Civil Rights Group Highlights Minority Health Disparities

Left to right, National Action Network (NAN) Health Care Award recipient and Aetna Foundation President Garth Graham, MD; Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett; NAN President and Founder Rev. Al Sharpton; and award recipient and Kaiser Permanente Chairman George Halvorson attend the inaugural NAN Health Care luncheon in Washington, DC.

Minority health care took center stage at a recent event hosted by the National Action Network (NAN) in Washington, DC.

The inaugural NAN Health Care luncheon was created to continue a dialogue between community leaders, stakeholders, experts, and consumers to address serious and preventable health issues taking place in minority communities.
“We want to partner and energize our base,” said NAN President and Founder Rev. Al Sharpton. “Many of us are preaching life at the pulpit, but serving death in the kitchen. It’s time to use our pulpits to educate people on the importance of health.”

“Ensuring that all Americans have adequate health care remains a major issue in our country,” said IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux. “Studies show Hispanics and African-Americans are disproportionately affected by such health issues as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The time has come to put all Americans on a path towards wellness.”

Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett served as keynote speaker. Jarrett addressed some of the hiccups that took place in the early implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) website, but stressed the importance of getting coverage for the uninsured.

NAN recognized three health care industry leaders for their work in addressing health disparities in minority communities. Representatives of CVS Caremark, Kaiser Permanente and the Aetna Foundation each received awards.