Skip to Main Content

Monthly Spotlights

Minority Health Month is an important observance dedicated to raising awareness about health disparities that affect minority populations and promoting actions to address them. Buckeye Health Plan strives to provide resources to 114,000 identified minority Ohioans and drive initiatives supporting their health and wellness journey. We understand the impact of our minority members and the issues that correlate with healthcare.  Together we can assist in improving minority health outcomes; by following these tips and taking proactive steps to address health disparities, we can work towards achieving better health outcomes for minority populations and building healthier, more equitable communities for everyone.

  • Education and Awareness: Educate yourself and others about the specific health issues facing minority communities. This could include disparities in access to healthcare, higher rates of certain diseases, and cultural factors influencing health behaviors.
  • Promote Preventive Care: Encourage check-ups and annual screenings for common health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers. Many health problems can be better managed or even prevented through early detection and intervention.
  • Access to Healthcare: Advocate for improved access to healthcare services in minority communities. This could involve supporting initiatives to increase the number of healthcare facilities, providers, and affordable health insurance options in underserved areas.
  • Cultural Competency in Healthcare: Encourage healthcare providers to be culturally competent and sensitive to the needs of minority patients. This includes understanding cultural beliefs, practices, and barriers that may affect healthcare access and treatment adherence.
  • Community Outreach and Engagement: Organize or participate in community events, workshops, and health fairs focused on minority health issues. These events can provide valuable information, resources, and support to individuals and families in minority communities.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Work with local organizations, healthcare providers, government agencies, and other stakeholders to develop collaborative approaches to improving minority health outcomes. By pooling resources and expertise, more effective solutions can be implemented.

Remember that addressing health disparities in minority communities requires sustained effort and commitment beyond Minority Health Month. Stay engaged year-round and continue to support initiatives aimed at promoting health equity for all.

Reference: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

January 23 is Maternal Health Awareness Day and Buckeye Health Plan is committed to providing education to aid in the prevention of preterm births, low birth rates and infant mortality. According to the Ohio Hospital Association, "Ohio’s review of maternal health outcomes reported more than 185 women in the state died from pregnancy-related complications over the nine years studied. Of those deaths, 56% were classified as preventable."

Together we can provide implement prevention tools and strategies to educate patients and members on how to improve their pregnancy related health outcomes by doing the following:

  • Discussing birthing plans, catered to the patient’s needs.
  • Providing nutrition education while pregnant to promote healthy fetal development.
  • Discussing warning signs during pregnancy and delivery.
  • Emphasizing the importance of post-partum care for mom and well child visits for baby to eliminate complications and detect any issues.
  • Understanding how the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) needs patients experience can impact health outcomes.
  • Advocating for policies that improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities.

Throughout 2024, Buckeye is committed to working together with our providers to reduce maternal mortality, improve the health of mothers and newborns, and contribute to overall community well-being.

Centers for Disease Control/Maternal-Mortality

Ohio Hospitals/Infant-Mortality-Initiatives-Maternal Health

The flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and those around you from illness. However, flu shots and other preventive health resources aren’t offered or accessed equally across different racial groups.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2021–2022 season, flu vaccination coverage was 54% among White and Asian adults, 42% among Black adults, 38% among Hispanic adults, and 41% among AI/AN adults. Black, Hispanic, and AI/AN adults were hospitalized with flu at higher rates than White adults during most seasons from 2009 to 2022 (

By promoting flu vaccination in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, providers can effectively convey the message that immunization is a universally accessible and essential measure. This inclusivity is crucial in preventing the spread of the flu among non-English-speaking populations, promoting community health, and fostering a sense of collective responsibility in the fight against seasonal influenza.

Buckeye Health Plan serves communities that speak Nepali, Swahili, Somali, Arabic and Spanish.  We strive for inclusivity and to ensure that each member understands their health and wellness journey.  Providers can access an telephonic interpreter, by calling 1-866-246-4358 which can be found on the Buckeye Health Plan website.  We encourage you to have multi language materials available in waiting rooms and within facilities that have patient activity, to share updates and other information with patients. Outreach materials, educational campaigns, and vaccination clinics should be culturally sensitive and linguistically tailored to ensure that everyone, regardless of language background, can access and understand the importance of getting vaccinated; this could include using materials with images representative of those in the community, providing information that is transparent and promotes the benefits of and reasons for vaccination, addressing community-specific concerns and misinformation, such as vaccine side effects or risk, and using the predominant language spoken in the community. This Buckeye Health Plan link can be utilized to share with patients.


Ramsey, L. (2023, October 22). CDC report highlights disparities in flu outcomes and vaccination coverage. News Medical Life Science

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness

Medicaid serves over 96,000 individuals throughout Ohio who identify as adults living with hearing difficulty. Buckeye Health Plan, with the assistance of Ohio State University – Wexner Medical Center, would like to provide accessibility training for providers with deaf and hard of hearing patients. 

This training conveys insight for providers on the barriers and needs of patients to navigate through health care appointments and/or phone calls. Participants will gain effective communication strategies and ensure provider practices are well-versed on how to best support patients. You can access the interactive training here. 

For additional resources, visit our Health Equity Resources website page.

Disclaimer: This training does not qualify for CME credits

Nepali Speaking Members

Buckeye Health Plan recognizes Nepali as the highest non-English speaking language of our members. We currently serve 3,070 Nepali speaking members (70% female/29% male) with the majority living in Summit, Franklin, Butler, Licking and Hamilton County.  Nepalese society is multicultural and multiethnic. Cultural factors like beliefs, perception and behaviors can have a great impact on decision making processes related to health care utilization and adherence.

As part of our commitment to cultural competence, we would like to share several tips for engaging our Nepali speaking members:

  • In greeting and welcoming into your office, eye contact is generally kept to a minimum, so don’t be offended if it is not matched.
  • Wait for initiation of handshake, especially with women, as they may not be comfortable touching the opposite gender; there may be a light grip w/handshake and always use your right hand.
  • Buddhism & Hinduism are religious beliefs practiced in their community and defines the laws of healthcare and treatment; traditional home remedies are utilized to treat illness and some diseas are considered a “bad person’s karma”. Patients may need encouragement and positive reinforcement to feel comfortable sharing their use of traditional practices with providers.
  • Sexual education is not openly discussed and causes awkwardness with women; due to religious beliefs, contraceptives are forbidden. Additionally, due to traditional gender roles, mothers may be hesitant to describe their own health concerns but will voice the health concerns of their children or spouse
  • Lastly, if when conversating with a Nepali speaking patient, if there are misunderstandings, please ask to repeat yet be sensitive to how accent barriers can cause embarrassment and suggest interpreter services.


Cultural Atlas



National Library of Medicine