Efforts Address Preterm Hispanic Births, Black Youth Mental Health, HIV/AIDS Among Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, Other Issues
- Galveston, Texas: Professor Roberta Ruiz of University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing has received a nearly $2.2 million grant, the largest ever to a faculty member at the school, to study preterm births to Mexican immigrant women, the Galveston County Daily News reports. The National Institute of Nursing Research awarded Ruiz the grant to research the "acculturation paradox," in which health outcomes for Hispanics worsen as they become more assimilated into U.S. culture. The grant will support an ongoing research project, "Psychoneuroimmunology: Preterm Birth in Hispanics," for the next four years. According to the Daily News, the grant will allow researchers to "explore what about acculturation leads to changes in the mothers' mental and physical health that contributes to the risk of premature births" (Galveston County Daily News, 5/20).
- Oakland, Calif.: The Native American Health Center, whose efforts target American Indian and Alaska Native populations, on Tuesday received the U.S. Surgeon General's Champion Award for its Tribal Athletics program, the Oakland Tribune reports. The program promotes exercise and healthy eating among children. The center was recognized because the program "illustrates the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle to reduce the incidence of diabetes, obesity and other health risks," according to a statement from the surgeon general's office (Oakland Tribune, 5/20).
- Indianapolis, Ind.: Indiana University's Commission on Disproportionality in Youth Services over the next five weeks will hold public community forums to discuss racial disparities in education, child welfare, juvenile justice and mental health, the AP/Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reports. According to the AP/News-Sentinel, black, Hispanic and American Indian youth have access to fewer mental health services, such as counseling and psychotherapy, and are overrepresented in the juvenile justice and special education systems, among other disparities. The commission will collect information from the public about the disparities and submit a report and action plan to the governor in October. After completion of the forums, to be held in five cities, the commission on Aug. 27 will hold a public teleconference to discuss its draft recommendations to the General Assembly (AP/Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, 5/21).
- Portland, Ore.: The Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest beginning this month adopted a tobacco-free policy, Indian Country Today reports. The group provides education and physical and mental health services to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other underserved groups. According to Indian Country Today, in Oregon, 38% of American Indians and Alaska Natives use tobacco, compared with 19% of the rest of the population. The policy prohibits smoking within 25 feet of all NARA NW facilities -- excluding a designated area in a treatment facility -- and allows use for ceremonial purposes (Indian Country Today, 5/21).
- San Francisco: The Banyan Tree Project, a national HIV anti-stigma campaign, on Wednesday launched a public service announcement featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that urges Asian and Pacific Islanders to discuss HIV/AIDS in their communities. The group launched the PSA to coincide with the Fourth National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which took place May 19. Pelosi said that annual AIDS rates are increasing faster among Asian and Pacific Islander communities than in other racial or ethnic communities, adding, "Stigma, discrimination, silence and shame exacerbate the HIV epidemic, creating barriers to testing and care services." Community members need to "break this silence and talk about HIV with our children, grandchildren and extended family," she said (Washington Examiner/PR Newswire release, 5/21).
- Washington, D.C.: The National Alliance for Hispanic Health released a bilingual informational pamphlet and DVD that seeks to educate Hispanics about their risks for developing hypertension, the North County Times reports. The no-cost booklet, "What You Should Know About Hypertension," and DVD, which features Spanish-language television personality Chef Pepin, is available through the Alliance's Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline -- 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (North County Times, 5/18).