City Efforts Raise Health Awareness Among Blacks, Seek Minorities’ Participation for Clinical Trials
- Chicago: The Illinois Department of Human Services has begun a new health program that seeks to raise awareness about diabetes and other health issues among the black community, the Chicago Tribune reports. As part of the effort, registered nurses visit local barbershops to provide no-cost health screenings, medical information and diagnostic tests to customers. The effort also includes former National Football League and National Basketball Association athletes as spokespersons for the program (Smith, Chicago Tribune, 5/11).
- Fort Morgan, Colo.: The Colorado Minority Health Advisory Commission recently met to discuss how local agencies are addressing racial health care disparities, the Fort Morgan Times reports. Specifically, members discussed ways the city is improving health care access for Hispanics and Somalis, according to the Times. The members discussed the availability of interpreters, grants, distribution of government funding and other means to addressing racial health disparities, the Times reports (Barker, Fort Morgan Times, 5/13).
- Grand Rapids, Mich.: The Grand Rapids Press on Tuesday examined a Grand Rapids African-American Health Institute program that seeks to address hypertension among blacks. The program -- Cardiovascular Health in the African-American Population in West Michigan -- aims to establish a registry that tracks hypertension and cardiovascular risk among the city's black population by "assessing participant risk factors, examining the effectiveness of care and creating awareness about treatment," the Grand Rapids Press reports. The program also seeks to improve blacks' relationship with the health care system. As part of the effort, volunteer medical technologists visit West Michigan businesses and perform baseline checkups and diagnostics on participants. The program also partners with churches and other groups. Funding for the program comes from area hospitals and grants (Jarema, Grand Rapids Press, 5/13).
- Sun City, Ariz.: The Sun Health Research Institute is seeking to recruit elderly minorities to participate in a study that will examine whether monitoring more participants in their homes would increase minority groups' participation in clinical trials, the Arizona Republic reports. Marwan Sabbagh, the institute's director of clinical research, said that the costs of traveling to appointments for monitoring during clinical trials prevent many minorities from participating. To address the issue, the institute is launching a study that will look at the most efficient ways to monitor participants in their homes. Researchers plan to apply the study's finding to the institute's future clinical trials on vaccines and diseases such as Alzheimer's (Zlomek, Arizona Republic, 5/11).