Commitment to Addressing Health Disparities and Inequity Doesn’t End with National Minority Health Month

National Minority Health Month (NMHM) is recognized each year with two core goals in mind: build awareness of how racial disparities affect health and encourage action through health education, detection, and control of disease complicationsi. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gaps in access to care for minority populations have widened and become more apparent, making this year’s observance theme of “Give Your Community a Boost!” critical for encouraging the expansion of COVID-19 vaccine access and encouraging uptake among vulnerable populations.

In recognition of NMHM, Hager Sharp deepened its commitment to helping organizations build initiatives that work to improve public health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority populations. Our leadership and account teams spent time this month engaging in conversations about our history as a communications firm rooted in social marketing for behavior change and our current role in helping organizations improve health equity. Moreover, our Multicultural Marketing and Communications Team met to plan its continued growth and discuss how it will further guide and support teams focused on developing and implementing outreach approaches for diverse audiences.

While this year’s NMHM has come to an end, Hager Sharp’s work in helping to eliminate health disparities is far from over. We will continue to support a variety of health programs and initiatives, including:

  • A three-year social norming campaign to help ensure all children’s pediatric vaccinations are up to date, with a focus on reaching disproportionately impacted populations, increasing access, and improving equity.
  • A marketing services contract to evolve a national public education campaign designed to increase awareness of urgent maternal warning signs among African American and American Indian and Alaska Native pregnant and postpartum women.
  • An initiative for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service to develop and promote MyPlate tools and resources for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, on the heels of the single largest benefit increase in SNAP history.
  • Strategic communications services for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to raise awareness of obstructive sleep apnea, including specifically addressing communities affected by sleep health disparities.
  • Support to The MayaTech Corporation for the planning and implementation of a national program for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health to improve health outcomes for adolescent girls and women at increased risk for insulin resistance, diabetes, and related hypertension.

With the appropriate strategy, messages, and materials, we can influence attitudes around health issues and encourage the desired action. However, to do this, we must present and share information in a culturally fluent way, which requires accurately reflecting lived experiences and engaging audience members who can inform the overall approach. Hager Sharp looks forward to continuing this work to reach and engage for positive change.

i National Minority Health Month (nih.gov)