Groups Host Minority Health Initiatives, Events in Baltimore, New York City, North Carolina and Other States
The following highlights initiatives and events in Arizona, Baltimore, Connecticut, New York City, North Carolina and Kansas that are related to minority health and racial and ethnic health disparities.
- Arizona: Community leaders in Arizona, in partnership with the University of Arizona, on Friday held a two-day symposium and health fair seeking to educate Hispanics and American Indians about the risks of diabetes, the Arizona Daily Star reports. According to Jennie Joe, director of the UA Native American Research and Training Center, 11% of Hispanic adults in Arizona are at risk of getting diabetes and American Indians have an even higher risk. The no-cost event, which was funded through an NIH grant, included workshops on diabetes prevention for children, disease management, information on medications, and tips on nutrition and healthy eating (Duarte, Arizona Daily Star, 1/11).
Balm In Gilead: The not-for-profit the Balm In Gilead last week announced that its new public education program seeks to educate black women about the risks for cervical cancer and to encourage them to be tested for the human papillomavirus, which is responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. The campaign -- under the group's Intimate Sessions for Informed Sexuality project -- also is urging black women to become knowledgeable about the HPV vaccine and will use trained peer educators in 10 cities that will facilitate informational sessions, screenings and related information to cervical cancer (Balm In Gilead release, 1/11).
- Baltimore: The Park School in Baltimore on Monday held a citywide bone marrow drive targeting black donors, the Baltimore Examiner reports. The People of Color Bone Marrow Registry Drive was organized to address a low number of blacks contributing samples to the National Marrow Donor Program. Low participation by blacks makes it more difficult for officials to find bone marrow transplant matches for black patients with leukemia and lymphoma, according to the Examiner (Litten, Baltimore Examiner, 1/13).
- Connecticut: Political officials in Connecticut and the local American Red Cross chapter last week teamed up to encourage Hispanics in the state to donate blood in order to meet demand for type O blood, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports. According to the Red Cross, 56.5% of Hispanics have type O blood, which is considered a "universal" blood type that can be used by people with other blood types, AP/Newsday reports. Hispanics make up 10% of the state's population but only 3% of donors. State House Speaker James Amann (D) and the Hispanic Legislative Caucus said they will seek $450,000 in state funding to hold about 180 blood drives in Hispanic neighborhoods in Connecticut (Haigh, AP/Long Island Newsday, 1/11).
- New York City: The advocacy group The Opportunity Agenda has launched a Web site -- Health Care That Works -- an interactive Google Map that pinpoints New York City hospital closures between 1985 and 2005 and examines the impact the closures have on racial and ethnic communities and their quality and access to care. The site also has data and reports on patient demographics, payer source, quality of care rates, a community forum and an activism tool, which encourages residents to contact elected officials about the issue (The Opportunity Agenda release, 1/16).
- Greenville, N.C.: Medical anthropologist Eric Bailey -- who in 2006 established the Web site New Black Cultural Diet, which is designed to encourage weight loss and proper nutrition among blacks -- has launched the 2007 New Black Cultural Diet Weight Loss Challenge. Participants in the six-month program, which begins Feb. 1, have access to podcasts, online journals and interactive forums designed to educate them on cultural strategies to lose and maintain weight and exercise. The Web site also includes information related to body image, food selection and preparation, and general good health practices (New Black Cultural Diet release, 1/8).
- North Carolina: Through a joint effort by the North Carolina Folic Acid Council and March of Dimes, Hispanic women in North Carolina can receive no-cost educational material, including brochures and a video, on the importance of folic acid during pregnancy, the Charlotte Observer reports. Hispanic women in the state are twice as likely as women of other races and ethnicities to have a baby born with a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Research shows that consuming folic acid before and during pregnancy can lower the rate of birth defects by up to 70%, the Observer reports (Charlotte Observer, 1/16).
- Wichita, Kan.: Officials in Kansas on Monday, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, held the second annual Health Disparities Breakfast, the Wichita Eagle reports. The event, coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Urban League of the MidPlains, featured Vernellia Randall, author of "Dying While Black: An In-depth Look at a Crisis in the American Health System." Randall gave an overview of health disparities affecting blacks and suggestions on how to address the disparities (Woods, Wichita Eagle, 1/12).