Efforts Address Breast Cancer in Black Women, American Indian Health and Substance Abuse, Other Issues
The following summarizes efforts that address health issues among minorities.
- Breast cancer: The Austin branch of Susan G. Komen for the Cure on Nov. 17 will launch an initiative to train minority women from nine low-income housing developments as breast cancer advocates, the Austin American-Statesman reports. As a part of the Wise Women program, the advocates will encourage other minority women to receive mammograms and also provide transportation to medical facilities. Separately, the national organization has launched a campaign, Circle of Promise, which is designed to raise awareness about breast cancer among black women and help increase funding for research and community programs (Hill, Austin American-Statesman, 11/5).
- Canada/U.S.: U.S. and Canadian health officials last week signed a memorandum that says the two nations will work together to improve the health of American Indians, the Anchorage Daily News reports. According to the governments, the initiative will focus on improving health care for Alaska Natives, American Indians, and the First Nation and Inuit of Canada (Anchorage Daily News, 11/5).
Cherokee Nation: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded the Tahlequah, Okla.-based Cherokee Nation with a three-year grant to help provide substance abuse treatment and recovery health services to Cherokee American Indians, the Muskogee Phoenix reports. The grant will fund the "Many Paths" program, which gives participants several levels of treatment options from conventional medical providers, faith-based health services and traditional healers. All of the providers must undergo cultural sensitivity training administered by the tribe and SAMHSA and meet other requirements to participate in the program (Muskogee Phoenix, 11/5).
- HIV/AIDS: The National Minority AIDS Council on Wednesday began its 2007 United States Conference on AIDS in Palm Springs, Calif., the Desert Sun reports. The convention, which will run through Saturday, will discuss the effects of HIV/AIDS among American Indians, blacks and Hispanics (Solvig, Desert Sun, 11/8).
- Mental health: Counselors, therapists, researchers and educators from across the nation beginning Nov. 1 attended the three-day Fourth Annual Counseling Center Conference at Morgan State University to discuss how to address mental health issues in students at historically black colleges and universities, Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports. According to Diverse, many blacks are skeptical of psychological treatment and opt for a more spiritual approach to mental wellness instead. In addition, studies show blacks are more likely to experience a mental disorder than whites and less likely to seek treatment (Nealy, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 11/5).
- Methamphetamines: Kevin Howlett, director of Tribal Health and Human Services, and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on Tuesday during a press conference in Washington, D.C., urged lawmakers to increase funding for education and law enforcement to address methamphetamine abuse in Indian Country, the Billings Gazette reports. According to Howlett, American Indian residents spent an estimated $8 million on meth in 2006, which is about the same amount of money the government has spent on all health programs for about 10,000 residents (Straub, Billings Gazette, 11/7).
- Interpreters: Portland, Maine-based Language Access for New Americans is the first program in the state to offer medical interpreter training in an effort to meet the language demands of the state's increasing immigrant population, the Portland Press Herald reports. The program was launched in 2005 by the United Way of Greater Portland, and other groups and businesses. The training consists of 100 hours of training for 12 months, during which students learn at least two languages and are taught specific medical terms in each one (Huang, Portland Press Herald, 11/2).