[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: WILLIAM J. CLINTON (2000-2001, Book III)]
[November 22, 2000]
[Pages 2580-2581]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research 
and Education Act of 2000
November 22, 2000

    Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 1880, the ``Minority Health 
and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000.'' This Act 
will enhance biomedical and behavioral research on minority health and 
health disparities, support medical training for minorities and others, 
and improve the study and collection of data regarding minorities and 
other populations.
    This important legislation builds on the work of my Administration, 
particularly the efforts of the Secretary of Health and Human Services 
(HHS), Donna Shalala, to develop a truly 
national commitment to end disparities in health through research, 
training, and data gathering. Under Secretary Shalala, HHS committed to 
eliminate disparities in health by race and ethnicity by the year 2010. 
Eliminating disparities will require additional research and new 
approaches, but in the process of addressing the health needs of our 
most vulnerable populations, we will improve the Nation's health care 
system for everyone. This Act was made possible through the bipartisan 
efforts of the Congress; a multiracial coalition of leaders in public 
health, business, education, and charitable foundations; and my 
    The Act creates a National Center on Minority Health and Health 
Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This Center will 
fund research programs on health disparities and minority health; 
support training of members of health disparity populations as 
researchers; and provide education loan relief for health professionals 
who commit themselves to perform health disparities research. The Center 
will also coordinate all NIH research efforts in this area. The Center 
promises to help all Americans who bear the burden of health disparities 
regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or 
geographic location.
    This legislation also authorizes the Agency for Healthcare Research 
and Quality to conduct and support activities and research to measure 
health disparities and identify causes and remedies. In addition, it 
authorizes the Health Resources and Services Administration to support 
research and demonstration projects to train health professionals on 
reducing health care disparities.
    I would like to thank many individuals who helped develop and pass 
this landmark law, particularly Senators Kennedy, Frist, Jeffords, and Hatch, as well as 
Representatives Thompson, Lewis, Jackson, 
Jr., Watts, Norwood, 
Strickland, Brown, Bilirakis, Christensen, 
Towns, Rodriguez, Underwood, and Roybal-
Allard. I also would like to 
acknowledge the diligent efforts of Secretary Shalala; David Satcher, the Surgeon 
General; Ruth Kirschstein, Principal 
Deputy Director of NIH; and the many others who worked tirelessly to 
bring this legislation forward.
    The elimination of health disparities will require a comprehensive 
effort, involving both the Federal Government and the private sector. 
The Federal Government must continue to make measurable progress against 
diseases and conditions that are major contributors to health 
disparities, and our commitment to health disparities research must 
ensure that new knowledge

[[Page 2581]]

generated in federally supported laboratories and clinics benefits all 
of our citizens. We must also ensure that there is a diverse health care 
and research workforce in the future by making efforts to attract and 
train a generation of scientists and health care professionals who are 
prepared to dedicate themselves to helping eliminate health disparities.

                                                      William J. Clinton

 The White House,

 November 22, 2000.

Note: S. 1880, approved November 22, was assigned Public Law No. 106-