NIH Press Update
Office of Research on Minority Health

Friday, April 14, 2000
Lucia C. Biederman
(301) 402-1366

New Web Site Provides Information about the NIH Minority Health Initiative

Today the Office of Research on Minority Health (ORMH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a new Web site to offer the public and scientific community information about the NIH Minority Health Initiative (MHI). This multi-year program supports biomedical and behavioral research aimed at improving the health of minority Americans and research training programs designed to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities in all aspects of biomedical and behavioral research.

The MHI co-funds - in partnership with NIH institutes and centers, other Federal agencies, and outside organizations - (1) interventions to improve prenatal health and reduce infant mortality; (2) studies of childhood and adolescent lead poisoning, HIV infection and AIDS, and alcohol and drug abuse; and (3) research in adult populations focused on cancer, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, mental disorders, asthma, visual impairments, and alcohol abuse. It also provides training for faculty and for students at all educational stages - from pre-college and undergraduate through graduation and postdoctoral levels.

African Americans, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Hispanic citizens suffer poorer health and higher rates of premature death than the majority population. They are often burdened disproportionately by cardiovascular disease, lupus, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, HIV/AIDS, end-stage renal disease, and certain cancers. Increasingly research holds the promise of uncovering new scientific knowledge that will improve the health of all Americans. Breakthroughs in molecular biology and genetics are making it possible to identify the fundamental basis for many diseases and offer hope for new treatments.

"The National Institutes of Health has always been at the forefront of progress in the area of minority health from the first centers in the early 1970's to study sickle cell disease, a genetic disorder that primarily affects African Americans, to the more recent studies in the areas of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer," said Dr. John Ruffin, Associate Director for Minority Health, NIH. "We want to encourage more research in the field of minority health so that all Americans may share equally in the benefits of biomedical and behavioral research."

For patients and the public, the new ORMH Web site will provide information about ORMH programs, important health topics, clinical trials, NIH resources, and NIH health radio programing.

Scientists, health care providers, and students will be able to access information about the research and research training programs of the Minority Health Initiative; the ORMH Advisory Committee on Minority Health; health statistics; NIH grants and contracts; employment and training opportunities; and NIH program staff, publications, reports, and resources.

The Office of Research on Minority Health, NIH, is responsible for promoting and stimulating biomedical research aimed at improving the health status of minority Americans across the lifespan and for expanding the participation of underrepresented minorities in biomedical and behavioral research.

To visit the new ORMH web site, go to