Newspapers Highlight Health Disparity Initiatives in Brooklyn, Roanoke, Va., Seattle
The following highlights several groups' health care disparity initiatives in various U.S. communities.
Association of American Medical Colleges: AAMC has launched a Web site, AspiringDocs.org, as a marketing campaign to encourage minority undergraduate biology majors to pursue careers in medicine, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education reports. The Web site offers information about how to prepare for the medical school entrance exam and how to pay for medical school. According to Diverse, from 1993 through 2004, the number of black biology majors who applied to medical school declined from 83% to 44%; the number of Hispanics declined from 75% to 39%; and the number of American Indians declined from 73% to 45% (Hayes, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, 12/14).
- Brooklyn, N.Y.: Advocacy group Housing Works this month will begin construction of a clinical center set to open in the spring of 2007 that will offer day treatment, primary care and dental services to women in Brooklyn with HIV/AIDS, many of whom are minorities, the Courier Life reports. In 2005, 71% of women who tested positive for HIV in New York City were black and 24% were Hispanic, and 35% of the women who tested HIV positive lived in Brooklyn, according to the Courier Life (Davis, Courier Life, 12/8).
- East St. Louis, Ill.: Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders on Sunday encouraged the black church community in East. St. Louis to increase its HIV/AIDS awareness program, the Belleview News-Democrat reports. At a local church that was offering a free HIV tests, Elders -- who served as surgeon general during the Clinton administration -- said, "The scientific data shows that HIV/AIDS is a pandemic in the African-American community. We have to educate more people to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading" (Smith, Belleview News-Democrat, 12/11).
- Roanoke, Va.: The Hispanic Community Center HACIENDA, which will offer health care, housing, insurance and job resources to the Hispanic community, opened in downtown Roanoke, Va., last week, the Roanoke Times reports. The center is a result of "explosive growth" in the Roanoke Hispanic population, which 2005 census data puts at 2,046 people, though some experts suspect the population is up to five times that size (Roanoke Times, 12/11).
- Seattle, Wash.: Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle will be one of 10 hospitals in the nation to receive a $60,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to fund interpreter services, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. The "Speaking Together: National Language Services Network" grant will enable the hospital -- which has more than 40,000 interpreted conversations annually -- to train hospital staff and examine ways to improve communication with non-English-speaking patients, who primarily speak Russian, Somali, Spanish or Vietnamese (Puget Sound Business Journal, 12/13).
- Tucson, Ariz.: The Tucson-based Canyon Ranch Health Resort and the Phoenix-based Hispanic Women's Corporation have awarded five $2,000 to $4,000 scholarships to Hispanic women entering the public health field who will become health care advocates for the Hispanic community in Arizona, the Tucson Citizen reports. The scholarships are meant to improve health care among the Arizona Hispanic community, which is projected to reach more than 32% of the population by 2025, up from 29% currently and 21% in 1995 (Everett-Haynes, Tucson Citizen, 12/11).
- Wayne County, N.C.: The Wayne County Health Department in North Carolina has received a $20,000 grant from the North Carolina Office of Minority Health to address health disparities among minority communities in the state, the Goldsboro News-Argus reports. The grant will be given in $5,000 increments to local agencies and organizations that have programs directed toward decreasing racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality rates, HIV/AIDS cases, homicide and chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes (Moore, Goldsboro News-Argus, 12/11).