The 2018-2022 NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan

Charged with leading scientific research to improve minority health and reduce health disparities, NIMHD is developing the 2018-2022 NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan. Working in collaboration with NIH Institutes and Centers, the NIH Office of the Director and in consultation with the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities, NIMHD will produce a plan that sets the direction and goals for minority health and health disparity research for the coming years.

Stakeholder engagement is core to developing the strategic plan. As indicated in the graphic below, NIMHD has been engaged in the planning process since 2012. We have obtained input from a variety of groups, including experts in research, medicine, public health and public policy from across NIH and externally through working groups, workshops and town hall meetings.

In 2015, NIMHD launched a science visioning that included publishing a Request for Information. The process identified 10 recommendations, such as improving the scientific study of the causes of health disparities, advancing the methods and measurement needs for the studies, and refining interventions to reduce disparities and improve minority health. NIMHD wove those recommendations into the strategic planning effort.

Strategic Planning Process

Next, NIMHD will hold listening sessions to receive community-level input. The listening sessions will be organized around the three thematic areas of the strategic plan’s framework: scientific research, research-sustaining activities, and outreach, collaboration and dissemination.

Scientific research. This area contains four goals:

  • Promote research to understand and to improve minority health
  • Advance scientific understanding of the causes of health disparities
  • Develop and test interventions to reduce health disparities
  • Create and improve scientific methods, metrics, measures, and tools to study the causes of health disparities and to develop solutions.

Research-sustaining activities. This area contains three goals:

  • Support training to enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce and to promote training of minority health and health disparities researchers
  • Strengthen the national capacity of institutions to conduct minority health and health disparities research
  • Assure appropriate representation of minority populations in NIH-funded research

Outreach, collaboration, and dissemination. This area contains two goals:

  • Promote evidence-based community engagement, dissemination, and implementation of minority health and health disparities research best practices
  • Cultivate and expand a community of minority health and health disparities researchers and advocates.

In fall 2018, NIMHD, on behalf of the NIH Institutes and Centers, will publish an innovative strategic plan that will fuel a leap forward in the fields of minority health and health disparities.


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  • Establish priorities among the health disparities research activities that NIH agencies are authorized to carry out;
  • Establish objectives regarding health disparities research activities;
  • Describe the means for achieving the objectives, and designate the date by which the objectives are expected to be completed;
  • Serve as a broad binding statement of policies regarding minority health disparities research and other health disparities research activities of the agencies;
  • Promote coordination and collaboration among the agencies conducting or supporting minority health or other health disparities research.