April is National Minority Health Month, and we want to express the importance of helping reduce health disparities and improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities. Here at NRMN, we take Minority Health very seriously. We want to be the change this world needs to improve health disparities among minorities.
We sat down with Palak Desai, MPH, CPH from the Texas CEAL (Community Engagement and Alliance) project, to learn about what minority health and health disparities mean to her.
- What does improving minority health mean to you?
- It’s imperative because we’ve studied this issue and concluded that minorities are more at risk for certain diseases than white people. It takes more effort to figure out what works for minority health than others because everyone is built differently. It is essential to recognize what processes and procedures work best for different minority groups.
- Why is diversifying the STEMM field important related to minority health?
- It is crucial because if STEMM professionals represent their population, it inspires other people in these minority groups to become a part of STEMM and make a difference. These diverse STEMM professionals can, in turn, bring more focus to different health disparities. Specific minority people will do more research into their minority, gaining more eyes to that health disparity.
- In your line of work in CEAL, what have you discovered about minority health?
- We are looking more into areas that are not as fortunate as others, so those community members tend to get vaccinated less and come in contact with Covid more. It is vital to reach out to trusted community partners to liaise between health care professionals or researchers and the community members to stress the importance of getting vaccinated to keep them healthy.
- What can be done to change minority health and health disparities?
- It takes a long time for huge impacts to be made, especially regarding health disparities and minority health, but it all starts with a conversation. When the conversation begins, it, in turn, creates a more significant impact in the long run. If we start the conversation now – we can see the change in the future generations.
We appreciate the encouraging words from Palak Desai regarding health disparities and minority health. Our team at NRMN is constantly working to build DEI in the STEMM workforce. With our platform, MyNRMN, we provide resources and professional networking to all members. We want to be a resource to help minorities and diverse communities accomplish their goals and dreams of being STEMM professionals. As we wrap up National Minority Health Month, we want to bring awareness to minority health and help reduce health disparities. The conversations we have today will bring a significant impact on future generations.
Reagan Miller, Virtual Community Coordinator