Emory Report

September 28, 1998

 Volume 51, No. 6

Thomas tapped to help eliminate racial disparities in health status

U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher has selected Stephen Thomas, associate professor in the School of Public Health, to join a panel of experts charged with improving understanding of how to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health status among U.S. citizens.

According to Thomas, President Bill Clinton has committed the nation to an ambitious goal by the year 2010--eliminating disparities in the six areas where potential exists to prevent disease and disability: infant mortality; cancer screening and management; diabetes; cardiovascular disease; HIV/AIDS; and immunization. This goal will be a major legacy of the president's Initiative on Race and will be the cornerstone of the Department of Health and Human Services' contribution to this initiative, said Thomas, who also directs Rollin's Institute for Minority Health Research.

"Compelling evidence that race and ethnicity correlate with persistent and often increasing health disparities among U.S. populations demands national attention,"

Thomas said. "Despite notable progress in the overall health of the nation, continuing disparities remain in the burden of illness and death experienced by blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska natives and Pacific Islanders compared to the U.S. population as a whole. Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health will require enhanced efforts at preventing disease, promoting health and delivering appropriate care.

"I am honored to be selected to serve the nation in this capacity, and I hope to make a meaningful contribution toward setting--and reaching--the year 2010 health objectives for minority populations."

-Lorri Preston

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