Links and Reflections from UrbanHealthWatch.net

PROVIDENCE, RI – December is a month for reflection and wrapping up as we assess, discard, and add new goals and pieces to improve our lives in the new year. Here on UrbanHealthWatch.net, we are taking up that cause as well. From the recent survey we distributed, to this and the last few posts we’ve selected, we are making sure to share information that, upon closer examination, needs to be distributed and mirrors your requests. Here are are some links to articles and other websites in the spirit of December reflection:

From the Diversity@Lifespan Newsletter
Diabetes – from health disparities to survival

According to the American Diabetes Association, in comparison to the general population, African-Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes:

• 14.7% of all African-Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
• African-Americans are 1.6 times more likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites.
• Twenty-five percent of African-Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes.

The higher incidence of diabetes among African Americans when compared to whites may have more to do with living conditions than genetics, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“I don’t mean to suggest that genetics, play no role in race differences in health, but before we can conclude that health disparities are mainly a matter of genetics, we need to first identify a gene, polymorphism or gene mutation that exists in one race group and not in others. And when that gene is found we need to then demonstrate that the gene is also associated with diabetes,” said [Thomas LaVeist, PhD, director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions]. “On the other hand, there is overwhelming evidence that behavior, medical care and the environment are huge drivers of race differences in health. It seems more likely that the answer to health disparities will be found among these factors.”

To read the full article and the entire October/November issue of Diversity@Lifespan newsletter, visit http://www.lifespan.org/services/hr/diversity/newsletters/default.htm

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From Rhode Island Kids Count
RIte Care Workshop: Materials Available Online

On Thursday, November 19th, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and The Poverty Institute co-sponsored the latest in a series of RIte Care workshops for direct service providers, Access to Health Care for Children in Immigrant Families in Rhode Island.

To access all of the materials from the workshop in PDF form, most of it in English and Spanish, visit http://www.rikidscount.org or click here.

Materials on the site include the powerpoint presentation they delivered, an analysis of Cultural Diversity in RI’s Community Health Centers, and Documents You Need to Apply for RIte Care/RIte Share.

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From the National Institutes of Health, Research Matters:
Childhood Maltreatment Linked to Adulthood Economic Problems

According to a new study, the long-term impacts of child maltreatment also include higher rates of unemployment, poverty and use of social services.

Adults who had been physically abused as children were 60% more likely than non-victims to be living in poverty. Those who had experienced 2 or more types of childhood maltreatment were 180% more likely to be living below the poverty line.

Childhood physical abuse increased the risk of unemployment by 140%. A history of multiple types of maltreatment increased the risk by 190%. In contrast, survivors of sexual abuse or severe neglect didn’t have greater unemployment rates than non-victims.

To keep reading, click here.

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
$10 Million in Grants Aimed at Enrolling American Indian, Alaska Native Kids in Health Care to be Awarded

Tribes and Indian Health Providers Urged to Apply

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the availability of up to $10 million in grants to help reach American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children who qualify for, but are not yet enrolled, in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

These new grants are part of a broader effort to find and enroll uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but not enrolled. The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) set aside $100 million for fiscal years 2009-2013 expressly to help find and enroll eligible uninsured children, including $10 million specifically for Indian health providers.

Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2010, and the grants will be awarded on April 15. Grants will be available to:

* The Indian Health Service;
* Tribes and Tribal organizations operating a health program; and,
* Urban Indian organizations operating a health program.

For more information about the outreach and enrollment grants, go to http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CHIPRA or click here.

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
HHS Announces Plans to Make $80 Million Available to Support Health IT Workforce

Dr. David Blumenthal, HHS’ National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, today announced plans to make available $80 million in grants to help develop and strengthen the health information technology workforce. The grants that will be made available include $70 million for community college training programs and $10 million to develop educational materials to support these programs.

Any U.S. non-profit institution of higher learning currently engaged in providing training in health IT that is interested in drafting curriculum or establishing a consortium that includes community colleges may apply for the grants.

For more information, click here.

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