Health Equity Alert

Written by admin   // May 30, 2012   // 0 Comments

Local Event

Sisters Network Milwaukee Breast Health Summit to be held June 16

Source: Milwaukee Courier

The Milwaukee Affiliate of Sisters Network® Inc., a national African American breast cancer survivorship organization, will hold its 4th Annual Sisters Side By Side Breast Cancer Awareness and Education Program on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1531 N. Vliet Street, Milwaukee, WI from 10:00AM to 2:00PM.

Registration is free. Email a “Yes, I will come” RSVP to, post on facebook/sisters4cure or on Twitter @sisters4cure. Is it also possible to RSVP on facebook/sisters4cure events

This year’s theme is Fight Fear: “You can be scared to death or into action”. You will be enlightened and empowered by being present. Fear is a foe to contend with being a mean reason for postponing and omitting health related action.

The purpose of this event is to educate the community about the devastating impact that fear of breast cancer and its screening tools and treatment has in the African American community. Outcomes include motivating attendees to respect and perform regular preventative health screenings and put self-first when treatment is needed.




Local News/Research


May: Asthma Awareness Month

Source: Milwaukee Courier

(Excerpt) Milwaukee is plagued by asthma more than most cities in the U.S. and currently is in the midst of an asthma crisis. As recently as 2009, Milwaukee ranked second in the prevalence of asthma, and has been in the top 5 worst cities for asthma for almost a decade. Asthma is the number one admitting diagnosis at Children’s Hospital ER and third leading cause of all pediatric hospital admissions. It is also the number one cause of school absenteeism.



National News/Research



Black undercount found in 1940 census records

Source: CBS News

(Excerpt) The importance of an accurate count is vital, since the data is used in a number of ways. That includes the main purpose, written into the U.S. Constitution, that Congressional districts are apportioned by the census population counts. But it also matters because federal dollars flow to states and localities based on that effort, meaning a wrong count in a census year can impact a whole decade.

“It literally can mean the difference of tens of millions, hundreds of millions, of dollars,” Sparks said.



Caught in the cycle of poverty

Source: Los Angeles Times

After months searching for work and feeling increasingly discouraged, Natalie Cole caught a break — an offer of a part-time position at a Little Caesars Pizza shop in Compton. The manager scheduled her orientation and told her she had to pass a food safety test.

She took the test — and failed. But rather than study and take it again, she shrugged it off.

“I guess I am not working for a reason,” she said.

Cole isn’t a victim of the struggling economy. She was poor before and is poor now. Hers is a story of entrenched poverty — a whirl of choices, challenges and chaos that keeps undermining her spurts of personal progress.



Columbia Study on Community-Based Disease Management Initiative Finds Community Health Workers Are Critical to Program’s Success

Source: Health Canal

Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health and NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, with support by Merck, Inc., developed the Washington Heights/Inwood Network for Asthma Program where bilingual community health workers based in community organizations and the local hospital provided culturally appropriate education and support to families who needed help managing asthma. After 12 months, hospitalizations and emergency department visits decreased by more than 50%, and caregiver confidence in controlling the child’s asthma increased to nearly 100%. Study findings on the WIN for Asthma program are published online in the American Journal of Public Health.



Few U.S. Hispanics Screened for Skin Cancer

Source: NIH Medline Plus

Only one in 14 Hispanic adults in the United States has ever been screened for skin cancer, far fewer than the one in four whites screened, a new study finds. Socioeconomic factors such as lack of health insurance and poorer access to health care services are major reasons for this disparity, according to the researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.



Hospitals Struggle to Provide Interpreters for Patients Who Don’t Speak English

Source: Washington Post

A visit to the emergency department or a physician’s office can be confusing and even frightening when you’re trying to digest complicated medical information, perhaps while you’re feeling pain or discomfort. For the 25 million people in the United States with limited English proficiency, the potential for medical mishaps is multiplied.

A trained medical interpreter can make all the difference. Too often, however, interpreter services at hospitals and other medical settings are inadequate. Family members, including children, often step in, or the task falls to medical staff who speak the required language with varying degrees of fluency.



Losing One Generation After Another: When Will We Stop the Carnage?

Source: Peter Edelman, Professor at Georgetown University Law Center

The over incarceration of African American and Latino young men is a national scandal. Low-income young men of color—especially those growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods—are fated under current circumstances to end up in prison in percentages that far exceed their share of the population. We are losing generation after generation.

Check the boxes: father in and out of prison or whereabouts unknown or never known. Mother struggling to find steady work and often not succeeding. Drugs or alcohol in the parental picture somewhere. Violence in the home. Early childhood inattention or worse. Terrible schools. No caring adult other than the mother or grandmother in the boy’s life. Street culture that valorizes defiance and denigrates educational achievement. Police all too willing to arrest.

Result: time in prison, likely fathering children and not marrying the mother, and difficulty in finding work for the rest of his life. Poverty in childhood makes these young men strong candidates for getting into trouble with the law in the first place, and time in prison makes them even stronger candidates for lives of poverty and disenfranchisement from the democratic process, pushing the arithmetic of politics to the right and shrinking the constituency for support of low-income communities.



Poverty workshop part of health initiative

Source: Muskogee Phoenix

Two of our major social challenges in Muskogee go hand-in-hand: poverty and poor health.

The poorer you are, the sicker you tend to be.

This is not unique to Muskogee; it’s a national reality.



Program helps moms who need it most

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

(Excerpt) What became known as the Nurse Family Partnership began in Elmira, N.Y., in 1977, with the goal of improving infant health. Nurses worked with at-risk mothers before their children were born to teach them how to care for a child. At the same time, the nurses would teach the mothers to better themselves.

Regular visits continued until the child turned 2.



Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Percentage of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Cases Attributable to Overweight and Obesity

Source: Medscape

Introduction Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects 3% to 7% of pregnant women in the United States, and Asian, Black, American Indian, and Hispanic women are at increased risk. Florida, the fourth most populous US state, has a high level of racial/ethnic diversity, providing the opportunity to examine variations in the contribution of maternal body mass index (BMI) status to GDM risk. The objective of this study was to estimate the race/ethnicity-specific percentage of GDM attributable to overweight and obesity in Florida.



Study: One in 10 veterans lack health insurance

Source: The Washington Post

The Veterans Administration operates the country’s largest health-care system, with more than 1,400 hospitals employing nearly 15,000 doctors. That expansive system does not, however, cover everyone: One in 10 veterans currently lack health insurance, according to a new Urban Institute study.

The research, from the first-ever study to look at health coverage among veterans, finds that their uninsurance rate is just over half the level among the general population (17.9 percent)

The Veterans Health Administration does provide coverage for most veterans, although not all: Eligibility is determined in part by factors including income, injuries sustained in combat and length of service.



U.S. Metros Are Ground Zero for Majority-Minority Populations

Source: The Atlantic Cities

New population estimates were recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau showing that, for the first time, the majority of Americans under the age of 1 are minorities. Or more specifically that white, non-Hispanic babies now make up less than half of the population younger than 1.

It’s part of a demographic shift that’s expected to create a minority-majority nationwide population sometime within the next 40 or 50 years. California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas have already passed that threshold at the state level.

So what about cities?

Well, metro-level data isn’t yet publicly available. But with the data there is, we’ve put together something of a proxy to show just how much of the very young U.S. population is made up of what we may eventually no longer know as minorities.



Webinar Series on: Health Equity in Transportation: Promising Methods and Modes to Improve Health Outcomes

Source: American Public Health Association

APHA will host a free webinar series on critical health and equity issues within the transportation sector. These three, 60-minute APHA webinars will explore the ties between public health and:

  • Increased use of public transportation;
  • Reduced injuries, particularly for children and young drivers;
  • Increased access to goods and services, such as healthy foods, jobs, employment and health care, for all communities; and
  • Other topics within transportation, such as updates on the federal surface transportation authorization.

We invite professionals in public health, transportation and other related sectors to participate in our 2012 webinar series.

Webinar dates and times, as well as guest speaker details, are provided below.

Participants must register to join the webinar. Registration is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For those who are unable to participate in the live webinar, it will be archived on the APHA website.




Clarene Mitchell, Program Manager

Health Equity and Urban Clinical Care Partnerships, Institute for Health and Society

Medical College of Wisconsin | 8701 Watertown Plank Road | Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509

(414-955-5656 | 7 414-955-6529 I Website:

The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.

By Dr. Maya Angelou

***If you are not already connected to our eHealth Equity Alert System, please ask me for details.***


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