Injury and Violence Prevention Unit | Minnesota Department of Health

Disability Health Project

People with disabilities often have more health care problems or issues than people without disabilities. These disparities have many causes; they may occur because health care is not accessible (physical barriers, financial barriers, lack of information, etc.) or because basic health needs may be overlooked when a person has a disability.

Minnesota has many strong agencies and organizations working to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, but few have been able to focus on public health issues relating to disabilities. Through this project, organizations are identifying the health needs of the people they serve. Working together, the groups are developing a plan to promote health and prevent secondary conditions. A secondary condition can be any medical, social, emotional, family, or community problem that a person with a primary disabling condition likely experiences.

The Disability Health Project seeks to promote the health of people with disabilities and to prevent secondary health conditions that they may experience. It is coordinated by the MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Unit and funded by a planning grant through the CDC Division on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Minnesota is one of 16 state grantees, and CDC has also funded related research projects and national disability organizations.

  1. Develop a plan to promote the health of Minnesotans with disabilities and to prevent secondary conditions.
  2. Study disability-related data sources in Minnesota, to determine what data are being collected and, if feasible, to improve quality and consistency.
  3. Study the prevalence in Minnesota of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury (TBI and SCI) and the co-occurrence of violence with these disabilities. Future efforts may expand to other disabilities.


The Disability Health Project Advisory Work Group includes varied agencies and organizations that work with people with disabilities. Members include persons with disabilities and parents of children and adults with disabilities.

Advisory work group member organizations

Contact for more information:

Mark Kinde, MPH
Injury & Violence Prevention Program Director

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