Efforts, Events Seek To Raise Health Awareness Among Minorities
The following highlights efforts that seek to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
- Austin, Texas: City officials this month will begin a series of forums, called the "Hispanic/Latino Quality of Life Initiative," which seek to improve the quality of life among Hispanics, the Austin American-Statesman's "Somos Austin" blog reports. Four community forums covering specific quality of life topics will be held through March focusing on education, economic development, cultural arts and health. A report based on findings from the forums will be presented to the City Council (Castillo, "Somos Austin," Austin American-Statesman, 2/10).
- Clyde, N.C.: The Haywood Regional Medical Center is offering a recipe booklet and other materials as part of a campaign that aims to reduce Hispanics' risk of developing diabetes, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. The "Mas que comida, es vida" program -- "It's more than food. It's life" -- was developed by the National Diabetes Education Program and features English and Spanish language materials that encourage healthy eating. The hospital's Diabetes Education Center provides other health services such as counseling and screening tests and offers interpretation services (Asheville Citizen-Times, 2/9).
- Greenville, N.C.: The fifth annual Jean Mills Health Symposium, held on Feb. 6, addressed factors affecting minorities' access to health care and other issues, the Greenville Daily Reflector reports. Guest speaker Camara Jones, a researcher director for CDC's Social Determinants of Health and Equity, said that issues such as poverty and racism, which affect minorities' access to health care, should be on the national agenda. North Carolina public health officials also suggested that individuals and governments make improvements to address racial health disparities (Marine, Greenville Daily Reflector, 2/6).
- Racine, Wis.: Several viewings of the PBS documentary "When the Bough Breaks" will be shown in the city this month to highlight racial disparities, including the gap between black and white infant mortality rates, the Racine Journal Times reports. The documentary examines how social, economic and physical environments affect health, according to the Journal Times. The viewings, which also include discussions facilitated by the Racine Infant Mortality Coalition, began on Feb. 6 and will be held once weekly through the end of the month (Anderson, Racine Journal Times, 2/4).
- Solano County, Calif.: Solano Coalition for Better Health has launched the Critical Mass Health Conductor program, which aims to encourage blacks to improve their health, the Vallejo Times-Herald reports. As part of the effort, the group has scheduled monthly classes to train "health conductors," who will be educated on issues such as physical health and stress-management. The goal is to train at least 600 health conductors in the county, who will then educate their families and communities on the health issues they learned (Banes, Vallejo Times-Herald, 2/12).