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April 14, 2021

Barragán Bill to Support Minority Health Disparities Research Passes the House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      

April 14, 2021


Washington, D.C. — Today Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán’s bipartisan bill, the John Lewis National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Endowment Revitalization Act, passed the House of Representatives on voice vote.


The Research Endowment Program at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) provides funding to the endowments of academic institutions across the country. This bill will once again allow for current and former NIMHD or Health Resources and Services Administration Centers of Excellence to receive research endowment funding, money that is critical in the fight to reduce minority health disparities.


“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted and brought increased public awareness to the enormous scope and scale of public health disparities in our country,” said Congresswoman Barragán. “It’s fitting that this bill comes before us during National Minority Health Month, because this legislation is a necessary step towards ending the public health disparities facing communities of color. We need to understand why people in minority communities, like those in my district, are more likely to get certain illnesses. It’s a tragic reality in minority communities across the country, but solutions are out there. The increased funding will directly benefit schools like Charles Drew University in Willowbrook, a leading historically Black medical institution in my district. This legislation is critical to communities throughout my district because it will fund the research that will help us find solutions and save lives.”


The legislation would increase investments in schools conducting critical research into minority health disparities. The program’s goals are to promote minority health and health disparities research capacity and infrastructure, increase the diversity and strength of the scientific workforce, and enhance the recruitment and retention of individuals from health disparity populations that are underrepresented in the scientific workforce.


The eligible institutions are:


  • Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
  • Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Creighton University School of Medicine
  • Dillard University
  • Florida A&M University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Florida International University
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Howard University College of Pharmacy
  • University of Kansas Medical Center
  • Meharry Medical College
  • University of Montana School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences
  • University of New Mexico School of Medicine
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center
  • University of Puerto Rico School of Dentistry
  • San Diego State University
  • State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany
  • SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • Tuskegee University, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Xavier University of Louisiana, College of Pharmacy


In supporting the critical role this legislation will play in researching disparities, Charles Drew University in California’s 44th Congressional District provided the following statement:


“Restoring eligibility would allow the University to continue its historic focus on research to close the gap between the burden of illness and premature mortality experienced more commonly by communities of color, as well as other medically underserved populations, as compared to the nation as a whole. It would also help to grow and enhance the University’s capacity and infrastructure for health disparities research within the Urban Health Institute.”


The full text of the bill is here.



Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington. She serves as chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security.