Efforts in Several States, Washington, D.C., Promote Health Education, Awareness Among Minority Groups; Provide Health Services
- Alaska: The Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation, which is part of the Alaska Tribal Health Consortium, held an Inaugural Raven's Ball fundraiser last week to promote the group's work and to raise money to offset a shortfall in Indian Health Services funding, the Arctic Sounder reports. The foundation has singled out five focus areas: cancer care improvement, wellness and prevention, elder health care, healthy village environment and the Alaska Native Health Professions Scholarship Fund (Ben-Yosef, Arctic Sounder, 3/31).
- California: The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday featured the efforts of Los Angeles-based clinic Clinica Oscar Romero, which provides health care services to about 700 Mayas in their native language. According to the Times, tens of thousands of Mayas, including Kanjobal, Quiche and Mam, live in the Los Angeles area. Many have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The clinic is funded by private donations and county, state and federal funds. In the future, clinic staff hope to also offer educational classes in patients' native language' on topics such as family planning, first aid for children and oral health (Gorman, Los Angeles Times, 4/2).
- Hawaii: The Hawaii State Department of Health and the Hawaii Air National Guard this week launched the Medical Innovative Readiness Training program, which provides no-cost health services to Native Hawaiian communities on the Waianae Coast, the Honolulu Advertiser reports. The Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Medical Group staff the clinics, which allows troops to maintain their medical skills while also providing a service to the community, organizers said. The clinics offer vision screenings, physicals, classes on lifesaving methods, referrals to outpatient clinics and disaster preparedness training. The project will run for five years and will expand to other communities in the future (Honolulu Advertiser, 4/3).
- North Carolina: The Rocky Mount Telegram last week examined the efforts of the state Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities, which seeks to reduce health disparities among minorities through legislation, improvement of data collection and other methods. The office has awarded grants to 42 organizations and provided technical and communication support to 165 other groups, according to the Telegram (Boulmay, Rocky Mount Telegram, 3/30).
- Ohio: The Hispanic Health Promoters program is training local community members to educate Hispanics on a variety of health issues, such as diabetes, cholesterol, women and children's health, CPR and first aid skills, the Cincinnati Community Press & Recorder reports. The participants, who will be taught the information by Spanish-speaking health care providers, will serve as a "link between patients and health care providers" in the community, the Recorder reports (Cincinnati Community Press & Recorder, 4/1).
- Oklahoma: Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla., is hosting a weeklong summer camp for American Indian youth that aims to promote better health among Cherokee Indians, Tulsa World reports. The no-cost program will offer a range of fitness, team-building and cultural activities to the first 80 youth who register (Tulsa World, 4/1).
- Washington D.C.: The Intercultural Cancer Council Caucus -- in conjunction with its 11th Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Underserved & Cancer held in Washington, D.C. -- this week released a new report that seeks to provide the most up-to-date data on racial and ethnic disparities in cancer and cancer death rates, according to an ICC release. The report, called "From Awareness to Action: A Renewed Call To Eliminate the Unequal Burden of Cancer," provides "realistic goals" for helping racial and ethnic minorities, rural residents, the elderly and the indigent from dying from cancer, according to the release. The report includes a 12-step action plan outlining how lawmakers can address the issue (ICC release, 4/3).