CBC Healthbraintrust

Join the conversation on how we can work together to improve health outcomes for all AmericansSign Up

Subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter TODAY!

Kelly Report

The full report can be viewed here 


1.    Overall: African Americans have higher rates of mortality than any other racial or ethnic group for 8 of the top 10 causes of death. 

2.    Cancer: Rates for African Americans are 10% higher than those for Americans of European descent. 

3.    Diabetes: African American’s are nearly two times more likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.

4.    Homicide: African Americans are six times more likely than whites to be victims of a homicide.

5.    HIV/AIDS: While Black/African Americans account for 13% of the total U.S. population, they account for almost half (46%) of all new HIV infections

6.    Kidney Disease: African Americans make up more than one third of all U.S. patients receiving dialysis for kidney failure despite representing only 13% of the overall U.S. population. 

Colorectal Cancer Fast Facts:
-    According to the NIH, CRC is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and second most common among women.
-    African Americans have a 20% higher incidence rate and a 45% higher mortality rate from CRC than White Americans.
-    Between 1960 and 2006, CRC mortality rate for White men dropped 39%, increased 28% for black men.
-    The 5 year survival rate for White Americans is almost double the rate for African Americans.
-    African American men should receive their first screening at 45. Nearly half of all African Americans do not get screened at the recommended time.

HCV Fast Facts:
-    3 million Americans are thought to have HCV, but 75% are unaware of their infection.
-    African Americans account for 25% of all HCV cases.
-    According to the CDC, HCV-related chronic liver is the leading cause of death for African Americans aged 45-65.
-    HCV is curable. Cure rates are now at 95% for African Americans.

HIV/AIDS Fast Facts:
-    The annual number of HIV infections has dropped by more than two-thirds. But 1.2 million people in the U.S. live with HIV. 
-    One in seven people are unaware that they are infected
-    African Americans make up 46% of new HIV infections and 44% of the total HIV-positive population.
-    African American men have new HIV infection rates seven times higher than White men; African American women have new infection rates twenty times higher than White women.
-    African American women account for 29% of new HIV infections, a sharp decrease over the past ten years. But HIV incidence has increased in African American men, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM) aged 13-24 years.

Lupus Fast Facts:
-    An estimated 1.5 million Americans suffer from Lupus
-    It takes an average of 6 years for someone with lupus to receive an accurate diagnosis
-    Lupus can impact any organ or tissue including, kidneys, joints, heart, brain, blood system. And skin
-    The root causes of lupus are not known and there is no cure 
-    90 percent of all people affected by Lupus are women
-    African Americans are three to four times more likely to develop lupus. Lupus affects 1 in 537 young African American women.
-    Minority women tend to develop lupus at a younger age, experience more serious complications, and have higher mortality rates three times that of White women 

Mental Health Fast Facts
-    Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in developed countries like the U.S.
-    One out of five Americans have a diagnosable mental illness
-    Approximately only half of the children and adults with mental illnesses have access to proven treatments that can help them.
-    Black Americans are less likely to use mental health services than White Americans

Oral Health Fast Facts
-    African Americans suffer from disproportionate rates of tooth loss and untreated dental caries.
-    42% of African American adults have untreated dental disease, compared to 22% of White Americans. 
-    Untreated tooth decay among children ages two-eight is twice as high for Hispanic and African American children, compared to White children. 
-    44% of White children receive dental sealants which are used to prevent cavities, compared to 31% of African American and Asian children. 

Sleep Disparities Fast Facts:
-    28-40% of the U.S. population sleeps for 6 hours or less each night
-    Insufficient sleep has been associated with weight gain, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, shorter lifespan, and neurocognitive impairment.
-    African Americans were 41% more likely than Whites to be short sleepers (6 or fewer hours).
-    Sleep apnea and insomnia are associated with cardiovascular disease and psychiatric illness.
-    African Americans are more likely to have sleep apnea and suffer from greater severity of sleep apnea than White Americans.



The Kelly Report on Health Disparities in America focuses on these 5 Key Areas to Achieving Health Equity
1.)    Access 
2.)    Workforce Diversity
3.)    Innovation & Research
4.)    Community Engagement
5.)    Federal Action on Healthcare


History has shown us that lack of access to healthcare, health insurance, and health providers has contributed to the gaps we observe in national health outcomes.

Access to comprehensive, quality health care services is important for the achievement of health equity and for increasing the quality of a healthy life for everyone.

Recommendations of the Kelly Report

•    Ensure full implementation of Medicaid expansion
•    Enhance the availability of national health data to better address the needs of vulnerable populations, including having data broken down by race, ethnicity, and gender
•    Support health center service delivery sites in medically underserved areas (urban and rural) and place support programs that encourage primary care providers to practice in communities with shortages 
•    Prioritize prevention and disease management that will serve to improve quality of health care in all populations
•    Support efforts to make healthcare more affordable
•    Support the utilization of trusted community members, such as Community Health Workers in health care delivery

Workforce Diversity - Research confirms that minority patients are more likely to adhere to the health care recommendations provided by someone who looks like them. Underserved populations typically suffer higher rates of health disparities, particularly chronic and preventable diseases. 

Recommendations of the Kelly Report
•    Expand training programs that bring new and diverse workers into the healthcare and public health workforce
•    Develop programming that exposes students to career options within the healthcare professions
•    Promote programming that develops hands-on and interactive approaches to exposure that include mentoring as a priority
•    Support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math within primary and high schools
•    Create medical and research based “shadowing” and “mentoring” programs, scholarships, and research and summer enrichment programs
•    Support efforts to expand minority health care professionals in leadership positions
•    Expand healthcare occupations that qualify under the National Health Service Corps Service Loan Repayment Program
•    Support funding for historically black colleges and universities and other institutions serving minority populations

Innovation & Research - We are beginning to fully recognize how innovations in digital technology affect the ways health care is delivered and how individuals manage their own health. We must increase investment in digital and biotechnology and increase funding for the basic sciences if we are to revolutionize healthcare policy to the benefit of vulnerable populations. 

Recommendations of the Kelly Report

•    Increase participation of minorities in clinical trials
•    Streamline grant administration for health disparities funding
•    Increase the availability, quality, and use of data to improve the health of minority populations
•    Support the advancement of culturally and linguistically appropriate services
•    Promote data sharing between health systems stakeholders such as health department surveillance data and hospital assessment data
•    Promote the healthcare interpreting profession as an essential component of the healthcare workforce to improve access and quality of care for people with limited English proficiency
•    Support investment in innovative digital technologies, cloud computing, and medicalized smartphones to enhance health care
•    Increase and commit funding that explore additional cures into rare diseases, in particular diseases that disproportionately impact minorities and communities of color
•    Continue to support the testing of payment and service delivery models aimed at improving the quality of care and population health outcomes

Community Engagement – More can be done to equip individuals and communities with the information and resources they need to act collectively to improve their health. We must engage with the community to identify and eliminate health inequities. Accordingly, the following recommendations are offered:
●    Support coordination of community health programs
●    Promote behavioral health integration into primary care -including addictions
●    Improve cultural competency of healthcare providers
●    Support coordinated care models that include integration of community health workers and other trusted allied health professionals to promote healthy behaviors locally
●    Consider social determinants of health, including housing, food security, violence, and economic stability, when developing models of care in order to effectively address health disparities 
●    Support free screening and lifestyle intervention services to low-income, uninsured, or underinsured populations
●    Facilitate opportunities for providers to refer patients to community services and resources 
●    Educate communities about options and benefits under the Affordable Care Act
●    Support community participatory research that legitimizes community actions to address the fundamental environmental, social, and economic causes of health inequities
●    Develop or support educational efforts and public awareness campaigns to engage targeted communities.
●    Promote healthy behaviors within the places and spaces that live, work, play and pray.

Federal Action - Strong federal action is crucial to appropriating the funding resources and advancing the political will to end minority health disparities. Accordingly, the following recommendations are offered:
•    Protect and Improve Medicare and Medicaid
•    Uphold and improve the Affordable Care Act
•    Continue or increase funding for pivotal programs and partnerships that strive to close health gaps (Ryan White, Healthy Start, NIH)
•    Add dental and vision benefits for adults under Medicaid and Medicare
•    Pass mental health and substance abuse legislation in Congress 
•    Support federal long term care policy
•    Bring together multiple sectors (transportation, agriculture, housing, environment, education, and justice) to advance health equity
•    Address Gun Violence as a public health epidemic
•    Pass Critical Health Disparities Legislation Such As (but not limited to):