Efforts, Grants Seek To Raise Cancer Awareness Among Alaska Natives, Educate Elderly Hispanics on Diabetes Management, Target Black Women for Infant Mortality Awareness
The following is a summary of efforts and grants that seek to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium: The American Cancer Society has awarded the consortium with a five-year, $627,000 grant to develop projects that use art, such as storytelling and dance, to educate Alaska Natives on cancer awareness, detection and treatment, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Currently, village elders receive two hours of cancer education, according to Melany Cueva of ANTHC, who will lead the effort. She said the project will seek to engage the Alaska Native community using indigenous ways of understanding and will seek out "pathways to communicate cancer understanding in culturally appropriate ways." In January, Cueva will hold discussions with medical professionals, community members and cancer survivors to begin the project (Dunham, Anchorage Daily News, 11/7).
HHS: HHS in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association and Stanford University's Patient Education Research Center recently announced a new effort to increase the number of diabetes self-management training programs in the U.S., with a particular focus on Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries. According to CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems, there is a shortage of diabetes self-management training programs nationwide, especially for Spanish-speaking elderly residents. The program will use trained "peers" to educate participants on behavior changes to better manage diabetes and messages will be delivered in community settings, such as senior centers and senior housing programs. After three months of participation, the local programs can apply to receive official recognition as an ADA-certified program. The new effort also will support HHS' Interagency Hispanic Elder Initiative, which seeks to improve the health of elderly Hispanics, and will target cities with high Hispanic populations (HHS release, 11/6).
- Mississippi: A new pilot project in Mississippi will seek to raise infant mortality prevention and awareness in the Mississippi Delta region, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. The region is a predominantly black area and "one of the most impoverished in the nation, and lack of accessible, affordable health care is one of its main problems," the Clarion-Ledger reports. The program, which is mostly privately funded, will seek out women who deliver infants weighing less than two pounds and help them with the treatment of any ailments, such as diabetes, that could possibly affect future pregnancies. The program also will educate the women on birth spacing, encouraging them to wait at least 18 months before becoming pregnant again. State health officer Ed Thompson estimated that 800 women will participate in the program. He said that if the program proves successful, he will request funds from lawmakers to expand the program across the nation (Byrd, Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 11/12).