Efforts, Grant Seek To Promote Healthy Living in Underserved Communities, Medical Services to Asian-Americans, Improve Health Quality for Minorities, Others
The following summarizes efforts that seek to improve health among minorities.
- Chicago: The Chicago Tribune on Monday featured the Kitchen Table Interventions Program, which trains local community members to be health care advocates and researchers to promote better health in urban and underserved communities. The program was launched in January as a pilot project by Northwestern University and Westside Health Authority. Funding comes from a $380,000 NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities grant awarded to the Community Healthy Lifestyles Partnership Project. As part of the program, eight trained residents of the Austin neighborhood randomly surveyed households to determine the most prevalent medical issues and health behaviors. The neighborhood was selected because of its higher rates of asthma, heart disease, hypertension and other conditions. The advocates then facilitated weekly informational sessions on nutrition, exercise, emotional wellness, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and other topics. Researchers now are analyzing the information collected by the trained advocates and will use it to develop intervention programs that target urban neighborhoods (Shelton, Chicago Tribune, 7/1).
Department of Defense: At a four-day meeting last week, the department's Breast Cancer Research Program presented a variety of data on the disease, including racial disparities. The conference -- Era of Hope -- included presentations on the latest breast cancer developments and research. Abstracts from several studies related directly to minorities were presented. Such studies included: "A New Paradigm for African-American Breast Cancer Involving Stem Cell Differentiation in a Breast Tissue Engineering System," by Jean Latimer of the University of Pittsburgh; "Diabetes, Physical Activity, and Breast Cancer Among Hispanic Women," by Maureen Sanderson of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; and "Body Composition and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer in Hispanic Women," by Gerson Peltz of the University of Texas at Brownsville (BCRP release, 6/26).
- Los Angeles: The Pasadena Star News recently featured the Chinatown Service Center, the largest Chinese-American health and human service organization in Southern California, which is expected to reopen in 2010 in Los Angeles after being closed for nearly 10 years. The Board of Supervisors in May approved a 40-year lease agreement with the center, which provides preventive health and dental services to low-income residents. The center expects to rely on donations and grants to operate and cover the costs of $8 million in upgrades to the county building. In addition to English, services are provided in Cambodian, multiple dialects of Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish (McLain, Pasadena Star News, 6/29).
- Pennsylvania: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded Pennsylvania State University with a three-year, $4 million grant to expand its evaluation of a health quality reform project that aims to reduce racial disparities and take on other initiatives, United Press International reports. The $300 million national project, called Aligning Forces for Quality, involves 14 community-based programs across the U.S. that help physicians improve quality of care for patients and ensure that patients receive adequate information to make better health decisions. AF4Q also seeks to improve nursing in hospitals and reduce health care inequality based on race or ethnicity (UPI, 7/1).