Grants, Efforts Seek To Address Racial Health Disparities
The following highlights efforts and grants that seek to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
American Heart Association: AHA on Jan. 22 will begin a nationwide pilot stroke awareness campaign targeting the Hispanic community, the San Jose Mercury News reports. As part of the campaign, health officials will enlist the help of promotoras, or community members who have received health education, in order to inform others. The promotoras will learn basic information about stroke, such as warning signs and prevention (Gomez, San Jose Mercury News, 1/1).
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation: The foundation has awarded $485,000 in grants to 22 community-based organizations, community health centers and hospital-based programs to help low-income residents enroll in state health care programs, the International Business Times reports. Five of the organizations have programs that work to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. Each organization will receive a $20,000 to $25,000 grant (International Business Times, 1/6).
- Disparities research: The National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, and the Office of Behavioral & Social Sciences together are sponsoring $78 million in funding to promote health inequity research that seeks to improve health outcomes and quality of life for populations with a higher disease burden. NCI has committed up to $10 million in fiscal year 2009 to fund three to five grants, with a total amount of $60 million over five years. The NHLBI has committed $18 million over five years to fund two centers. Eligible not-for-profits, education institutions and local tribal governments must apply for the funds by May 29 (Community Health Funding Report release, 1/5).
HHS: HHS has awarded a five-year, $2.2 million grant to the Substance Abuse Foundation of Long Beach in California to expand HIV/AIDS services to blacks and Hispanics, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. In conjunction with California State University-Long Beach, the "Minorities Overcoming Risk" grant will fund a program officially launched on Thursday that will offer HIV/AIDS services and substance use treatment, such as for cocaine and methamphetamine use, to those most at risk. Hilda Birchmeier, project director at the foundation, said the program is expected to serve about 1,000 clients who will be educated on prevention and treatment options (Butler, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 12/30/08).
- Nutrition: WTOP News on Monday profiled Angela Shelf Medearis, whose "goal as a chef and author has been to educate blacks and others about the history of African-American cooking, its roots in African culture and to encourage healthier eating." Medearis' cookbooks include vegetarian meals and other cuisine based on black culture and discuss the history of healthy eating (Vertuno, WTOP News, 1/5).
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment has awarded the New Jersey-based MatriArk Family Program at Seabrook House a five-year, $400,000 grant to provide HIV/AIDS and substance use services to minorities in South Jersey, the Vineland Daily Journal reports. The grant will provide patients with onsite HIV testing and education at a local community center and train staff on HIV/AIDS management and coordination of patient medical needs. Family members also will receive assistance, including a bi-weekly family education day (Vineland Daily Journal, 12/31/08).
- Women's health: NPR's "News and Notes" on Tuesday examined a new book by the editors of Essence Magazine aimed at addressing black women's health issues. According to NPR, editors were prompted to write the book, titled "The Black Woman's Guide to Healthy Living," because of statistics indicating that black women are dealing with a range of health conditions, including diabetes and obesity (Chideya, "News and Notes," NPR, 1/6).