Efforts, Grants in California, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Virgin Islands Address Minority Health Issues
- Georgia: Georgia lawmakers on Thursday at a hearing of a legislative study committee discussed care for and death rates from stroke, as well as the racial gap in mortality rates, the Albany Herald reports. According to Jacqueline Grant, district director for the Southwest Georgia Public Health District, the mortality rate for stroke in Georgia is 21% higher than the national average, and while the state has reduced the stroke mortality rate, the gap between whites and blacks living in rural areas "is still too wide." According to Grant, care for stroke patients costs the state $1.4 billion in 2005. State Rep. Nikki Randall (D) said the committee will use information collected at the hearing and a meeting held last month to "put together a report that shows how we can pull all those together and come up with a unified way to deal with stroke" (McCord, Albany Herald, 10/19).
- Florida: The Latino Nutrition Coalition, as part of its national campaign to encourage proper nutrition among Hispanics, went to South Florida on Thursday to promote nutrition and health, as well as distribute about 2,000 healthy eating guides, the Miami Herald reports. The 16-page guide, Camino Mágico -- Magic Road -- offers healthy options for both traditional and "trendy" foods and is based on the Latin American Diet Pyramid, according to the Herald. The group has distributed 200,000 copies of the guide in Houston and Chicago since May (Kaleem, Miami Herald, 10/12).
- Los Angeles County: CDC awarded Carl Steed, a psychology instructor from California State University with a $1 million grant to study HIV/AIDS in Hispanics and blacks, the Torrance Daily Breeze reports. The first phase of the four-year study will involve using focus groups of 400 participants to examine how mothers communicate with their junior high school-aged children about sex. The second phase will examine how family and culture attribute to sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing among the groups (Evans, Torrance Daily Breeze, 10/18).
- Missouri: The Residents and Fellows Diversity Initiative at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis seeks to reduce health disparities among minorities, increase diversity among medical staff and treat patients with limited access to care, the St. Louis Dispatch reports. The program, which was established by the hospital's Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence, has helped the hospital increase its percentage of underrepresented minority residents to 20% for the first time in the hospital's history. The program selects residents and fellows based on their commitment to promote diversity, provide mentoring to medical students and care for underserved patients. The program gives participating residents and fellows annual academic grants (Feldstein, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/17).
- Sioux City, Iowa: The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman Foundation has given the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation, also known as the Family Practice Center, a $10,000 grant to study the care of pregnant American Indian women with diabetes, the Sioux City Journal reports. The grant will fund a project that collects data from tribes in Omaha, Neb., and Sioux City (Sioux City Journal, 10/18).
- St. Thomas, Virgin Islands: NIH's National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities has given the University of the Virgin Islands Nursing Division a five-year, $6 million grant that will fund research on minority health disparities, the Virgin Islands Daily News reports. The university will use the money to establish the Caribbean Exploratory NCMHD Research Center. Researchers at the center will study the differences in disease incidence, severity and mortality among ethnic minority groups in the territory (Blackburn, Virgin Islands Daily News, 10/17).