NIH and HHS Commitment
Healthy People 2020 envisions a society in which all people live long, healthy lives. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aims to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans by providing effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services. In April 2011, HHS released the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (PDF, 1 MB) (HHS Disparities Action Plan), a comprehensive national strategy to reduce health disparities. The HHS Disparities Action Plan sets out five goals to help achieve the vision of a nation free of disparities in health and health care.
The mission of NIH, as part of HHS, is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. In 2015, NIH released the Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2016–2020, outlining a vision for biomedical research that capitalizes on new opportunities for scientific exploration and addresses new challenges for human health. The NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan also aligns with the health promotion and disease prevention objective of the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan by advancing opportunities in biomedical research through evidence-based reduction of health disparities. The NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan follows the missions and goals outlined in these plans andaddresses the current insufficient progress in improving MH and reducing HDs in the United States. The plan integrates NIMHD’s vision of an America in which all populations have equal opportunity to live long, healthy, and productive lives with NIH’s mission to seek fundamental knowledge of the nature and behavior of living systems and apply new knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.
The NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan represents a commitment by NIH to support research aimed at addressing the risk and protective factors that operate and interact on multiple levels to impact the well-being of HD populations. NIH is also committed to supporting research-sustaining activities—such as research capacity building, workforce development, outreach, and inclusion of minorities in clinical trials—that improve MH and reduce HDs, as well as activities that promote collaboration and dissemination in different fields.
The NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan aligns NIH’s efforts to address MH and HDs with advancing scientific knowledge and innovation in the HHS Disparities Action Plan.
Page updated March 30, 2021