Diversity and Disparities Overview

The Catholic Health Association and the Catholic health care ministry are committed to the importance of diversity — both in the workforce and in meeting the needs of diverse patients.

A Health Progress Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Discussion Guide

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SSM Health
Men's Health and Education Center

Video Conversation: Lloyd H. Dean and Caretha Coleman on Social Justice and Health Disparities



Juneteenth Prayer Service

Recommended for June 19

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Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on June 19 in 1865, General Granger read General Order Number 3, declaring, "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."

Call to Prayer
We gather in the presence of our God, whose favor is on justice,
who loves the liberation of all.

We gather to celebrate freedom from oppression and the full humanity of every man, woman and child.

We gather to celebrate the resilience and contributions of Black Americans,
and to pledge our continued work to build a just society.

We gather to pray.

Scripture: Galatians 3: 26-28

A reading from the book of Galatians

So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 


We are people of story and word, and so as we celebrate Juneteenth and the liberation of Black Americans from the prison of chattel slavery, we listen again to the General Order Number 3,

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. 

The prophet Isaiah tells us the Spirit of God is on the one who proclaims good news to the poor, binds up the brokenhearted and proclaims freedom to the captives. As we hear again the words that proclaimed freedom to the slaves still held captive in Texas in 1865, let us commit to work for justice and to be champions of peace. Please respond, may we accept the call to be bearers of peace.


All May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.

Leader  That the fullness of compassion and true justice may be extended to the victims and families who have been subjected to violence, abuse, discrimination and murder, we pray,

All  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.

Leader  That our communities and our schools may find ways to actively participate in efforts to reduce violence against Black citizens so that this country may take the lead in fostering anti-racism, we pray,

All  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.

Leader  That all who gather this week to remember Juneteenth be able to freely remember and celebrate their stories of joy and pain, struggle and triumph, we pray,

All  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.

Leader  That we be courageous in living out the Gospel, we pray,

All  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.

Closing Prayer

Eternal God, you made us in your own image,
and became one of us in Jesus Christ.
Look with compassion on the whole human family;
Take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts;
Break down the walls that separate us;
Unite us in bonds of love; and, through our struggle and confusion,
Work to accomplish your purposes on earth;
So that, in your good time,
We learn to live as brothers and sisters, to serve and love in harmony.

Related Prayers

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Reflection on Equity Prayer Card


A new CDC report on maternal mortality found significant racial disparities, with African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women 3 times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as white women. To learn more about maternal mortality, read the report and visit the CDC’s Vital Statistics webpage.

CMS Office of Minority Health Report
(April 25, 2017) In recognition of National Minority Health Month, the CMS Office of Minority Health has released a data highlight that – for the first time ever – examines Marketplace enrollment activity by racial and ethnic subgroup, as well as spoken and written language preference. 

Structural Racism and Health
A Collection of resources from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Visit the website

What’s Killing Our Children? Child and Infant Mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives
By Teshia G. Arambula Solomon, Felina M. Cordova, and Francisco Garcia
The very vulnerable demographic group of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) youth face unique and important challenges. The authors of a new paper from the National Academy of Medicine use the lens of infant and childhood mortality as a tool to recognize opportunities for action that could have an impact on this perhaps most critical indicator of the health of this population. The authors extract some lessons from the lived experiences of too many reservation and urban Indian communities and turn these tragic stories into useful tools for broader policy and health system change.
Read the article

Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks – National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks, derived from the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, which summarizes trends in health care disparities by race related to access, Heckler Report priorities, and National Quality Strategy priorities. Key findings include increases in suicide and mental health disparities, improvements in access to care since the Affordable Care Act, and poorer quality of care related to person-centeredness and care coordination.
Download the free report and slide deck
Guide to Preventing Readmissions Among Racially & Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries
As part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare, CMS OMH, in collaboration with the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and NORC at the University of Chicago, produced a Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries. This Guide is designed to equip hospital leaders, as well as QIN-QIOs and HENs, with guidance for addressing avoidable readmissions in this population. The Guide provides a set of action-oriented recommendations, as well as case examples of initiatives that may be applied to reduce readmissions in diverse populations.
Download the Guide

A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity: Community Strategies for Preventing Chronic Disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new Health Guide resource. The opening section discusses practices and principles for incorporating health equity goals into organizations’ activities. While the focus of the document is public health and community organizations, it provides great ideas and examples that are useful across settings.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to and Utilization of Care among Insured Adults
The Kaiser Family Foundation has a new issue brief out looking at the extent to which people of color may continue to experience disparities in access to and utilization of care even after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. The brief examines differences in access to and utilization of care for Black and Hispanic adults compared to white adults among those who are uninsured, enrolled in Medicaid, and privately insured, using data from the 2014 Kaiser Survey of Low-Income Americans.

Other Articles

Equity of Care - Culturally Competent Care
Sr. Carol Keehan, DC
Reprinted with permission of Health Administration Press from Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 250-252. Copyright 2013.

Lack of Diversity in Medical Research Is Bad for Your Health (National Journal)
Low participation of minority populations in clinical trials can lead to development of medicines that are dangerous for the people using them.