As one of 26 national organizations which make up the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC), the Amputee Coalition signed on to the DRRC’s advocacy letter on August 2. This letter was addressed to the Director of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Dr. Pérez-Stable, and the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Dr. Valdez.
On behalf of the members of the DRRC, the letter was written to show strong support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) officially recognizing people with disabilities as a “health disparity population.” This was Recommendation 7a in the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) report which the DRRC believes is among the most important of the recommendations.
The letter states that the directors of NIMHD and AHRQ can designate new populations as “health disparity populations” if there is “a significant disparity in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or survival rates in the population as compared to the health status of the general population.” In the case that further evidence to prove this is true for people with disabilities, the scientists and researchers associated with DRRC organizations are ready to assist.
Dr. Pérez-Stable has expressed concerns that official designation could lead to a significant expansion of the NIMHD’s research responsibilities and a strain on the Institute’s research budget, which the DRRC acknowledges.
Despite the challenges, the DRRC states specific responsibilities placed on the NIMHD and AHRQ with regards to Recommendation 7a are quite clear and urges them to take prompt action.
View the full letter here. Visit our Advocacy Letters to Policymakers webpage to view other letters the Amputee Coalition has endorsed.