January 23, 2014
Photo: Stephen I. Katz M.D. Ph.D.
Photo: Stephen I. Katz M.D. Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

Last year, as part of the NIAMS National Multicultural Outreach Initiative (NMOI), we developed A Year of Health multicultural planners to make health information about bones, joints, muscles, and skin more accessible to people from underserved racial and ethnic communities.

Building on last year’s success, we created health planners for 2014 targeted to four multicultural audiences – African Americans; Hispanics/Latinos; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. The 2014 planners have been refreshed with new images, and have the same reminder stickers that were so popular last year for tracking medical appointments, blood tests, prescription refills and other important self-care activities.

I hope that you will once again partner with us to distribute the health planners that contain important health information and use the accompanying electronic toolkit to reach people in multicultural communities. The planners feature several NIH and NIAMS publications, some of which are now available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The electronic toolkit also features an image gallery of copyright-free multicultural photos and one-page downloadable and printable tip sheets on bones, joints, muscles, skin, and pain.

Last year, we distributed health planners to almost every state in the nation and to five U.S. territories, thanks in large part to the collective efforts of the NIAMS Coalition, the NMOI Work Groups, Federal partners, and many other organizations. As a result, we received thousands of visits to the NIAMS website and inquiries to the NIAMS Information Clearinghouse. Feedback from planner recipients indicates a need and desire for health planners that are tailored with culturally appropriate content and images. Clearly, we are making inroads into multicultural communities, but much more is needed. Let’s build on last year’s momentum to create even greater awareness among those who are underserved about the resources available from the NIH and the NIAMS.

To order bulk copies of A Year of Health planners free of charge, call the NIAMS toll-free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966) or email NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov. For more information, visit the National Multicultural Outreach Initiative home page.

Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institutes of Health

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