The NCMHD envisions an America in which all populations will have an equal opportunity to live long, healthy and productive lives.
The mission of NIMHD is to lead scientific research to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities. To accomplish this, NIMHD:
- Plans, reviews, coordinates, and evaluates all minority health and health disparities research and activities of the National Institutes of Health
- Conducts and supports research in minority health and health disparities
- Promotes and supports the training of a diverse research workforce
- Translates and disseminates research information
- Fosters innovative collaborations and partnerships
What We Do
While the diversity of the American population is one of the Nation’s greatest assets, one of its greatest challenges is reducing the profound disparity in health status of America’s racial and ethnic minorities, Appalachian residents, and other health disparity populations, compared to the population as a whole. And although some of the causes of disparate health outcomes, such as differences in access to care, are beyond the scope of biomedical and bio-behavioral research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) can play a vital role in addressing and easing health disparities involving cancer, diabetes, infant mortality, AIDS, cardiovascular illnesses, and many other diseases. Accordingly, the NIH has made health disparities a priority.
The NIH is also seeking to improve the visibility of minority health disparities research and other health disparities research as well as expand the role of such research in learning why some groups have disproportionately high rates of disease. Toward that end, new legislation authorized the establishment of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) within the NIH. In addition to awarding grants and contracts independently, the Center continues the legacy of the former NIH Office of Research on Minority Health in partnering with the NIH Institutes and Centers to support programs of health disparities research with a focus on basic and clinical research, training, and the dissemination of health information. In particular, the NCMHD will serve as the focal point for coordinating and focusing the minority health disparities research and other health disparities research programs at the NIH into a national health research agenda. The specific goals and purposes of the Center include the following:
- To assist in the development of an integrated national health research agenda, across disciplines, that reflects the current and emerging health needs of racial and ethnic minorities and other health disparity groups.
- To promote and facilitate the creation of a robust minority health research environment with sustained funding for a wide breadth of studies-- basic, clinical, and population research; studies on the influences of health processes; and research on the societal, cultural, and environmental dimensions of health--all aimed at identifying potential risk factors for disparate health outcomes.
- To promote, assist, and support research capacity building activities in the minority and medically underserved communities, focusing on research infrastructure development, faculty career development, and increasing the number of underrepresented minority students and students from health disparity groups with an interest in careers in biomedical and bio-behavioral research.