Health Equity Alert

Written by admin   // May 13, 2012   // 0 Comments

Local Event

4th Community Engagement in Research (CEnR) Conference

Sponsor: Medical College of Wisconsin

Date: Thursday, June 7, 2012

Time: 9:300 am – 3:30 pm

Location: Westwood Conference Center, Wausau, WI

Conference attendees will:

  • · Engage in interactive sessions to gain knowledge, information and lessons learned from successful collaborative community health improvement programs
  • · Participate in dynamic skill-building workshops to enhance collaborative work of community health programs
  • · Take part in multiple networking opportunities.

For more information, contact Michelle Smith-Beckley, or 955-8410.

Although there is no charge to attend the conference, registration is required. The registration deadline is Tuesday, May 29. Additional information is available on the Collaboration to Improve Rural Health flyer. (PDF)

Local News/Research

Housing Authority and Growing Power partner to create a healthier Westlawn

Source: Milwaukee Courier

The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) and Growing Power have established a partnership to improve nutrition, health education and access to fresh food as part of the revitalization of the Westlawn public housing development. The partnership was celebrated at a reception last week at Growing Power Headquarters, 5500 W. Silver Spring Drive.

Trying to Call More Attention to Fatherhood

Source: Milwaukee Public Radio

A UWM researcher is one of very few people in American academia looking at the challenges facing black, poor, non-custodial fathers. David Pate is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at UW-Milwaukee.

Pate believes it’s not just that attention isn’t paid to their plight – it’s that the way the system is currently set up, fathers are de facto discouraged from having positive engagement with their children.

Pate, who spoke with Lake Effect’s Stephanie Lecci, has written extensively on the subject for peer-reviewed journals, worked on briefs submitted to the US Supreme Court, and serves on a number of national-scale task forces. The 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award winner was also a producer of the documentary titled “Fatherhood: Six Men, One City,” about the plight of poor, black fathers.

National News/Research

18th National Health Equity Research Webcast

Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 12:30 – 3:00 pm

Topic: Social Determinants of Health Disparities: Moving the Nation to Care about Social Justice


• Camara P. Jones, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., Division of Epidemiologic and Analytic Methods for Population Health(p), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

• Ronny A. Bell, Ph.D., M.S., Professor, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Co-Director, Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity

• Aida L. Giachello, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

• Moderator:Cedric M. Bright, M.D., F.A.C.P., Director, Office of Special Programs and Assistant Dean for Admissions, UNC School of Medicine and 112th President, National Medical Association

This free, interactive session will be broadcast with a live audience in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt auditorium at the UNC School of Social Work and can be viewed over the Internet (webcast). Questions will be taken from broadcast participants by email and toll-free telephone. For more information: To register a group viewing site: To register to view on your personal computer:

A cloud over the community: pollution’s impact on our health and what you can do

Source: Madame Noire

Caring about everyday issues like pollution, contaminated water and the environment seem fairly new, insignificant, and sometimes unimportant in the Black community overall, but it’s making more of an impact on this community than any other.

Recent studies and statistics from the Center for American Progress conclude that many physical ailments in the African-American community, like asthma, diabetes and lung cancer, are due to air and trash pollution and power plants, and the rates of those illnesses are very disproportionate compared to other communities.

Black Women Bear the Brunt of Premature Births in the U.S.

Source: BET News

(Excerpt) African-American women are bearing the brunt of this issue. In 2009, while white women had a preterm birth rate of 10.9 percent, the rate among African-American women was 17.5 percent.

So why are these rates so high?

The report suggests that in countries such as the United States, women are on fertility drugs and are having multiple babies at one time, which can play a factor into the high rate of premature births. But the main factors include obesity, diabetes diagnosis, heart disease, smoking, lack of prenatal care, poor maternal health and drug and alcohol use.

Doctors’ Attitude About Race Can Affect Your Health

Source: BET News

A study finds that two-thirds of doctors harbored “unconscious” racial biases toward patients.

Historically, African-Americans have had a rocky relationship with the medical community. Think the Tuskegee experiments, forced sterilizations of Black women and Henrietta Lacks’ cervical cells. And while those atrocities may not be happening in 2012, that doesn’t mean that racial bias is completely null and void when it comes to the health of Black people.

Over the years there have been an abundance of studies that have exposed how physicians’ own racism plays out in the examination room. A recent study adds more fuel to the fire.

Gay Adults Rejected by Parents Have Worse Health, Study Finds

Source: National Library of Medicine

(Excerpt) “Given the high rates of suicide and self-harm among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth — and the high costs of treating mental health and substance-abuse disorders — it’s critical that we understand what we can do to promote better health for LGB kids,” Rothman added.

Government Job Cuts Threaten Black Middle Class

Source: National Public Radio

Rivaled only by the manufacturing industry, postal and other government jobs built the modern black middle class.

Blacks are 30 percent more likely than nonblacks to work in the public sector, according to the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education. And roughly 21 percent of black workers are public employees, compared with 16.3 percent of nonblacks.

Medicaid Raise for Primary Care Could Include Subspecialists

Source: Medscape

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today proposed increasing Medicaid rates in 2013 and 2014 to Medicare levels not only for primary care physicians as planned, but also for those in primary care subspecialties.

The Affordable Care Act authorized the increase — confined to evaluation and management (EM) services and vaccine administration — for family physicians, general internists, and pediatricians. In proposed regulations to implement the law, CMS said that many subspecialists in primary care deliver these services as well and therefore deserve the raise. The agency cited the example of a pediatric cardiologist, considered a subspecialty of internal medicine. The proposal therefore would cover subspecialists in all 3 primary care fields.

Study: Privately Insured Kids Get More Care In ED

Source: Kaiser Health News

Emergency departments are required to treat everyone who comes through the doors, but that doesn’t mean they treat everyone the same way.

Insurance coverage may play a major role in the kind of care a young patient receives, according to a study published in the most recent edition of The Journal of Pediatrics.

Survivors of North Carolina’s Eugenics Program

Source: Mother Jones

Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina sterilized more than 7,500 of its residents. Most were operated on without their consent, having been deemed “feebleminded” and unfit to reproduce by the state Eugenics Board. Eighty-five percent were women; about 40 percent were black or Native American. As many as 2,000 victims are thought to still be alive.

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



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