April 2021 is the National Minority Health Month and the National Osteoporosis Foundation believes that providing awareness and education about bone health will help bridge the disparity gap in healthcare.
“We must proactively address disparities in healthcare and help raise awareness about bone health for all Americans.” Claire Gill, CEO National Osteoporosis Foundation
Three questions to Claire Gill
Q: What are the steps that the National Osteoporosis Foundation has taken to be part of the solution to bridging the gap in health disparities?
A: As the leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis, fractures and promoting bone health, we believe that everything we do should include should promote diversity and inclusion.
We created a very complete site in Spanish more than 4 years ago and have worked with consultants to ensure that the materials we have available in English and Spanish are based on health literacy and cultural pertinence, sensitive to our audience. We have also partnered with members of our Coalition to Strengthen Bone Health to reach Black Americans regarding myths and information related to osteoporosis in the Black community. In our most recent report commissioned from the actuarial firm, Milliman, we also were able to include data about how osteoporosis and fractures impact different ethnic populations nationally and in each state.
Q: COVID-19 has made the disparity gap even more evident since the number of serious cases has specially affected ethnic communities, has NOF thought about providing resources specific to Covid-19 to maintain their bone health during this emergency?
A: Recognizing the impact of how COVID-19 affects patients and caregivers, NOF recently surveyed its patient and caregiver community to ask about access to care, availability of medication/treatment, and other healthcare concerns. Our experts shared highlights from the survey and responded to some questions and concerns through webinars. We are also planning to offer more materials and resources in English and Spanish about prevention, testing and other issues related to bone health. They will be available at NOF.org and our Spanish site, huesosanos.org.
Q: What message would the National Osteoporosis Foundation like to share during National Minority Health Month?
A: NOF is committed to improving awareness and education about the impact of osteoporosis and bone health to underserved audiences. We need to dispel the myth that osteoporosis only impacts elderly white people. Too many minorities suffer fractures due to osteoporosis and receive inadequate care.
We must do a better job of improving the bone health of ALL Americans. We are well aware of unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare delivery for osteoporosis, something that has affected our ethnic communities at a higher rate.