Making Public Programs Work for Communities of Color

February 9, 2006

The purpose of this Action Kit is to provide community leaders with the information, tools, and resources necessary to engage in health advocacy and improve the health and well-being of their communities. With an emphasis on the importance of public programs in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, this kit contains sections that provide: a summary of racial and ethnic health disparities and of the role that public programs can play in reducing them; an overview of Medicaid (and SCHIP) and Medicare, including their importance to communities of color, as well as emerging issues pertaining to these programs; quick facts and statistics on disparities in health, health care, and access; fact sheets on improving health coverage and access for African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Latinos; case studies on health advocacy efforts at the state and local level, including examples from the faith-based community and grassroots organizations; strategies and tools for influencing Congress, the White House, communities, and the media, as well as an advocate’s checklist on how to take action to improve minority health; a PowerPoint presentation for community leaders to use in talks and discussions about racial and ethnic health disparities and health policy; and additional resources, including lists of organizations and publications that focus on minority health issues.