Minority Health:

Information on Activities of HHS's Office of Minority Health

HRD-90-140FS: Published: Jun 6, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 6, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Minority Health's (OMH) program activities.

GAO found that: (1) the overall OMH goal is to improve the health status of minorities, but OMH does not have specific goals for each minority group; (2) OMH does not have a written strategic plan, but is expected to complete one in fiscal year (FY) 1991; (3) from FY 1986 to FY 1990, the annual OMH budget increased from $1.9 million to about $8 million, and its staffing level increased from 11 to 17; (4) for FY 1991, the administration has requested budget and staff increases to approximately $19.5 million and to 30 staff members; (5) OMH said its staff were not assigned to specific minority population issues; (6) although HHS does not maintain separate data on its total funding for minority health problems, the Public Health Service has categorized its expenditures for minority health activities; (7) despite OMH attempts to achieve balanced representation among all four minority populations, most of the grants awarded served a specific minority group; (8) OMH funds health-related activities that cover the targeted minority groups through two general grant programs; (9) of the 881 grant applications under OMH grant programs, 166 would serve one or more specific minority groups; (10) OMH said it manages grant achievements through quarterly and final reports; (11) OMH has not conducted an overall evaluation of grantee performance; and (12) OMH has not conducted any specific review of minority representation in its grant programs.

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