PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 1, 2015

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Christie Administration Marks April as Minority Health Month


Nearly 70 health screenings, wellness programs planned statewide

In observance of Minority Health Month, community groups, faith-based organizations, hospitals, county health departments and nursing homes will host nearly 70 events around the state including health screenings, exercise programs and health equity forums.

"New Jersey is one of the nation's most culturally, racially and ethnically diverse states, and that diversity brings both incredible benefits as well as challenges in addressing the health needs of people of different cultures," said Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd.

"Minority and Multicultural Health Month gives us an opportunity to raise public awareness about health and health care disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities and efforts to advance health equity," Commissioner O'Dowd said.

The Commissioner encouraged New Jersey residents to take advantage of the health fairs going on around the state to have their blood pressure checked and to be screened for cancer, diabetes, HIV and other chronic diseases. A complete listing of events is available on the Department's website at http://web.doh.state.nj.us/apps2/omh/calendar.aspx.

Today, Commissioner O'Dowd and Carolyn Daniels, Executive Director of the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, will join Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School students and staff at a Minority and Multicultural Health Month forum on improving mental health in South Asian communities. The event is sponsored by several organizations including the Medical School, the South Asian Total Health Initiative and the New Jersey Office of Minority and Multicultural Health. During the event in New Brunswick, Commissioner O'Dowd will present a proclamation from Governor Chris Christie recognizing April as Minority and Multicultural Health Month.

Additionally, the Department's Office of Minority and Multicultural Health is partnering with grantees to host two regional Health Equity forums, one on April 22nd in the Living Hope Empowerment Center in Trenton and another on April 29th at the Calvary Lighthouse in Lakewood. Both forums begin at 9:30 a.m.

Other events that Department leaders will attend this month include:

  • Director of Policy and Planning Cathleen Bennett will attend a health fair in Northfield on April 1 sponsored by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health
  • Carolyn Daniels will attend the regional Health Equity Forums in Trenton and Lakewood. She will also participate in the 20th annual Public Health Symposium on April 6 at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway. The forum will feature a discussion on health disparities and strategies that make a difference.
  • Deputy Commissioner Dr. Arturo Brito will participate in a panel discussion about health issues that disproportionately affect children of color and initiatives that are addressing those challenges. The forum on April 20 is part of the release of the 2015 Kids Count reports at Thomas Edison College in Trenton.

 For additional information about the New Jersey Office of Minority and Multicultural Health please visit

http://www.nj.gov/health/omh/. For additional information about National Minority Health Month, please visit


Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NJDeptofhealth

Last Reviewed: 4/1/2015