Efforts, Initiatives Seek To Address Health Disparities Among Minorities
The following highlights efforts that seek to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
- Fort Collins, Colo.: The Larimer County Health & Environment Department on Feb. 12 will begin hosting a series of community forums focused on addressing chronic disease and health disparities among Hispanics, the Loveland Reporter-Herald reports. The discussions are part of the Vida Sana program, which will use the information from the forums to help develop solutions (Loveland Reporter-Herald, 2/3).
- Monterey County, Calif.: The Monterey County Herald recently profiled the Village Project, a service organization that provides culturally tailored mental health and behavioral services. The Village Project was funded by the state's Mental Health Services Act, which allocated $800 million to counties for mental health programs. The organization has also partnered with the local school district to work with students who have behavior problems and also provides services for the elderly, according to Mel Mason, executive director of the organization (Agha, Monterey County Herald, 1/30).
- Nashua, N.H.: The Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services' Health and Wellness Immigrant Integration initiative seeks to promote collaboration between local agencies to better serve new immigrants and refugees, the Nashua Telegraph reports. As part of the initiative -- which is funded by a $134,000 grant from the Endowment for Health -- the city holds monthly public meetings that offer cultural competence training. Representatives from the New Hampshire Minority Health Coalition lead the seminars (Oliveira, Nashua Telegraph, 2/2).
- Nashville, Tenn.: Researchers from Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University are leading a five-year, multi-institution study that will examine the nutritional and weight habits of young children, the Tennessean reports. About one-third of the 250 children included in the Vanderbilt site will be Hispanic, a group that is disproportionately affected by obesity, according to Shari Barkin, division chief of general pediatrics and director of pediatric obesity research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The children will be followed from age four months to two years and researchers will track their diets and weight gain. Barkin said the study will consider the cultural difference that can lead to childhood obesity. The University of Miami, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and New York University also are participating in the study (Stults, Tennessean, 2/4).
- Phoenix, Ariz.: The Refugee Women's Clinic, which specializes in obstetrics and gynecology for African refugees and immigrants, recently celebrated its grand opening, the Arizona Republic reports. According to the Migration Policy Institute, between 1990 and 2006, the African-born population in the state increased from 2,917 to nearly 20,000. Many African immigrant women avoid or delay medical care because of cultural differences and are uncomfortable discussing personal information with other people. The clinic will provide culturally appropriate care in nine African languages, according to the Republic. The center is believed to be only the second in the U.S. to provide such services to African women, Crista Johnson, medical director of the clinic, said (Wingett, Arizona Republic, 1/29).