The Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance (MOTA) program began (2001) under the auspices of the Cigarette Restitution Fund Program (CRFP). MOTA was established to implement the Cigarette Restitution Fund Act’s provision requiring outreach and technical assistance to minority communities to ensure their participation in the tobacco and cancer community health coalitions. Minority communities include African Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians.
In 2004, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to establish the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) in DHMH’s Office of the Secretary. The 2004 legislation required MHHD to provide outreach to racial and ethnic minority communities to ensure their maximum participation in publicly funded state health programs.
In 2010, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced the expansion of MHHD beyond Tobacco and Cancer to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities throughout the State of Maryland. The expanded focus now includes major health disparities that affect racial and ethnic minority communities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infant mortality, obesity, and asthma.