January 22, 2015
Photo: Stephen I. Katz M.D. Ph.D.
Photo: Stephen I. Katz M.D. Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

The NIH and NIAMS have a long-standing commitment to ensure that everyone living in the United States has the same opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. One important way we achieve this goal is to make our health information culturally and linguistically appropriate for diverse populations. It is in this vein that the NIH has recently developed its Language Access Plan, which establishes the steps NIH will take to help ensure that people with limited English proficiency have meaningful access to NIH programs, activities and resources.

The NIAMS is one of several NIH Institutes at the forefront of making health information more accessible to people from underserved racial and ethnic communities. For the third consecutive year, the NIAMS is distributing a set of multicultural health planners, A Year of Health, as part of its National Multicultural Outreach Initiative (NMOI). The 2015 health planners target four multicultural audiences – African Americans; Hispanics/Latinos; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. They offer 12 months of health information on conditions of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. In addition, the reminder stickers and large spaces for notes help people proactively manage their chronic conditions. The health planners also direct people to the NMOI website to access the entire suite of NIAMS health publications, many of which are available in SpanishChinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

We are pleased that experts in the health education field have commended our efforts to make health information relevant and accessible to diverse communities. The 2014 bilingual (Spanish/English) health planner recently received a Gold Award (the highest honor) in the Health Promotion category from the Health Information Resource Center (HIRC), a national clearinghouse for consumer health professionals who work in health education fields. The NIAMS is one of three NIH Institutes that received recognition in its National Health Information Awards Program.

I hope that you will join me in encouraging multicultural communities to download copies of the health planner and the accompanying electronic toolkit, which are available on the NMOI website. To order free publications on diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin, call the NIAMS toll-free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966) or email niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov.

For more information, visit the NMOI website.

Last Reviewed: 01/22/2015