California Group Studies Local Minority Health Disparities, Urges Government To Address Issues
The African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County on Thursday called on California officials to address racial health disparities, focusing on improving the delivery of health services to minorities, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. In a two-year survey released in 2004, AAHI followed 511 San Bernardino County, Calif., residents, most of whom were black women. The group found that most residents had health insurance and transportation to physician offices and received routine physical exams. The survey also found that whites on average lived 13 more years than blacks. Diana Woods, president of AAHI, said, "Individuals are not the root of the problem. It's a system problem." AAHI plans work with other community groups to increase awareness and work with the Legislative Black Caucus, according to the Press-Enterprise. "We want the state to mandate certain policies and build in accountability," Woods added. State Assembly member Mervyn Dymally (D), chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, said CLBC plans to conduct hearings to discuss a variety of health legislation that would address racial health disparities in California, especially among black residents. "Top priorities in combating the health disparities among African-Americans include HIV/AIDS, diabetes, obesity, asthma and cancer," he said (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.