Reducing Health Disparities

Significant gaps in health status persist among certain racial and ethnic groups. The average lifespan for African Americans is seven years shorter than for whites. They are twice as likely as whites to die from heart disease, diabetes and various forms of cancer.

Although research demonstrates that service utilization and health outcomes improve when healthcare practitioners are culturally similar to their patients, people of color represent only six percent of the healthcare workforce, with African Americans representing only two percent, despite their representing over a quarter of the general population.

In New York state, people of color are half as likely as whites to be insured. This significantly decreases their chances for preventative care, timely screening, early detection, and quality treatment options.