We are excited to hear that Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) have introduced a bill that will help address health concerns in the Middle Eastern/ North African (MENA) community in the United States. If passed, The Health Equity and MENA Community Inclusion Act would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to recognize the MENA community as a racial and ethnic minority group. Since MENA is not currently recognized by HHS, public health research on the MENA community is limited, creating challenges in identifying and addressing health concerns unique to MENA community members. This bill is being introduced during Arab American Heritage Month and National Minority Health Month, a time dedicated to honoring the contributions of Arab Americans while improving health equity for MENA communities and other minority groups. Read a policy brief on The Health Equity and MENA Community Inclusion Act here.
NNAAC is proud to be working closely with Rep. Tlaib on advancing health equity for the MENA community through this trailblazing legislation.
Additionally, NNAAC is advocating that the Office of Minority Health publishes a minority population profile on Middle Easterners and North Africans, as it does for other racial and ethnic minority groups. These profiles are critical for HHS to understand and address the health needs of these groups. NNAAC and the Center for Arab Narratives (CAN) have developed a population profile of the MENA community using already published literature. We strongly encourage the OMH to reference and build upon this profile.
For questions, contact Adam Beddawi at firstname.lastname@example.org.