Initiatives Seek To Address Cardiovascular Disease, HIV/AIDS, Women’s Health, Blood Donations in Minority Communities
The following highlights initiatives that address minority health issues.
American Heart Association: The AHA San Antonio Division on June 13 held the "State of the Heart" community health care forum, seeking to educate the Hispanic community on cardiovascular health, the San Antonio Express-News reports. As part of the forum, AHA representatives distributed "Heart Facts 2007 on Latino/Hispanic Americans," which states that 28.6% of the 122,000 annual Hispanic deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease (Mondo, San Antonio Express-News, 6/27).
Mediware Information Systems: MIS recently sponsored a summit where representatives from institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, New York University and the University of California discussed how to increase efforts encouraging Hispanics to donate blood. Hispanics are predominately O-positive but not enough of them are donating blood, despite an increasing number of blood transfusions in the population. Alexander Indrikovs, an associate professor of pathology and clinical laboratory sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said that recruiting young Hispanics is difficult because of high deferral rates from possible exposure to malaria and Chagas disease, body piercing and tattoos, as well as cultural misperceptions (eMaxHealth, 6/27).
- Nashua, N.H.: New Hampshire on June 30 will hold its first health conference on minority women, and participants will include 71 refugees from Somalia, Russia, and South and Central America, the AP/Boston Globe reports. The conference will include discussions on chronic fatigue, massage, environmental health in the home and self-advocacy. "We want to motivate and empower women to address health topics, their health, their family's and the community's health," Marianela Ramirez of the New Hampshire Office of Minority Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, said (AP/Boston Globe, 6/21).
- North Carolina: Duke Endowment has awarded the Forsyth Medical Center Foundation with an $180,000 grant to help improve health care for HIV-positive Hispanics, the Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area reports. The three-year grant will be implemented by AIDS Care Services, the Forsyth Medical Center Department of Case Management and Piedmont Medical Specialists (Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area, 6/21).
- Pittsburgh: The University of Pittsburgh on Tuesday released a report, titled "Pittsburgh's Racial Demographics: Differences and Disparities," that detailed disparities between blacks and whites in housing, jobs, income, education, mental health and arrests, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Ralph Bangs, associate director of the Center on Race and Social Problems at the university, said a follow-up study on "solutions that policymakers could adopt at different levels of government" to improve the minorities' well-being will be available in six months (Zlatos, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 6/27).
- Waterloo, Iowa: Healthy Babies, a program operated by the Family & Children's Council and Allen Hospital, seeks to ensure that black women -- who have the highest premature birth rate in the state -- receive prenatal care, the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier reports. Since the program began in August 2006, two women who gave birth to healthy babies have been counseled. Another 60 pregnant women, ages 15 to 33, currently are enrolled in the program (Krogstad, Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier, 6/23).