Efforts, Programs in North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey Address Minority Health Disparities
- Denmark, S.C.: The new Voorhees College Center of Excellence in Rural and Minority Health aims to "eliminate health disparities through dissemination of health information by way of technology and traditional means and to improve access to quality health care to the rural and minority communities of Bamberg and its surrounding counties," the Orangeburg Times and Democrat reports. The clinic provides clinical services, health education, health research and community outreach services to residents. It also provides distance learning from Clemson University on the Clemson campus and via teleconferencing at Voorhees, Leroy Davis, the center's executive director, said. The center also stresses the importance of proper nutrition and exercise and conducts research aimed at eliminating health disparities (Long Weldon, Orangeburg Times and Democrat, 8/21).
- New Jersey: Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) on Tuesday announced that state health and government officials have launched a campaign to raise awareness among Hispanics about the state's prescription drug assistance program, the Home News Tribune reports. Rx4NJ, which began in January 2005, brings together a coalition of state groups to provide prescription drugs at low or no cost to uninsured or underinsured residents. Pallone expressed his frustration with Congress's attempts to target minorities with health initiatives, according to the News Tribune. Martin Perez, president of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, said Rx4NJ is crucial to the Hispanic community because more than one-third of Hispanics under age 65 are uninsured. "This is not a handout. This is an act of social responsibility from the industry that produces the drugs," Perez said (Khavkine, Home News Tribune, 8/22).
- Robeson County, N.C.: Southeastern Regional Medical Center on Thursday sponsored a public forum that addressed racial disparities in health care, the Robesonian reports. The forum -- led by state Rep. Garland Pierce (D) and the North Carolina Office of Minority Health and Disparities -- was held at Sandy Grove Baptist Church, where about 175 people attended. The forum also included a health fair that provided screenings and educational material (Locklear, Robesonian, 8/20).