California Summit Focuses on Diabetes, Obesity in Minority Communities
The California Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and Assembly member Sandre Swanson (D) on Friday sponsored a health care summit that focused on ways to address diabetes and obesity, particularly in minority communities, the Contra Costa Times reports.
At the summit held in Oakland, Calif., Alameda County Health Director Anthony Iton said other issues, such as poverty and root causes of the diseases, need to be addressed. He noted that blacks and Hispanics, who are disproportionately affected by diabetes and obesity, often have few opportunities or power in their communities, which can cause them to lose hope and not take care of their health. "We have to invest in people," he said, adding, "There are all of these populations that have essentially been oppressed."
Gary Puckrein, president and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, said health care officials need to increase more resources to communities in the most need. Puckrein discussed a Web-based program that maps diabetes prevalence by neighborhood and ZIP code. The program was developed with funding from Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly.
Using the mapping system and CDC data, Puckrein said his organization has found that available resources are not going to the communities that need them the most. "We can begin to move resources where the problem is," he said. Puckrein added that he hopes to make the program available to advocacy groups and lawmakers to help make policy decisions (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 6/27).