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Check out this great video that aims to inform and inspire minority youth about how learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can build a career.
The video, “I Am A Scientist,” was developed by superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the Department of Education, The California Endowment, California Biotechnology Foundation and Lybba produced the film “I Am A Scientist”.
But these health inequalities are preventable.
A new tool, A Practitioner’s Guide for Advancing Health Equity, can help public health practitioners work at the community level to tackle health inequities through policy, systems, and environmental improvements designed to enhance tobacco-free living, healthy eating, and active living among the underserved.
The guide, from the Prevention Institute and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, has practical tips on how you can build change for health equity:
- Tips to help you and your colleagues build organizational capacity; develop partnerships; foster meaningful engagement; and design and evaluate equity-oriented strategies.
- Strategies, based in evidence and honed by practice, that are designed to reduce health disparities and create healthy communities for all.
- Information about potential barriers and unintended consequences that can hinder chronic disease prevention efforts.
- Examples of successful equity-oriented approaches to improving public health and reducing disparities, drawn from communities across the country.
The guide also has dozens of examples of successful changes in health equity.
For example, in Louisville, Ken., Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness implemented the Healthy Hometown Restaurant Initiative, designed to encourage restaurants to provide healthier options for their patrons. Outreach efforts led many restaurant owners throughout the city, including in low-income neighborhoods, to alter their menus and provide nutrition labeling information for their menus.
The following is a Nov. 20 guest blog by Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (the team behind SaludToday), for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
I recently had the privilege of attending and presenting my Susan G. Komen-funded research on boosting Latina breast cancer survivorship through Patient Navigation at the 5th International Cancer Control Congress (ICCC) on Nov. 3-6, 2013, in Lima, Peru.
As a member of Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board, I was excited to be among the more than 400 health researchers and community leaders from throughout the world came together for this important meeting. Dr. Simon Sutcliffe of Vancouver, Canada, president of the ICCC and chair of the international steering committee, cited five key drivers for the group:
- improving human development;
- mobilizing a societal response to reduce cancer and other non-communicable diseases;
- improving population health;
- improving cancer treatment, management and care; and
- ensuring effective transfer of knowledge into action at a population level.
Dr. Carissa Etienne of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) also brought up the need to target three challenges: how to apply our current knowledge to reduce cancer; how to reduce cancer disparities; and how to implement comprehensive health care coverage to improve health for all.
How do we answer this call?
At the global level, Komen has invested more than $800 million in research and currently funds more than 500 active research grants. Since Komen’s inception in 1982, $89 million has been dedicated to more than 250 research grants focusing on health disparities. Komen is the largest non-governmental funder of breast cancer research, and its efforts to invest in translation from the lab into treatment, early detection and prevention align well with the goals of the ICCC conference.
My own Komen-funded research is addressing the burden among Latino populations.
Given that breast cancer is the top cancer killer of U.S. Latinas, my team at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is testing ways to reduce the burden on this population. In one National Cancer Institute-funded study, researchers from our Redes En Acción project found that a culturally sensitive patient navigation program reduces time from cancer diagnosis to initial treatment and increases rates of treatment initiation within 30 and 60 days of diagnosis—resulting in lives saved.
In our Komen-funded “Staying Healthy” study, we’re testing how Latina breast cancer survivors in an enhanced patient navigation program go on to participate in screening and treatment plans, and how their quality of life is affected. Preliminary results show increased quality of life, indicating that the “Staying Healthy” program has the potential to be a global model of survivorship care.
At the conference, another research project that caught my attention was a study of women with metastatic breast cancer in three Latin American countries (Mexico, Brazil and Argentina) that showed two-thirds of women felt no one understood what they were going through, 41% said their support from family and friends diminished over time after the original diagnosis, and 74% would like professionals to have more consideration for their emotional needs. In addition, 76% stated they needed more information on the secondary effects and systems of this disease. This study was supported by Novartis oncology.
I was refreshed to not only hear and learn from studies like this one, but also present my Komen-funded research.
Having a role in conferences like this can grow relationships that have the potential to generate collaborations to eradicate breast cancer across the globe.
The study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research examined survey data to examine kids’ dietary behaviors and the impact of parents on food choices.
The study found that:
- 60% of all kids between the ages of 2 and 5 had eaten fast food at least once in the previous week.
- 29% of all kids had eaten fast food two or more times in the previous week.
- Only 57% of parents reporting that their child ate at least five fruit and vegetable servings the previous day.
- Latino and Asian parents say they have less influence over what their child eats than other groups.
“A weekly happy meal is an unhappy solution, especially for toddlers,” said Susan Holtby, the study’s lead author and a senior researcher at the Public Health Institute. “Hard-working, busy parents need support to make healthy food selections for their kids.”
Toddlers from low-income Hispanic, American Indian (AI), and Alaskan Native (AN) homes are at increased risk for obesity, according to a new study, Medscape reports.
The federal study, published in the journal Pediatrics, collected weight data for 1.2 million children at ages 0 to 23 months in 2008 and followed up with them within 24 to 35 months in 2010-11. In 2008, 13.3% of children were obese. In 2010-11, 36.5% of those children remained obese and 11% who were not obese at baseline became obese at follow-up.
The Medscape article also highlighted some striking disparities in children’s weight by race/ethnicity:
At baseline, obesity rates were higher among Hispanic and AI/AN toddlers, with 18.0% of AI/AN children obese at baseline compared with 15.3% of Hispanic children, 12.8% of non-Hispanic black children, 11.5% of white children, and 9.5 of Asian/Pacific Island children. In addition, Hispanic and AI/AN children were more likely to remain obese at follow-up at 40.3% and 44.4%,respectively, compared with 34.7% of whites, 33.2% of Asian/Pacific islanders, and 30.5% of non-Hispanic blacks.
AI/AN and Hispanic youngsters were more likely to become obese 24 to 35 months after initial examination. Some 15.4% of AI/AM children became obese at follow-up. Of Hispanic children, 13.6% became obese compared with 9.7% of white children, 9.0% of Asian/Pacific Island children, and 8.7% of black children.
“The needs of Hispanic and AI/AN young children should be considered when designing population-based strategies to support environmental and system change in communities and culturally appropriate interventions,” the the researchers stated in the study’s conclusion.
Eating healthy during the holidays is not impossible, according to MomsRising, which galvanizes women around different issues, including health.
MomsRising united several food bloggers last year for a blog carnival focused on holiday eating.
Several of the carnival’s posts have relevance this year, too, for Latino families:
- Savory Latino Meals without the Meat (in Spanish here), by Elisa Bastista
- In Food We Trust, by Antonio Diaz
- Quinoa Salad, by Vianney Rodriguez
- A Simple Chile de Arbol Salsa, by Nicole Presley
- Mango, Jicama, and Cucumber Salad, by Veronica Gonzalez-Smith
Check out all recent blog carnival posts from MomsRising here.
Hispanics suffer a heavier burden of health conditions like diabetes, uncontrolled blood pressure, and work-related deaths, according to a new federal report.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Supplement, released on Nov. 21 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlights differences in mortality and disease risk for multiple conditions related to behaviors, access to health care, and social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, age, and work.
The report highlights several Hispanic-oriented issues or conditions:
- Preventable hospitalization rates were highest for Hispanics and blacks.
- Diabetes rates were highest among Hispanics and blacks.
- Rates of uncontrolled blood pressure were highest among Mexican Americans.
- The prevalence of periodontitis, a gum infection, is highest among Mexican Americans than other racial/ethnic groups.
- Flu vaccine rates increased for Hispanics ages 65 and older.
- Minorities and Spanish speakers were more likely to live near major highways—suggesting an increased exposure to traffic-related air pollution.
- Work-related deaths are highest for Hispanics.
- The highest percentage of adults not completing high school were Hispanic.
- The highest percentage of adults living below the federal poverty level were black or Hispanic.
- Racial/ethnic minority areas more often lacked at least one healthier food retailer within a half-mile than white areas.
“It is clear that more needs to be done to address the gaps and to better assist Americans disproportionately impacted by the burden of poor health,” said Dr. Chesley Richards, director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Scientific Services, which produced the report. “We hope that this report will lead to interventions that will allow all Americans, particularly those most harmed by health inequalities, to live healthier and more productive lives.”
View the full report here.
To address this important public health issue, the National Cancer Institute developed http://espanol.smokefree.gov/, a website created specifically for Spanish speakers who want to quit smoking or know someone who does.
Resources include interactive checklists and quizzes, advice on how to help a loved one quit, and real-time support and information.
CPR training rates are lower in poor, rural, Hispanic and other minority-heavy U.S. regions, a new study shows, HealthDay reports.
Timely bystander CPR can boost the odds of survival for those who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, but the new study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found exceedingly low CPR training rates in its examination of 13 million people in across 3,100 counties.
Specific findings included:
…fewer people are trained in CPR in the South, Midwest and West…counties with the lowest rates of CPR training—less than 1.3 percent of the population—were also more likely to have a greater proportion of rural areas, black and Hispanic residents, and a lower average household income.
These areas also had fewer doctors and, on average, older residents, according to a journal news release.
“With regard to rural areas, more studies are needed on interventions that target the entire chain of survival,” the study authors concluded.
Read more here.