The U.S. government is spending $80 million to train thousands of minorities in public health technology and improve health data collection involving race and ethnicity. It is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to “root out pervasive health and socioeconomic inequities” in the nation’s healthcare system, according to an announcement issued this month by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “Ensuring that diverse representation is better reflected all throughout our health care system is priority for the Biden-Harris administration,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, a former California attorney general who served a dozen terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. “With this funding, we will be able to train and create new opportunities for thousands of minorities long underrepresented in our public health informatics and technology fields.”
The multi-million-dollar investment will create a much-needed “pipeline of diverse professionals,” the HHS secretary added, assuring that it will help the country better prepare for “future public health emergencies.” The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated pervasive health and socioeconomic inequities, according to HHS, by, among other things, exposing gaps in the government’s public health reporting and data analysis around race and ethnicity-specific data. The administration aims to improve future public health responses in minority communities with data collection involving infection, hospitalization and mortality rates that also considers social vulnerabilities, race and ethnicity, age, gender, and other variables. “Representation is important,” Becerra said, referring to the need for diversity to tackle pressing healthcare challenges.
The new initiative is called Public Health Informatics & […]