Initiatives Seek To Improve Health Among Hispanics, Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness Among Blacks
The following highlights several efforts that seek to address health care disparities in minority communities.
- Central Falls, R.I.: Progreso Latino, the state's largest bilingual, multicultural community-based agency, last week graduated its first group of students in the Blue Health Angels Program, which trains community members to advise others on health issues, the Providence Business News reports. The program was funded by a Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island grant. The 11 graduates will work in Progreso Latino's Wellness Center and advise members of the Hispanic community about how to improve their health and access health care (Providence Business News, 4/21).
- Decatur, Ill.: The Decatur Herald & Review recently profiled the Very Informed Brothers Engaged for Survival program, a group that aims to prevent HIV/AIDS among black men between ages 16 and 30. The Community Health Improvement Center offers the program through a six-week course that includes weekly discussions on relationships, holistic health, hygiene and other topics. Kenneth Knox, the CHIC prevention assistant who facilitates the program, said VIBES emphasizes the importance of peer education and confidentiality. At least four courses, in which about 10 to 12 people participated, have been completed, according to organizers (Getsinger, Decatur Herald & Review, 4/18).
- Yakima, Wash.: William Anderson, civil rights pioneer and the first president of the American Osteopathic Association, on Monday addressed the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences and discussed how health care access disparities led him to start a civil rights movement in the 1950s, the Yakima Herald Republic reports. According to Anderson, before the civil rights movement, particularly in the South, blacks could not afford or in some cases were not allowed to be treated in white hospitals. In addition, as a black doctor he was not permitted to practice in the only hospital located in Albany, Ga., and as a result had to treat black patients in their homes. The situation led Anderson to gather the support of other black physicians to push for blacks to get registered to vote and address segregation, an effort now known as the Albany Movement, the Herald Republic reports (Ferolito, Yakima Herald Republic, 4/23).