Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Two Plans With One Objective: Reduce Health Care Disparities A new plan recently released by US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides a common set of goals and objectives for public and private sector initiatives and partnerships to help racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved groups reach their full health potential. The National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity incorporates ideas, suggestions and comments from thousands of individuals and organizations across the country. Local groups can use the resource to identify which goals are most important for their communities and adopt the most effective strategies and actions tohelp reach them. Complementing the National Stakeholder Strategy, HHS released its own action plan, which outlines the goals and steps the agency will take to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. Goals of the plan include transforming health care and expanding access, building on the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) related to expanded insurance coverage, and increased access to care. The plan also calls for more opportunities to increase the number of students from populations underrepresented in the health professions, to train more people in medical interpretation to help serve patients with a limited command of English, and to train community workers to help people navigate the system. Both plans call for federal agencies and their partners to work together on social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities.