Arkansas Minority Health Commission
It was brought to the attention of the Arkansas Legislature in 1991 that disparities existed in the health status of minorities within our state. To address this issue, ACT 912 of the 1991 Arkansas General Assembly created the Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC). The ACT identifies “Minorities” as Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and American Indians. The Commission is made up of twelve commissioners. Two members of the Senate and two members of the House of Representatives serve at all times. Four members of the general public representing each congressional district are appointed by the governor. There are also four agency directors that serve specified terms. The ACT grants the commission the authority to obtain any information relating to health issues on minorities from any state agency, state supported hospital or state medical school.
Mission Statement: The mission of the AMHC is to assure all minority Arkansans equitable access to preventive health care and seek ways to promote health and prevent diseases and conditions that are prevalent among minority populations.
The commission supports its mission through:
- Studying issues relating to the delivery of and access to health services for minorities in Arkansas;
- Identifying any gaps in the health service delivery system that particularly affect minorities;
- Making recommendations to relevant agencies and to the legislature for improving the delivery and access to health services for minorities; and
- Studying and making recommendations as to whether adequate services are available to ensure future minority health needs will be met.
Vision: The AMHC's vision is that minority Arkansans have equal opportunity and access to health, health care and preventive well care.
Goal: The goal of the AMHC is to be a catalyst in bridging the gap in the health status of the minority population and that of the majority population in Arkansas. To accomplish this, the commission focuses on addressing existing disparities in minority communities, educating these communities on healthier lifestyles, promoting awareness of services and accessibility within our healthcare system and making recommendations to relevant agencies, the governor and to the state legislature.
Public Health Forums: The Commission conducts Quarterly Meetings and Public Forums in order to present health care information to the citizens. These forums also allow the communities to voice their health care concerns to the commission. The Commission then works to identify the appropriate resources and entities to connect the community and individuals to the proper resources that will meet their health care needs. The Commission invites all agencies and community organizations to attend and take part in the forums. This allows the public to become aware of the services that these agencies and organizations provide.