Efforts Offer Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment to American Indian Youth, Diabetes Management Education to Blacks, Bilingual Health Information to Hispanics
The following highlights recent efforts and initiatives that seek to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
- Bemidji, Minn.: The White Earth Band of Chippewa will soon begin the development of a substance abuse and mental health treatment center for American Indian youth, the AP/St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The center will treat children ages 12 to 18. The band purchased a 40-acre facility to house the center and will spend more than $8 million on renovations (AP/St. Paul Pioneer Press, 7/9).
CMS: Beginning next month, CMS will expand a nationwide diabetes awareness project for elderly and black Medicare beneficiaries. The initiative, which was tested with the Every Diabetic Counts project, enlists community health workers' family members, volunteers, faith-based organizations, media and other residents to help Medicare beneficiaries better manage diabetes. CMS' Quality Improvement Organizations will offer no-cost diabetes management education and other programs to beneficiaries in an effort to improve outcomes. The program also will train beneficiaries to exercise, request feet examinations from their physicians and check their own feet daily. It also will emphasize weight-loss, medication adherence, dental and eye exams, and other health issues (CMS release, 7/7).
National Alliance for Hispanic Health: A toll-free hotline, Su Familia, from the alliance offers bilingual health information and helps direct callers to appropriate health services, Triage/Chicago Tribune reports. The alliance also has a hotline specifically for pregnant women that refers callers to prenatal care that is culturally and linguistically sensitive (Graham, Triage/Chicago Tribune, 7/7).
- Rapid City, S.D.: The National Cancer Institute has reauthorized a multiyear grant to fund the Rapid City Walking Forward program, which studies cancer disparities among American Indians, the Rapid City Journal reports. The five-year program researches effective screening programs and treatment options for American Indians (Rapid City Journal, 7/4).
- Tampa, Fla.: Assistant U.S. Surgeon General Marilyn Gaston and psychologist Gayle Porter next month will launch the Prime Time Sister Circles, which seeks to improve health among black women, WFLA Channel 8 reports. Gaston and Porter co-wrote the book "Prime Time: The African American Woman's Complete Guide to Midlife Health and Wellness." The no-cost, 12-week education series will include informational sessions designed to help black women manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and depression. The groups will meet weekly at local schools and churches to discuss health topics such as healthy eating, fitness, disease prevention and lifestyle changes. Currently, the program is looking for women to participate in a three-day training program to lead the discussions. The Web site Healthy-Together.org is offering more information on the program and seeking volunteers (Maher, WFLA Channel 8, 7/3).