Reducing health disparity among New Jerseyans is an overarching goal of the
New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH).
Health disparities are defined as significant differences between one population and another.
The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 describes
these disparities as differences in "the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence,
morbidity, mortality or survival rates." There are several factors that contribute
to health disparities. Many different populations are affected by disparities
including racial and ethnic minorities, residents of rural areas, women, children,
the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
Healthy New Jersey 2010: A Health Agenda for the
First Decade of the New Millennium was planned in the late 1990s and released in June, 2001.
Following the federal Healthy People 2010 initiative,
Healthy NJ 2010 established the elimination of disparities in health outcomes based on race
and/or ethnicity as one of its two overarching goals, the other being increasing the quality
and length of healthy life. To that end, every objective that is measured based on individuals
has data and targets for each race/ethnicity for which data were available at the
time the baselines were established in 2000. In many cases, data systems were not collecting data
by race/ethnicity or were collecting a limited set of races/ethnicities (e.g., White, Black,
and Other). Also, for some objectives, the number of events for a particular
racial or ethnic group was too small to calculate a reliable rate. As data collection systems
have improved their race and ethnicity data collection and as some racial/ethnic populations
have increased in New Jersey, more data have been added to Healthy NJ 2010 as can be
seen in the Healthy New Jersey 2010 Update
published in May, 2005. The Center for Health Statistics also produced a report specifically
addressing health disparities called
Healthy New Jersey 2010: Assessing Progress by Race and Ethnicity in July, 2008.
Healthy NJ 2010 objectives will continue to be tracked as
indicators within the NJSHAD system.
Healthy New Jersey 2020
updated the standard of reporting
data by race and ethnicity to include data for Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians for every
objective based on person-level data. When a single year of data did not provide enough events
to calculate reliable rates for all racial/ethnic groups, three-year averages were used, if available.
For some objectives, three years of data combined still did not include enough events to
calculate statistically reliable rates and are indicated as such in Healthy NJ 2020 documents.
For some data sources outside of NJDOH, racial/ethnic data are not available or are not
available for all four groups used in Healthy NJ 2020. Select Healthy NJ 2020 objectives
are being tracked as
indicators within the NJSHAD system.
In 2007, NJDOH released its Strategic Plan to Eliminate Health Disparities in New Jersey.
The plan set a targeted agenda
for the reduction of health disparities among minority populations. One of the goals
was to standardize the collection and reporting of race/ethnicity data across the Department,
so the Center for Health Statistics was charged with creating coding guidelines
for the collection and dissemination of race and ethnicity data by programs
within NJDOH. The resulting guidelines were published in December, 2007,
in a document titled
Race and Ethnicity Coding Guidelines for the New Jersey Department of Health
and its Grantees. Consistent with the
1997 OMB-15 directive,
it provides a description of the mutually exclusive race and ethnicity categories and also
provides guidance on how to collect data on primary language spoken in the home.
The Guidelines establish the gold standard by which all NJDOH race and ethnicity data should
be collected and disseminated.
of the Newest New Jerseyans: A Resource Guide updates health care providers statewide
on the health status and behaviors of New Jersey's growing foreign-born population. The report
includes important demographic information and geographic trends related to this population;
compares select health outcomes and behaviors of state residents by race/ethnicity and
nativity status; and examines the impact of duration of U.S. residence on foreign-born
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
includes data related to arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular health, cancer screening, diabetes,
diet and exercise, health care access and coverage, immunizations, overweight and obesity,
substance use, and more.
NJDOH's Office of Minority and Multicultural Health
is leading the effort to reduce and eventually eliminate the gaps in health status between
New Jersey's minority and multicultural communities and in the state as a whole.
The information provided above is from the New Jersey Department of Health's
NJSHAD Web site (http://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published
on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation:
"Retrieved Fri, 29 August 2014 18:23:56
from New Jersey Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics,
State Health Assessment Data Web site: http://nj.gov/health/shad".