WHEREAS, the Institute of Medicine's 2002 Report "Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare," documents and defines "differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality and burden of disease and other adverse health conditions", as disparities; and
WHEREAS, racial and ethnic health disparities are caused by many social factors, including discrimination, poverty, inequitable access to resources essential to health such as education, healthy housing, healthy environments, and culturally competent health care;
WHEREAS, minority populations have higher prevalence rates of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, which are also among the most prevalent, costly, and preventable of all health problems; and
WHEREAS, heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States; and
WHEREAS, in 2003, the medical costs and indirect economic costs from lost productivity due to chronic illnesses were estimated at $352 billion for heart disease, $189 billion for cancer, and $132 billion for diabetes; and
WHEREAS, without concerted and coordinated political action, the gains achieved in the 20th century of reducing the burden of infectious diseases will be washed away as the lives of millions are cut short by preventable and treatable chronic illnesses,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors requests continued and expanded national support for a) federal programs that explicitly tackle this major social problem; b) funding streams to local public health departments to provide chronic disease prevention and health promotion interventions.