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Health Disparities Roundup – March 8, 2013

iStock_000002592411XSmallJust in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.

MSNBC: The health gap: What ails the African-American community? – “Even though 40% of Americans are unaware of racial and ethnic disparities in health, the gap is wide. According to a Kaiser report, minority Americans are at least twice as likely to be uninsured than whites. In the book, Dr. Davis also cites some startling statistics about the African-American community: African-Americans are more overweight or obese than any other racial group; African-Americans have twice the rate of heart disease and stroke compared to whites; Even though they made up 14% of the U.S. population in 2009, African-Americans accounted for 44% of new HIV infections that year. And the disparities don’t stop there.” Read More

PR Newswire: As Affordable Care Act Expands Coverage for Children’s Mental Health Services, New Report Exposes Barriers and Opportunities – “With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aiming to expand coverage for critical mental health services, a new study by children’s health policy experts at the George Washington University Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) shows that meaningful improvements will also require state and local governments to address the systemic impediments that lead to significant shortfalls in care. “The children’s mental health system is as fragile as the at-risk youth it is intended to serve,” said Julia Graham Lear , PHD, a senior advisor and founder of CHHCS and the co-author of the study, Improving Access to Children’s Mental Health Care: Lessons from a Study of Eleven States. “The system is racked not only by chronic funding shortages but also by significant challenges and disconnects between the many institutions that serve children and families. This analysis, however, highlights ways in which policymakers, advocates and service providers must work together to elevate children’s mental health on the public agenda and seek comprehensive solutions to addressing this critical public health need,” she added.” >> Read More

KCBS: Survey Finds Mental Health Disparities Impacting LGBT Community – “A first-of-its-kind survey finds California mental health providers still not embracing certain segments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Thousands of people responded to the survey, coordinated by the LGBTQ Reducing Disparities Project.” >> Read More

Politico: A blueprint to improve health care for minorities – “With so many advances in medical technologies and treatments, many of us are living longer and healthier lives. Too often, however, how long we live and what we die of are largely determined by the color of our skin, our gender and where we live. Despite all the progress minorities have made over the past few decades in areas of employment, education and politics — health remains an area of significant disparity. As one looks at data in the United States for nearly any major health issue, one sees huge differences in who is affected most. Right here in Washington, D.C., are some of the starkest differences: African-American children have asthma at a rate of 24 percent versus 12 percent among white children. The District reports the highest breast cancer mortality rate in the country. White women are 14 percent more likely to get breast cancer than African-American women, but African-American women have a 41 percent higher rate of death from it.” >> Read More

Los Angeles Sentinel: What the Health Law Means to African-Americans – “But Mrs. Jones is one of over 45 million Americans who are uninsured. Soon she’ll have access to coverage under the health care law so she can receive the medical attention and advice she needs. It’s known by many names: health reform, Obamacare, the health care law, the Affordable Care Act. So what does this law – whatever it’s called – mean for you? It means easier access to health insurance and protection from unfair insurance practices. It means that people like Mrs. Jones can get the help they need to take better care of their health and prevent disease. Here are some benefits within the law to help you, and your family, manage your health” >> Read More

CT Latino News: Increased Focus on Mental Health Care – What Does it Mean for Latinos? – “Two bills being advanced by Latinos in the House of Representatives illustrate the conflict between protecting the public versus the rights of families and individuals: one bill establishes mental health screening for children; another is for parents concerned about their kids being committed to psychiatric care without their knowledge. Proposed House Bill 5567, introduced by state Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven) and co-sponsored by state Rep. Christina Ayala (D-Bridgeport) seeks to create a comprehensive mental health plan for children. Proposed House Bill 5727, co-sponsored by state Rep. Victor Cuevas (D-Waterbury) seeks to protect the rights of families of children “admitted to the hospital for diagnosis or treatment of a mental disorder” without parental knowledge, specifying that parents must be informed within one day of the admission. Current law allows for five days before informing parents.” >> Read More

Science Daily: First Documented Case of Child Cured of HIV – “Dr. Deborah Persaud, of Johns Hopkins University and an amfAR grantee, detailed the case of a two-year-old child in Mississippi diagnosed with HIV at birth and immediately put on antiretroviral therapy. At 18 months, the child ceased taking antiretrovirals and was lost to follow-up. When brought back into care at 23 months, despite being off treatment for five months, the child was found to have an undetectable viral load. A battery of subsequent highly sensitive tests confirmed the absence of HIV. Confirmation of the cure was made possible by a grant the Foundation awarded to Dr. Persaud and Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga of the University of Massachusetts in September 2012. The grant allowed Drs. Persaud and Luzuriaga to establish a research collaboratory to explore and document possible pediatric HIV cure cases.” >> Read More

the ct mirror: Feds reject Medicaid cuts, but more could be coming – “The plan the federal government rejected would have tightened eligibility in another program, known as Medicaid for Low Income Adults, or LIA. It serves poor adults who don’t have minor children. Since the program began in 2010, enrollment and costs have grown beyond what officials had anticipated.” >> 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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