Administration launches efforts to reduce health disparities

Ethnic and racial minorities have less access to preventive care, more chances of developing diabetes and heart disease and a lower probability of getting quality care when they're sick, numerous studies show.

The Obama administration is hoping to address those disparities with the release Friday of two strategic plans. The first is a Health and Human Services action plan outlining goals and actions for the department, such as collecting better data on minority health and training more minority doctors and nurses.

HHS also released a national stakeholder strategy that sets common objectives for public- and private-sector initiatives; the strategy was coordinated by HHS' Office of Minority Health.

"For the first time, the United States has a coordinated road map designed to give everyone the chance to live a healthy life," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement announcing the strategies. "We all need to work together to combat this persistent problem so that we can build healthier communities and a stronger nation."