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National Minority Health Month: Lee Health Highlights Change, Support, Access

Lee Health in the Community
Author name: Rachel Walter and Stephanie Wardein

National Minority Health Month graphic

National Minority Health Month in April calls attention to the health disparities that affect communities of color and often lead to avoidable illness and premature death.

The CDC reports that disparities are the result of systemic racism, barriers to health services, inadequate housing as well as gaps in education, income and wealth. Though smaller in size, minority populations are actually more likely to experience the negative effects of barriers to healthcare. That includes declining mental health and subpar nutritional habits.

Lee County faces the same challenges. According to the 2020 Lee County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), Black and Hispanic/Latino communities struggle with accessing healthcare or health insurance.  They get diagnosed with more chronic conditions and report highly stressful days.

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities encourages us to drive health equity and community health through health education, early detection, and control of disease complications.

COVID-19 Impact on Communities of Color

COVID-19 has affected all of us in one way or another, but minority populations face a disproportionate burden nationwide. Communities of color are more likely to get infected, be hospitalized, and/or die due to COVID-19, according to the CDC.

Of all groups, Native Americans face the highest risk: They are 1.7 times more likely to become infected, 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 2.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19.

Both Hispanic/Latino and Black communities are about three times more likely to be hospitalized and about two times more likely to die from COVID-19.

The CDC also acknowledges that race/ethnicity is a helpful indicator for other social determinants such as socioeconomic status, exposure to COVID-19 at work, and access to healthcare services.

Maximize Your Health with Primary Care

So where can we start helping to address all of this? The most important thing to have – an ongoing source of support and everyday healthcare – is a primary care physician. 

These trained experts help promote prevention with screenings, family planning, routine check-ups, and health risk assessments to help you reach your health goals and stay healthy. They take the time to listen and understand each individual’s health needs.

Without a primary care physician, we’re more at risk to experience negative health later in life or during a global pandemic. Take a look at our Lee Health Primary Care physicians to get your health on track today.

Primary care is something that everyone needs and deserves, and COVID-19 has made everything a bit more difficult, including finding a doctor. 

Lee Health understands that finding your trusted partner in health is a tall task—where to begin? As your local nonprofit healthcare system, the health of our community is our priority, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. 

Make health a priority today – for you and your family – by connecting with our Lee Community Healthcare clinics. Conveniently located across the region, LCH offers high-quality, compassionate care to our uninsured and under-resourced communities.

  • Lee Community Healthcare

    Helping community members navigate care options and find access to doctors, tests, pediatrics, women's care, and more.

Lee Health recognizes National Minority Health Month as a vision for the future of health equity. We recognize the impact of COVID-19 on our communities of color on national, state, and local levels, and continue to stand by our community partners and leaders to work toward actionable change for the health of all in our community.

Rachel Walter, Community Programs Coordinator and Stephanie Wardein, System Director of Community Affairs