According to the 2009 Arkansas Racial and Ethnic Health Disparity Study II, African Americans have an overall death rate in Arkansas that is 30% higher than that of Caucasians. The study, commissioned by the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, highlights the healthcare disparities facing the state and looks at ways to address them.
The study indicates that despite significant advances in disease prevention, detection and treatment, the health status of many minorities in the state is far below that of their white counterparts.
“AARP works hard to make things better for society,” said AARP Arkansas State Director Maria Reynolds-Diaz. “Which is why addressing health disparities is a top priority for us. We need to ensure that ALL Arkansans are able to live their best life and poor health is a major barrier to that.”
The Minority Health Commission recently formed a Consortium, of which AARP Arkansas is a part, to directly address disparities in the state. Along with its position as a key member of the Consortium’s Advisory Board, AARP Arkansas will undertake several programs, projects and events throughout the year that will help address the problem of healthcare disparity.
“Minority health disparities is a statewide issue and affects everyone,” said Reynolds-Diaz. “Our volunteers will be present at several health fairs around the state and we will once again bring the Walgreen’s Wellness Tour to the state to help people get free screenings. We want to do what we can to break down obstacles to good health.”
AARP Arkansas will also sponsor the Minority Health Commission’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in April, National Minority Health Month.
Find more information about the Minority Health Commission or the Arkansas Racial and Ethnic Health Disparity Study II.