HOUSTON To increase emphasis on minority health problems, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) was established this month and John Ruffin appointed its first director. Part of the National Institutes of Health, NCMHD will conduct and support research, training and dissemination of information about minority health conditions and about populations with health disparities. Establishing a strong focal point for health research on minorities could promote increased R&D funding. The funding level for minority health research had been about $86 million. The Act of Congress creating NCMHD authorised more than $130 million to set up the new centre and increase research funding.

Ruffin said, "While the diversity of the American population is one of the nation's greatest assets, one of its greatest challenges is reducing the profound disparity in health status of America's racial and ethnic minorities, Appalachian residents, and other similar groups, compared to the population...

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