January 21, 2016
Stephen I. Katz M.D. Ph.D.
Stephen I. Katz M.D. Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

Over the past year, the NIAMS has made great strides in creating culturally and linguistically appropriate health information and distributing it through communication channels most used by multicultural communities. These activities reflect our commitment to implement the NIAMS Language Access Plan, part of NIH’s broader effort to help ensure that people with limited English proficiency have meaningful access to NIH programs, activities and resources.

People of Hispanic origin are now the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority, and many turn to the Internet for their health information. Our website data indicate that visits to the NIAMS Spanish-language pages often comprise 50 percent or more of traffic to the site. Last year, we responded to this high demand by creating a new and improved Spanish-language website that is visually appealing, easier to navigate, and accessible on mobile devices. In addition, as more Hispanics seek health information through social media, we have risen to the challenge by engaging them in their own language through Facebook and Twitter.

On behalf of the NIH, the NIAMS leads the Trans-NIH American Indian/Alaska Native Health Communications and Information Work Group. Last year, the Work Group collaborated with the Indian Health Service and the Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Aging to create a new electronic newsletter for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Honoring Health: Resources for American Indians and Alaska Natives features information on health topics relevant to Native people. It also highlights events, training, and funding opportunities from across NIH and other federal agencies.

The Institute’s A Year of Health planners, developed as part of the NIAMS National Multicultural Outreach Initiative, continue to be a valuable health tool for people from diverse communities. These four culturally tailored planners offer access to NIAMS health information and resources for managing conditions of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin, many of which are available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. In addition, a social media toolkit is available on the NIAMS website to help voluntary and professional organizations promote the health planners and other NIAMS publications.

I encourage you to explore these resources and to pass the information along to interested colleagues, family members, and friends. 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), email niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov, or visit the NIAMS website.

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

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