The ambitious goal of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Healthy People 2010program is to ensure good health and long life for all Americans. By definition, the term “all Americans” would obviously include Hispanics. But according to some of the nation’s most influential Hispanic health leaders, Healthy People’s commitment to meeting the needs of America’s largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority group is questionable at best.
In a policy brief entitled Healthy People 2010: Hispanic Concerns Go Unanswered published earlier this year, the Washington-based National Alliance for Hispanic Health argues that:
Over one-third (40%) of Healthy People 2010’s population-based objectives do not include Hispanic baseline data, and therefore progress on these objectives cannot be measured for Hispanic communities.
More than two-thirds (86%) of recommendations submitted by Hispanic community leaders during the public comment period for Healthy People 2010 are not fully incorporated into the program’s final objectives.
The Alliance’s 46-page report not only contains extensive evidence in support of these charges but also presents recommendations for making Healthy People more responsive to the priorities of Hispanic communities. The organization is urging HHS to act on these recommendations when the program comes up for its mid-course review in 2005. For more information, or to receive a copy of the report, contact the National Alliance for Hispanic Health at (202) 387-5000 or visit www.hispanichealth.org.