Own Your Health: Empowering Women During National Minority Health Month

By Millicent Gorham

Every April, we celebrate National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the unique health challenges faced by communities of color. The legacy of structural racism in the U.S. continues to have a devastating impact on health outcomes in communities of color. These include higher rates of chronic disease, lack of adequate healthcare insurance, and other social barriers such as education, housing, childcare, access to clean air, clean water and healthy foods.

AWHP recognizes that this month provides us with a critical opportunity to ensure that every woman and girl has access to the preventive health knowledge and behaviors needed to take charge of their health. Here are four tips to help you center your well-being this National Minority Health Month. By working in collaboration throughout the healthcare community, we can advance policies that increase patient access to care and close persistent disparities.

Here are four things all women can do to improve their health outcomes.

Know Your Numbers: Become familiar with key health indicators like blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Work with your doctor to create a personalized plan to regulate these levels. These numbers can provide early warning signs for serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes, which disproportionately affect minority women. Learn more about how to monitor these numbers here.

Find Your Voice, Advocate for Yourself: Don’t be a passive participant in your healthcare journey. Be your own health advocate! Write down your questions before your visit to a healthcare provider, express your concerns honestly, and do not hesitate to seek a second opinion if something feels off. Learn more about the questions you should be asking at your doctor’s visits here.

Prioritize Mental Well-Being: In our busy lives, mental well-being can get pushed aside. Unfortunately, however, stress takes a toll on our physical health too. Make time for activities that help you de-stress and bring you joy. Meditating, spending time in nature, walking, dancing, or taking a warm bath can all be powerful tools. Get inspired with some self-care ideas here.

Nourish Your Body: Food is more than sustenance. Prioritize a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and drink plenty of water. These choices can help you maintain optimal health and prevent diseases. Celebrate your cultural heritage with some recipe ideas here.

National Minority Health Month is only the start to the conversation on how to elevate your health. Throughout the year, AWHP encourages you to explore resources like the Department of Health & Human Services Office of Minority Health to find healthcare providers, access screenings, and navigate the healthcare system. Prioritizing your health is an investment in your future.

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