In early 2007, the Institute of Medicine convened the Roundtable on Health Disparities to increase the visibility of racial and ethnic health disparities as a national problem, to further the development of programs and strategies to reduce disparities, to foster the emergence of leadership on this issue, and to track promising activities and developments in health care that could lead to dramatically reducing or eliminating disparities. The Roundtable’s first workshop, Challenges and Successes in Reducing Health Disparities, was held in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 31, 2007, and examined the importance of differences in life expectancy within the United States, the reasons for those differences, and the implications of this information for programs and policy makers.
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