Dr. William Remington Jr.
Dr. William Remington Jr.
April is National Minority Health Month, and this year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) and its partners are highlighting the role individuals and organizations can play in helping to reduce health disparities and improve the health of racial and ethnic minority and American Indian/Alaska native communities.

The theme for this year’s National Minority Health Month is “Give Your Community a Boost!” The theme focuses on the continued importance of COVID-19 vaccination, including boosters, as one of the strongest tools to protect communities from COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected communities of color, according to a news release from the Minority Health Coalition of Marion County. “Give Your Community A Boost!” also supports the many other efforts happening in communities across the country to advance health equity.

In recognition of National Minority Health Month, over 200 people gathered in Indianapolis on April 28 to honor the Indiana Department of Health commissioner, director and chief medical officer of the Marion County Public Health Department and 31 county health officers in Indiana for their leadership and guidance through the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The theme of the event was “Protecting Local Communities” and “Strengthening the Frontline, Keeping Calm and Carrying On.”

Special awards were presented to Kristina Box, M.D., Indiana Department of Health commissioner, and Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director and chief medical officer of the Marion County Public Health Department. Health officers from around the state in attendance received medallions.

In a separate response letter, Kosciusko County Public Health Officer Dr. William J. Remington Jr. said, “I am honored to receive this recognition from the Minority Health Coalition. Health officers throughout Indiana provided key leadership in the tremendous public health response during the darkest months of the COVID pandemic. Hopefully, Hoosiers will take note and support the development of an even more robust public health infrastructure in Indiana for the years to come.”

Dr. Jerome Adams, former U.S. surgeon general, and Dr. Paul Halverson, dean of the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, were in attendance to offer a toast and congratulations to the group.

“These health officers have contributed so much to the health of Indiana, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are very pleased to recognize them, said Jarnell Burks Craig, president of the Minority Health Coalition of Marion County.

“Without all the hard work of the many health providers and public health leaders in Indiana, we would not be where we are today,” said Carl Ellison, president and CEO of the Indiana Minority Health Coalition.