Efforts, Events Seek To Address Health Disparities Among Minorities
The following highlights efforts that seek to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
- Camden, N.J: The Penn-Jersey Region American Red Cross, which covers southeast Pennsylvania and the state of New Jersey, in an effort to "diversify" its blood donation supply partnered with a local not-for-profit on Thursday for a blood drive targeting Hispanic donors, the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reports. It is particularly important to encourage Hispanics to donate because they are more likely to have the "universal" type O blood, which is commonly used for trauma and transfusions, Ivette Cruz, manager of the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey's East Camden campus, said. Donations collected at the drive will undergo testing and then be distributed to about 100 hospitals throughout the region (Hirsch, Cherry Hill Courier-Post, 2/27).
- Great Falls, Mont.: Members of the American Indian community on Wednesday met with the Benefis Health System's Native American Advisory Board to discuss the top health problems facing the American Indian community, the Great Falls Tribune reports. Cissy Worth, a tribal communications staff member with Benefis' tribal programs, said mental health issues such as substance and alcohol use and suicide are among the major health concerns in the community. The information learned from the hearing will be used as the basis for applying for several NIH grants that seek to address the most urgent health issues in the American Indian community, the Tribune reports. Similar discussions have been held on other reservations with more set for others on later dates (Coleman, Great Falls Tribune, 2/26).
- Los Angeles: The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program on Friday will hold its first African-American Men's Health and Empowerment Conference, which will seek to address and improve the health of African-American men. The Abbott Fund is sponsoring the event, which will include an expert panel discussion that will cover various health issues black men face including health disparities, tobacco and substance use, diabetes, HIV and prostate cancer. The organization screens black men for diabetes and high blood pressure in local barbershops nationwide and also stresses education and prevention and healthy living among black men (Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program release, 2/23).
- Los Angeles: The American Diabetes Association on Friday is hosting a "Pastors Appreciation Brunch," which seeks to encourage more religious leaders to promote better health and raise diabetes awareness among their congregation, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. According to the Daily News, health care organizations have a history of forming relationships with local churches such as with parish nurses, promotoras and other health-based ministries to promote wellness among members. About 100 members of the clergy are expected to participate in the event (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 2/26).
- Stockton, Calif.: The California Department of Public Health's Black Infant Health program is holding an annual event on Friday aimed at promoting healthy development among black infants, the Stockton Record reports. About 12 organizations will participate in the no-cost event -- "It Takes a Village: Changing Prenatal Disparities Among Our African-American Women" -- that will include guest speakers who will focus on nutrition and empowerment. BIH aims to reduce the black infant mortality rate and improve the reproductive health of black women in the state and offers program services in 16 other communities statewide (Stockton Record, 2/26).