Columbus – Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D - Columbus) proposed a resolution to eliminate health disparities which was adopted unanimously today at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Business Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The resolution urges the President and Congress to provide increased funding and other supports to the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate health disparities. Senator Tavares is a member of the Health and Human Services Standing Committee which is one of eight NCSL Standing Committees and has jurisdiction over state and federal health and humans services programs, legislation, regulations and policies. This includes: health care reform, public health, and more.

This resolution urges the President and Congress to support these efforts with increased funding to: reduce health disparities; provide quality care and efficiencies; improve health outcomes; increase cost-effectiveness to save money and; meet legislative, organizational, and accreditation standards.

"My colleagues today supported my efforts to address the disparate premature death and disease among racial and ethnic populations in America; to develop data tools to identify trends by race, nationality, ethnicity, gender and other characteristics and; to adopt the federal CLAS standards. We cannot eliminate these disparities and ensure health equity for all of our constituents unless we create the strategies and promising practices for the specific negatively impacted population(s),” stated Tavares.

The term health disparities refers to population-specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, quality of health care and access to health care services that exist across racial, ethnic and cultural groups. Disparities represent a lack of efficiency within the health care system and therefore account for unnecessary costs.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories.  NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. NCSL is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies.

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For more information about mental health awareness, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness at


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