Health Justice CT

Health Justice CT Blog

Health Disparities Roundup – Friday, February 8, 2013

Image Credit: iStock Photo

Image Credit: iStock Photo

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

The Hartford Guardian: CT Selected to Inquiry About Health Disparities, Low Birth Rate – “Preterm births occur in the black community at a rate 1.5 times higher than that in the white community, a disparity that has not changed over the last 10 years, according for the Centers for Disease Control. One of the many causes, health experts say, is racism. And this pattern, birth rate less than 6 lbs among black women, is also found in Connecticut, which has been selected along with three other states by the National Governors Association to participate in its Learning Network on Improving Birth Outcomes. The Learning Network is designed to assist states in developing, implementing and aligning their key policies and initiatives related to improving birth outcomes. >> Read More

Orlando Sentinel: Health disparities among the races deserve more attention – “Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, African-American women are most likely to die from the disease. African-American women with cervical cancer are twice as likely to lose their lives as white women. Early detection and treatment of these diseases is essential, but too often African-American women face barriers to receiving the early preventive care that could have saved their lives. African-American women are more likely to be uninsured or under-insured than white women, and they often are forced to delay care because they lack the resources to pay for it, making it much more difficult to obtain health care — including sexual and reproductive health-care services. Unfortunately, that also means less education about the risks of infection and opportunities for counseling, testing and treatment. Under the Affordable Care Act, millions more people will be eligible for health insurance and HIV care. Insurers will be required to fully cover annual counseling and screening for HIV infection for all sexually active women, as well as HIV screening for adolescents and adults ages 13 to 64, who are at higher risk for contracting HIV.” >> Read More

WGNS Radio: Tennessee Health Department reports that blacks 9 times more likely than whites to have HIV infections – “HIV/AIDS is a crisis in African American communities, threatening the health and well-being of men and women in Tennessee and across the U.S. The Tennessee Department of Health will join communities, churches and other organizations on February 7 in observances of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This community mobilization initiative focuses on education, testing, involvement and treatment, with the goal of raising awareness, participation and support for the prevention of HIV among African Americans.” >> Read More

Bioscience Technology : Disparities Seen in Addiction Treatment – “Roughly half of all black and Hispanic patients who enter publicly funded alcohol treatment programs do not complete treatment, compared to 62 percent of white patients, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance. Comparable disparities were also identified for drug treatment program completion rates. The study, published in the latest issue of Health Affairs, shows that completion disparities among racial/ethnic groups are likely related to differences in socioeconomic status and, in particular, greater unemployment and housing instability for black and Hispanic patients.” >> Read More

Connecticut Health I-Team: Mental Health Reform Needs Supportive Housing – “If we’re going to talk about changing our culture post-Newtown, we need to talk about supportive housing. It shouldn’t be that difficult a conversation. Unlike the state’s heated discussions about potential gun legislation, we have consensus that something must be done about Connecticut’s mental health care system – which isn’t really a system at all.” >> Read More Community Health Center launches social media campaign – “The Community Health Center Association of Connecticut has launched a mobile, social media and advocacy campaign, “Txt 2B Heard,” to reduce health disparities and improve health policy making by providing opportunities for health care consumers to inform decision making. In southeastern Connecticut, United Community & Family Services and Generations Family Health Center, both in Norwich, are involved in the campaign. During the campaign, health center patients and other health care consumers will be asked to express their opinions and perspectives on health care delivery and reform via text message, postcard, and posts on Twitter, Facebook and a new web site,, the association said in a news release.  It will allow patients to voice what they want and need from the health care system. Themes that emerge from the patients’ voices will be compiled into a report for health center leaders and policy makers.” >> Read More

Hartford Courant: Screening Kids For Mental Health Critical – “The shootings in Newtown, Chicago and other communities raised concerns about mental health relative to those committing such crimes, but the discussion has missed a critically important point. Screening for early warning signs and providing accessible mental health services and supports as early as possible has lifelong, multi-generational consequences for children and their families. As an educator and a lawyer, our observations increasingly suggest that the futures of children, if not their lives, will continue to be destroyed if we do not take advantage of a vital opportunity to adequately address their mental health. That is why we propose the following multi-disciplinary approach to identifying and addressing children’s mental and developmental health while promoting early intervention and access to services.” >> Read More

Forbes: Pay Now, Or Pay (More) Later: The Crying Need to Fund Community Prevention – “Study after study, pilot project after pilot project has found that interventions that clean up mold, roaches and other asthma-triggering contaminants can greatly reduce the suffering of people with the disease and lower the cost of treating them. If we could go one step further and reduce air pollution in affected communities by cutting emissions from cars, trucks and dirty industries, the impact would be even greater. By the same token, we know that helping people eat right and get physical activity helps reduce diabetes, heart disease and other kinds of chronic illness. The problem is there’s no source of funds to pay for these kinds of interventions on a sustained basis. Pilot programs come to an end; foundation grants expire. Health systems and insurers haven’t historically paid for wellness efforts that make it easier for people to hike or bike or that bring healthy food to communities that lack it. The good news is that with help from Obamacare and new efforts to reform health systems, that’s starting to change. A little bit.” >> Read More

HIV Plus Magazine: Black Colleges and HIV – “These institutions clearly serve as an educational bedrock for many black Americans—and are a great place to conduct HIV prevention efforts targeting African-American youth and young adults, a group with some of the fastest-growing infection rates. Unfortunately, by the time kids get to college, it might be too late, says Howard University professor Goulda Downer.“When the students come to campus, many believe, I’m free for the first time, and I can do whatever I want,” Downer says. Downer runs Howard’s HIV/AIDS Consortium, an initiative established two years ago to merge all of the campus’s HIV-related prevention efforts, research, professional education, and student-driven projects and groups. As is the case at many other colleges, freshman orientation at Howard includes in-depth sexual education. And students have multiple options when it comes to testing; on-campus residents can even get an HIV test in their dorm rooms.” >> Read More

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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