Maryland Office of Minority Health 
and Health Disparities (MHHD)
MHHD February 2018 Newsletter Highlights
MHHD Director's Message


I am delighted to serve the residents of Maryland and to be part of the Healthy Maryland movement.  Opportunities to be healthy and to stay well should be available to all - especially vulnerable and disadvantaged persons within Maryland's 23 counties and in Baltimore City.  Since 2004, we have achieved much, but more needs to be done. We invite you to join our team and send us fresh ideas for moving forward, to support our evidenced based programs, and to help us remove barriers.  Together, let us join hands in improving health outcomes and increasing access to quality health care.  Come join us!
MHHD Director, Noel Brathwaite, PhD, MSPH 
Meet the New MHHD Director - Dr. Noel Brathwaite

Dr. Noel Brathwaite , the new director of MHHD, is an international public health expert who gained experiences working with health issues in the United States, the Caribbean, and parts of West and East Africa. Prior to joining MHHD, he organized the Greater Los Angeles Health Network to collaboratively tackle urban and suburban issues of health that continue to disproportionately impact people of African descent. Some of his other past experiences include leadership positions with the Florida Department of Health, the University of Miami School of Medicine Cancer Center, Morehouse School of Medicine International and Public Health Program, and as Director of Research in Trinidad. 

He is a graduate of Loma Linda University, earned a Doctorate from the University of Maryland, and pursued Postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Brathwaite also studied at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), which is affiliated with the University of Toronto, Canada.  
February is Black History Month

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that, hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that" 

-- Dr. Martin Luther King 

Thoughts from MHHD Staff:  "This powerful and inspirational quote can be applied to so many aspects of our lives. For example, personally the darkness can represent stagnation, loneliness, and effortlessness and the light can be represented by knowledge, commitment, and goal seeking which can drive out the darkness from your life.  Applied to our office, the darkness can be the belief that health disparities do not exist or that the impact is minimal, while the light represents the data and studies that prove the existence and high impact of health disparities on minority communities.  With the light and with love- rather than hate, in all situations we can move forward. "
Black History Month Resources

Visit the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health Website  for more information on Black History Month, resources, and upcoming events!

Join the conversation.  Share your stories, experiences, and thoughts about Black History Month by using the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth. 

Building Black History:   Click here to read about the Library of Congress's  partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture to bring a newly-found treasure of African-American history to light. Plus: finding exploring family histories, celebrating Frederick Douglass' birthday, hearing the voices of slavery online, and more.

Health Disparities Data Resources:

Health of African American non-Hispanic Population

Health Disparities in HIV / AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB

February is also American Heart Month.  Visit the American Heart Association website for more information and heart healthy resources.
Join MHHD for our Black History Month Event on Feb. 27!

Webinar :   Data Perspectives, Prevention and Wellness of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases Among African Americans

When: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Time: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Featured Speakers:
  • Dr. David Mann, Epidemiologist, MHHD
  • Dr. Sadie Peters, Medical Director, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, MDH

Local Location: MDH, 201 West Preston Street, Conference Room L2

**Please note:  Registration is required for both in-person and remote webinar presentations.  

MHHD Programs 2017 Year-in-Review Highlights

Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance (MOTA)
The MOTA Program began in 2001 under the auspices of the Cigarette Restitution Fund Program (CRFP). CRFP was established by Maryland State Legislation and began operations on July 1, 2000 as a major initiative within MDH. MOTA was established to implement the Cigarette Restitution Fund Act's provision requiring outreach and technical assistance to minority communities to ensure their participation in the tobacco and cancer community health coalitions.   

Educating Minorities of Benefits Received After Consumer Enrollment (EMBRACE)
On August 15, 2015, MHHD was awarded a new five-year award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. The award has, as its goal, increased rates of health insurance, increased use of primary care services, and reduced rates of Emergency Department visits and hospital readmissions in six zip codes in Prince George's County.They had high rates of insurance prior to implementation of the insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  

Asthma Program
MHHD partnered with the St. Mary's County Health Department to provide funding and technical assistance to implement an asthma control program. Addressing these barriers will lead to improved health outcomes, decreased Emergency Department utilization, and decreased costs to the healthcare system.  
Health and Homelessness Work group of the Maryland Interagency Council on Homelessness 
MHHD chairs the Health and Homelessness Work group of the Maryland Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH). The ICH was established by SB 796, Chapter 341 (2014) to examine statewide initiatives aimed at ending homelessness throughout the State of Maryland. The goal of the Health and Homelessness Workgroup is to improve the emergency services network serving the homelessness to prevent a return to hospitals or jails.  

MHHD Health Equity Conference
MHHD hosted its 14th Annual Statewide Health Equity Conference Bridging Health Equity Across Communities: Coordination, Collaboration, & Opportunities in Maryland, on December 7, 2017 at Martin's West in Baltimore. The event was co-sponsored by the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration, Office of Workforce Development and Training, and the Maryland Center for Health Equity, School of Public Health, University of Maryland.  Approximately 400 people attended the conference.   
Looking forward - April is Minority Health Month

Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health website to begin to prepare for April's National Minority Health Month events.  Download resources, graphics, and list your month's events on their calendar of events.