Awareness Efforts Address HIV/AIDS, Science Industry, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Health Insurance and Suicide Among Minorities
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- Arkansas: Gov. Mike Beebe (D) on Monday announced that he has appointed Wynona Bryant-Williams -- former member of the Arkansas State Police Commission -- as executive director of the state Minority Health Commission, the Southwest Times Record reports. Bryant-Williams -- who is replacing Judy Smith, who resigned to accept another position -- is researching the link between HIV/AIDS and incarceration among blacks; helped develop the Black Families Studies Program at Philander Smith College; and coordinated the Families First Nutrition and Wellness Systems Program at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Southwest Times Record, 6/7).
- Binghamton, N.Y.: Binghamton University has begun its Bridges to the Baccalaureate program, which seeks to encourage minority students to enter the field of biomedical science, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reports. For the program, funded by a grant from NIH, 20 participants will perform research at the university and will be paid $500 each weekly (Swartz, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, 6/1).
- Bloomington, Minn.: Northwestern Health Sciences University from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17 will conduct its third Summer Science Academy, which targets low-income minority students with exceptional math and science skills, the Asian American Press reports. According to Tolu Oyelowo, associate professor and chair of Northwestern's Diversity Commission, the program aims to create a relationship with minority communities, develop role models in science for minorities and improve the cultural competency at the university (Asian American Press, 5/24).
- Cambridge, Mass.: Phill Wilson, founder and executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, on June 1 led a conference at Harvard Medical School called, "HIV/AIDS Crisis in Black America: Answering the Call," the New England Bay Windows reports. The conference -- which included guest speakers Valerie Stone, director of the Women's HIV/AIDS Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Bisola Ojikutu, director of the South Africa HIV/AIDS Programs at Harvard -- addressed HIV/AIDS issues in the U.S. and encouraged physicians to become involved in advocacy (Chase, New England Bay Windows, 6/7).
GlaxoSmithKline: GSK and several health groups on Monday in Detroit launched a public awareness campaign about genital herpes that targets blacks, who, according to the companies, have disproportionately high rates of the sexually transmitted infections, the Detroit News reports (Henion, Detroit News, 6/4). The campaign, called "Say Yes to Knowing," will include local advertisements and various types of public and medical education. The campaign's goal is to encourage black adults to initiate conversations about genital herpes with their health care providers (GSK release, 6/4).
- Los Angeles County, Calif.: L.A Care Health Plan has launched an advertising campaign seeking to reach uninsured Hispanic residents in the county who are eligible for but not enrolled in government-sponsored health coverage. The campaign, which began in May and will continue through the fall, was first created in Spanish and now features advertisements that promote healthy lifestyles in various Spanish- and English-language media (L.A. Care Health Plan release, 5/30).
- South Carolina: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has announced that it will award more than $1 million over three years to South Carolina to implement the Project Suicide Awareness for Everyone program, which will target underserved rural, black and Hispanic youth. The suicide prevention program will be implemented in schools, colleges, substance abuse systems, mental health programs, foster care systems, and other child and youth support organizations (SAMHSA release, 5/31).