Efforts, Events Address Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Other Health Issues Among Minorities
- Diabetes: The St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council has proposed a new diabetes center on the reservation in an effort to provide American Indians with the "most up-to-date care," the Plattsburgh Press Republican reports. The Diabetes Center of Excellence would bring together in one facility all diabetic care services available on the reservation, which currently offers services at three separate sites, according to Aimee Benedict-Debo, public information officer for the Tribal Council. The center also would offer educational classes and materials on diabetes and obesity. The center requires community approval and would cost about $2 million. The community has raised about $72,500 through fundraisers, and grants and future fundraisers likely would supply the rest of the money (Raymo, Plattsburgh Press Republican, 4/26).
- Health center: The Akron, Ohio, Health Department has opened the Akron Center for Health Equity, which will aid community efforts to improve the health of blacks, Asians, Hispanics and American Indians in the city, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. The center will provide health data, connect collaborators and offer resources for finding grants but will not create its own programs. The office is headed by a coordinator, with collaboration from a 12-member advisory board (Akron Beacon Journal, 4/29).
- Health screenings: The Philadelphia chapter of BAPS Charities in a recent local event offered no-cost health screenings and seminars focusing on health issues specific to Asian Indians, the Bucks County Courier Times reports. According to experts, Asian Indians have higher rates of breast cancer, gestational diabetes, cardiovascular artery disease and other conditions. BAPS holds similar health screenings and educational programs across the nation, Suketu Patel, a volunteer coordinator with the BAPS Philadelphia chapter, said (Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times, 4/27).
- HIV/AIDS: The Kansas City Star recently examined how "more and more churches are being moved to action by the rise of AIDS in the black community, especially among women and children." In Kansas City, the Take It to the Pews initiative helps area churches educate their congregations on the disease. The city's annual Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS is another such effort. In July, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City, in collaboration with Kansas City-based HIV/AIDS organization the Good Samaritan Project, will hold a two-day event recognizing local churches that offer AIDS ministries. The group also will encourage more churches to begin HIV/AIDS ministries or similar programs (Garcia, Kansas City Star, 4/25).
- Mental health: The Alaska Psychiatric Institute and the Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network now offer no-cost monthly behavioral health videoconference lectures and consultations to providers in the 34 health care organizations in the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the Arctic Sounder reports. Ron Adler of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, who is also CEO of the institute, said the videoconferences will allow providers from across the state to discuss medication and treatment options with behavioral health specialists. Mid-level primary care providers are usually the first contact for patients in need of mental health treatment, Adler said. Mental health specialists from the institute also use videoconferencing to treat clients through the state's Telebehavioral Healthcare Services Initiative (Arctic Sounder, 4/25).