Arkansas Minority Health Commission
It was brought to the attention of the Arkansas Legislature in 1991 that disparities existed in the health status of minorities within our state. To address this issue, ACT 912 of the 1991 Arkansas General Assembly created the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. The ACT identifies “Minorities” as Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and American Indians. The Commission is made up of twelve commissioners. Two members of the Senate and two members of the House of Representatives serve at all times. Four members of the general public representing each congressional district are appointed by the governor. There are also four agency directors that serve specified terms. The ACT grants the commission the authority to obtain any information relating to health issues on minorities from any state agency, state supported hospital or state medical school. Mission Statement The Mission of The Arkansas Minority Health Commission is to assure all minority Arkansans access to health care that is equal to the care provided to other citizens of the state and to seek ways to provide education, address, treat, and prevent diseases and conditions that are prevalent among minority populations. The mission statement focuses on four areas of responsibility: * Study issues relating to the delivery of and access to health services to minorities in the state. * Identify any gaps in the health service delivery system that particularly affect minorities. * Make recommendations to the relevant agencies and to the legislature for improving the delivery of and access to the health services for minorities. * Study and make recommendations as to whether services are available to insure future minority health needs will be met. Vision The vision of Arkansas Minority Health Commission is equal access to quality health care for all Arkansans. Our Goal The goal of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission is to bridge the gap in the health status of the minority population and that of the majority population. To achieve this goal, the commission focuses on educating minorities on healthier lifestyles, awareness of services and accessibility within our current health care system, make recommendations to the state government, and addressing any disparities existing because of prejudice. Public Health Forums The Commission conducts Quarterly Meetings and Public Forums in order to present health care information to the citizens. These forums also allow the communities to voice their health care concerns to the commission. The Commission then works to identify the appropriate resources and entities to connect the community and individuals to the proper resources that will meet their health care needs. The Commission invites all agencies and community organizations to attend and take part in the forums. This allows the public to become aware of the services that these agencies and organizations provide.