Florida Gives $10 Million to Boost Minority Health Efforts
The Florida Department of Health has awarded $10 million over the next two and a half years to 57 projects with the hope of conducting a "wide-scale push" to reduce health disparities between whites and minority groups in the state, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Starting in December, the groups will focus on six "trouble spots" in minority health: HIV/AIDS, infant deaths, immunizations, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. "Lack of insurance, low economic status and cultural differences contribute to the higher representation of these diseases among minorities," Melvin Herring Jr., the health department's director of equal opportunity and minority health, said. Many of the projects will adopt a "community" approach to educating minority groups about health topics. For example, the not-for-profit group Hebni Nutrition Consultants will use its $100,000 grant to host nutritional courses aimed at promoting better eating. The group plans to use the "Soul Food Pyramid," created by Hebni co- founder and registered dietitian Roniece Weaver, to illustrate USDA guidelines for suggested food servings and incorporate Southern dishes such as ham hocks, fried chicken and grits. The Osceola County Health Department will use its $474,000 award to prevent diabetes and HIV/AIDS through two programs that include door-to-door education, talks and churches and visits to gay bars (Suriano, Orlando Sentinel, 11/13). To view a complete list of the grants, visit www.doh.state.fl.us/EquOpp/minority/Closing%20t he%20Gap%20Awards.htm.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.