As a result of remarkable scientific and medical achievements of the 20th century, we now know that full and quality health is within reach for all Americans. Yet, despite these achievements, the burdens of inadequate health services too often falls more heavily on some population groups more so than on others. The fact that this "gap" in health status occurs more frequently among people with low income and people belonging to racial/ethnic minority groups, in particular African Americans, has been well documented nationally. Not only does the "gap" in the health status experienced by these groups include consistently higher excess mortality and overall poor health as measured by infant mortality rates and disability levels, but it also involves disparities in health-related information and resources. This lack of information, in turn, leads to behaviors not conducive to good health.



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