During a meeting at the Tuskegee Negro Conference in 1914, Booker T. Washington provided a statistical report on the steeping mortality rates of African Americans and expressed his growing concern with the poor health conditions many of them faced. Washington recognized the connection between pitiable living conditions and poor health status, thus launching his last nationally organized effort, National Negro Health Week in April 1915. The week-long initiative bloomed into a full month celebration, as now, we observe April as National Minority Health Month. The theme for 2018 is “Partnering for Health Equity,” which highlights collaborative efforts to reduce disparities in health and health care through partnerships at various levels.
The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta seeks to create impact throughout our 23-county region. One of our areas of focus is Well-being, with the measureable objectives of reducing the number of residents without health insurance coverage; reducing the number of residents who are food insecure; and reducing the number of residents with chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and asthma. Many of these issues disproportionately affect minorities and the first step to improving them is increasing awareness through education.
In 2015, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia ranked second in the top 10 states with the highest rates of HIV diagnoses. More than 1 in 4 African American Georgians know of a family member who is living with or has died of HIV/AIDS. It is the leading cause of death for African American men between the ages of 35 and 44 in our state. The Community Foundation has granted over $800,000 to nonprofits for HIV/AIDS services, support and advocacy through our Atlanta AIDS Fund. The long time initiative of the Foundation has evolved its focus from preventive care to long-term care of patients living with the virus in partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta, Jeffery Fashion Cares and the Allen Thornell HIV Care and Service Fund.
Our collaborative efforts with donors, nonprofits and government agencies mirror this theme as we strive to ensure a healthy, safe and engaged region where all residents have access to quality health care.
For more information about our Well-being Impact Area, click here. For information about the Atlanta AIDS Fund, click here. For further information about Minority Health Month 2018, please check the Office of Minority Health website at https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov.