Health Disparities Conference Addresses Various Health Care Issues
The U.S. no longer should tolerate health and education disparities, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said in a keynote address at the National Conference on Health Disparities, the Charleston Post and Courier reports. The conference was designed to highlight and discuss solutions to various health care issues.
At the conference, David Rivers of the Medical University of South Carolina discussed the importance of preventive care in combination with sustained federal and state funding to control rising health care costs. Rivers said that established best practice guidelines should be followed by physicians. Sabra Slaughter, also of the Medical University of South Carolina, detailed a three-county diabetes pilot project in South Carolina that promotes community outreach and preventive care. According to Slaughter, the initiative has led to a significant decline in amputations among people with diabetes, and lessons learned from the project could have widespread policy implications. According to the Post and Courier, South Carolina has some of the country's highest rates of heart disease, infant mortality, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, which experts attribute to poverty, disparities in education and other factors.
Clyburn also said he hopes Congress soon approves legislation that would reauthorize and expand SCHIP and asked for the support of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.). Graham spoke about the importance of community health centers, saying that community health centers could lead to a universal health care system if they were widely available to patients; linked to hospitals, specialty care providers and private-sector partners; and adequately funded (Parker, Charleston Post and Courier, 7/21).