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Health Justice CT Blog

Health Disparities Round-Up – April 25, 2014

Taking Blood PressureJust in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.

Fierce Health IT: Focusing health IT on improving minority health gaps – “Health IT must be available, affordable and sustainable in underserved communities to improve the health of people with higher rates of poverty and chronic disease, write two officials from Morehouse School of Medicine in a recent post to Health IT Buzz blog. Despite the uptake in electronic health records, disparities remain in rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and HIV/AIDS–conditions that often are preventable. Georgia’s Regional Extension Center is working to provide physicians with health IT tools to better coordinate care for patients living with many of these chronic conditions.” >> Read More

Washington Blade: Transgender health disparities studied -“ Transgender individuals are medically underserved and their health care needs incompletely understood in part because they represent a subpopulation whose health is rarely monitored by U.S. national surveillance systems, Health Canal reports. To address these issues, a new study compared methods of collecting and analyzing data to assess health disparities in a clinical sample of transgender individuals, as reported in an article published in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the LGBT Health website.” >> Read More

Families USA: Prevention Is Power: Using the Affordable Care Act to Tackle Minority Health Disparities – “Communities of color face grave disparities in health and health care that undermine the well-being of families and their financial futures. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, people of color are more likely to get sick with certain conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers. And when they do develop these diseases, they tend to be more likely to lead to complications and even premature death. This is especially true for common chronic diseases that are preventable and that can be effectively managed if detected early.” >> Read More

Wicked Local: Physician Focus: Eliminating disparities in health care – “Twelve years ago, the Institute of Medicine, the independent health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, issued a groundbreaking report on health care and racial and ethnic minorities. That report, “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,” disclosed wide differences between minorities and whites in the quality of care they receive. The report made public a topic that today still commands the attention of the medical community, and it becomes more important as our population continues to undergo demographic changes. It’s important here to distinguish between health disparities and health care disparities.” >> Read More

WBUR’s Common Health: Report: Disabled Mass. Residents Face Major Health Disparities – “A new report highlights the many ways in which Massachusetts residents with disabilities “fare worse” than those without disabilities when it comes to their own physical and mental health as well as access to quality medical care from doctors sensitive to their needs. This phenomenon isn’t new. Previous research found that many barriers still exist that prevent disabled patients from accessing specialty medical care. And for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities, sometimes finding a doctor willing to treat even common medical conditions can be difficult. The latest report, by researchers at UMass Medical School’s Disability, Health and Employment Unit working and the Health and Disability Program at the state Department of Public Health, also suggests that the state could do more to ensure that disabled patients have access to health care providers who both understand and can help with the specific medical challenges of this population. >> Read More

Blog.AIDS.Gov: Fighting a Silent Epidemic: Viral Hepatitis in the African American Community – “Viral hepatitis is sometimes referred to as a silent epidemic, one that leads to more than 17,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. But this epidemic, which disproportionately affects African Americans—who are 1.5 times more likely to die from the disease than non-Hispanic whites—too often goes unnoticed by the public and undetected by health care providers and patients. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and reduce its impact on the African American community. Since 2011, the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis has guided the efforts of HHS, other federal agencies and non-governmental partners. Building on the achievements of that plan and recent advances in this field, HHS and its federal partners renewed their commitment to improving the national response to viral hepatitis with the release of the updated Viral Hepatitis Action Plan on April 3, 2014. The updated plan includes actions designed to improve awareness of viral hepatitis among and access to prevention, screening, care, and treatment for priority populations, including African Americans.” >> Read More

Image Credit: iStock Photo

About Gina Hernandez

Gina Hernandez is a Program Director at the Society for New Communications Research and has worked 7+ years in the digital communications field. Prior to joining the Society for New Communications Research, Gina worked at re: Imagine group, where she where she led media and blogger outreach and agency research.

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