevalent among minority communities,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan.  “The COVID-19 pandemic shined a bright light on long existing disparities in health outcomes for our minority populations. So as we celebrate Minority Health Month, we also renew our commitment to partnering across the community to eliminate the social and economic barriers to good health for all Akron residents.” 

The City of Akron has been actively working to narrow and eliminate the health gap. In June of 2020, Akron City Council passed legislation declaring racism as a public health crisis.  Disproportionately higher rates of chronic diseases, mortality, and adverse health outcomes for African Americans are widely recognized and documented yet continue to persist throughout the U.S. With approval from City Council, Mayor Dan Horrigan also created the Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Taskforce as recommended in this same piece of legislation. The RESJ Taskforce made several recommendations to improve minority healthcare in the City and those recommendations can be found in the final report here. The City is working towards being able to implement the Taskforce’s recommendations to improve health outcomes here in Akron.

"What all the available data confirms is racism, not race, causes these disproportionate health outcomes for communities of color," said Council President Margo Sommerville. "Systemic racism and racial inequities still persist to this day which is why we must raise awareness around this important topic and promote education and early detection initiatives for our residents who may be underserved in this field."

Together with community organizations such as Summit County Public Health’s Office of Minority Health, the City of Akron is dedicated to working towards closing the gap on these racial divides in health outcomes.

For further information, contact:
City of Akron Press Office
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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