Healthy Equity Alert

Written by admin   // June 8, 2012   // 0 Comments

Local Event

Bringing Together Stakeholders Concerned about Public Health and Environmental Justice

Sponsor: Center for Urban Population Health

Date: Friday, June 15, 2012

Time: 11:00 AM

Location: Northside YMCA (1350 W. North Ave.)

This session will be presented by Dr. Laura Senier. With joint appointments in the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, Dr. Senier’s work focuses on the relationship between health and environment, and how it affects public health research, practice, and policy.

By identifying and comparing the factors that shape programs-including organizational structure, financing, and opinions of individual stakeholders-Dr. Senier seeks to find ways for state health agencies to effectively translate scientific knowledge into sound policy.

She sees her research as clarifying the kinds of partnerships that will be needed in the coming decades to help clinicians and policymakers collaborate on initiatives to protect population health.

Milwaukee Community Journal’s 36th Anniversary Celebration

Date: Sunday, August 5, 2012

Time: 1:00 pm

Location: Italian Conference Center

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Camara P. Jones, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Local News

Community must solve Milwaukee’s infant mortality crisis, expert says

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Anthony Iton, the keynote speaker Wednesday at the city’s third annual Infant Mortality Summit, made clear to the 300 people attending the event that, though the problem seems intractable and its solutions complex, they – we – are responsible for meeting it head-on.

“No one is coming to save you,” said Iton, senior vice president of Healthy Communities at the California Endowment, that state’s largest private health foundation.

“You are the people you are waiting for.”

Mayor Tom Barrett Hosts 3rd Annual Infant Mortality Summit: Changing the Social Determinants of Health

Source: The Milwaukee Community Journal

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the City of Milwaukee Health Department hosted the third annual Infant Mortality Summit today. This year’s theme was “Changing the Social Determinants of Health.” More than 300 business leaders, social service providers, healthcare professionals, and residents gathered at the Italian Conference Center to explore the connections between social and economic factors such as jobs and early childhood education, and how they affect birth outcomes.

National News/Research

1 in 5 Americans Has Untreated Cavities: CDC

Source: Medline Plus

More than one in every five Americans has untreated cavities, a new government report shows.

“Untreated tooth decay is prevalent in the U.S.,” said report co-author Dr. Bruce Dye, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. “It appears that we haven’t been able to make any significant strides during the last decade to reduce untreated cavities.”

Achieving Better Quality of Care for Low-Income Populations: The Roles of Health Insurance and the Medical Home in Reducing Health Inequities

Source: The Commonwealth Fund

In the United States, uninsured and low-income adults experience substantial health and health care inequities when compared with insured and higher-income individuals. A new analysis of the Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey demonstrates that when low-income adults have both health insurance and a medical home, they are less likely to report cost-related access problems, more likely to be up-to-date with preventive screenings, and report greater satisfaction with the quality of their care. Moreover, the gaps in health care between them and higher-income populations are significantly reduced. The Affordable Care Act includes numerous provisions that will significantly expand health insurance coverage, especially to low-income patients, as well as provisions to promote medical homes. Along with supporting the full implementation of coverage expansions, it will be important for public and private stakeholders to create opportunities that enhance access to medical homes for vulnerable populations.

Advancing Health Reform by Inclusion: Engaging Communities of Color in Creating Policy Change (National Call)

Source: Asian Services in Action, Inc.

The best change occurs when the communities most affected are involved. Moving toward health equity requires full participation by communities of color in the policy making process and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We conducted an assessment to identify emerging and effective ways state consumer health advocates and community-based organizations are engaging communities of color in creating policy change to advance the ACA.

On this call we will:

•Share the findings from our research, including best practices used by state and local advocates in five states Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Oregon

•Hear from advocates in New York and Minnesota about the work in their work to advance health equity

•Offer our recommendations for state and national organizations and funders

African Americans Are Less Likely to Receive Kidney Transplants

Source: BET News

Of the 92,000 American waiting for a donor, more than one-third are Black.

A new John Hopkins University Medical School study found that in every kidney transplant center across the country, African-American patients are less likely to receive a transplant and less likely to have living donors than their white counterparts. Past studies have shown that kidney patients do better with compatible donors who are alive than those who have passed away.

“We were quite disappointed to find that not a single center in this country had equal attainment of live donor kidney transplants in African Americans and non-African Americans,” said the study’s lead author, Dorry Segev, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Community Health Webinar: Rebuilding Communities, Building Human Potential and Improving Population Health: How it all Comes Together (June 25)

Source: United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA)

Join UNCA, the Alliance for Children and Families and representatives from the Federal Reserve System for a free webinar on the power of collaboration in building communities, increasing human potential and improving population health.

Life expectancy gap narrows between blacks, whites

Source: Los Angeles Times

The gap in life expectancy between black and white Americans is smaller than it has ever been, thanks largely to a decline in the number of deaths resulting from heart disease and HIV infection, a new analysis has found.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the gap is still large: A black baby boy born today can expect to live 5.4 fewer years, on average, than his white counterpart, and a black baby girl will die 3.7 years earlier, on average, than her white counterpart.

Low Income May Keep Cancer Patients Out of Clinical Trails

Source: Medline Plus

Low-income cancer patients are less likely to participate in clinical trials, according to a new study that found income affects participation even among older patients likely to have Medicare.

The researchers said patients may not have equal access to study enrollment.

The research was scheduled for presentation Sunday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, in Chicago.

“This is the first time in a large, national study that we have actual patient-reported income on which to base this finding,” study lead author Joseph Unger, a health services researcher and statistician with the SWOG Statistical Center at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, said in a society news release. “Our study found that after accounting for all factors such as age, education, sex, race, medical conditions and distance to a clinic, income on its own was associated with a patient’s clinical trial participation.”

Map the Meal Gap 2012 Highlights and Findings

Source: Feeding America

As the dynamics of the economy shift and Congress makes policy decisions affecting the nutrition safety net, it becomes increasingly important to understand the picture of food insecurity in the diverse communities across the country. Feeding America believes that addressing the problem of hunger requires a thorough understanding of the problem itself. For the second consecutive year, Feeding America has undertaken the Map the Meal Gap project to continue learning about the face of hunger at the local level. By understanding the population in need, communities can better identify strategies for reaching the people who most need food assistance.

Obama Administration Working to Close Racial, Ethnic Gap on Asthma

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

(Excerpt) “Low-income and minority communities often face an unacceptable burden of pollution in this country, diminishing their economic potential and threatening the health of millions of American families,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “As we close National Asthma Awareness Month today, the President’s Administration is standing behind his commitment to integrating environmental justice into the missions of federal agencies, promoting clean air and healthy communities, and ensuring this really is a country of equal opportunity for all.”

“The report is a blueprint for how we can work together to reduce asthma disparities and help ensure children with asthma get the right care with the right support,” said Secretary Sebelius. “One key factor that is so critical to controlling a child’s asthma is access to health care. Uninsured people with asthma are less likely to take the preventive medicine they may need to keep their condition under control, making them more likely to suffer an attack. That’s why we are focused on expanding access to care.”

Promoting Racial and Ethnic Health Equity through Exchanges

Source: Community Catalyst

Health disparities among racial and ethnic groups are persistent and drive up the cost of care for everyone. Despite national and local efforts to address disparities, people of color continue to experience poorer health than their white counterparts, including higher rates of infant mortality, lower life expectancy and increased prevalence of chronic diseases. Health Insurance Exchanges provide paths to advance racial and ethnic health equity. Below are six principles that will help the Exchanges better serve a diverse population.



Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Awareness of Heart Disease Risk in Women

Source: Health Canal

Awareness of the risks of heart disease and signs of a heart attack vary greatly among women of different racial and ethnic groups and ages. New data that clearly identify these disparities in heart health awareness are presented in an article in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.



Redefining public health in New York City

Source: The Lancet

New York City’s life expectancy is rising faster than anywhere else in the USA, as its health department pioneers tactics that could transform the practice of public health. Ted Alcorn reports.

“If you want to live longer and healthier than the average American, come to New York City”, pronounced New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he released updated data on the city’s life expectancy last December. The numbers gave him reason to crow: from a nadir in 1990, when life expectancy in the city trailed the US average by 3 years, it had lengthened by 8 years to 80·6 years, surpassing the country.

In the national context, the increase in New York City’s life expectancy stands out (figure). The Institute for Heath Metrics and Evaluation recently estimated the life expectancy for each of the USA’s 3147 independent cities and counties. Manhattan’s life expectancy rose 10 years between 1987 and 2009, the largest increase of any county, and the other four counties that make up New York City were all in the top percentile.



The American Welfare State: How We Spend Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty-and Fail

Source: CATO Institute

(Excerpt) Clearly we are doing something wrong. Throwing money at the problem has neither reduced poverty nor made the poor self-sufficient. It is time to reevaluate our approach to fighting poverty. We should focus less on making poverty more comfortable and more on creating the prosperity that will get people out of poverty.



Understanding Trends in Poverty in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area

Source: Urban Institute

In 2010, about one in eight residents (12.1 percent, or 280,000 people) in the Pittsburgh region had incomes below the poverty level, an increase of 8.5 percent since the Great Recession started in 2007. Although demographic factors such as the arrival of new immigrants and more single-parent households contributed to the growing number of people living at or near poverty, the economy was the driving force in changing poverty rates.



We Can’t Rely on Doctors Alone to Make the U.S. Healthier

Source: The Atlantic

The US spends more on health care than any other country, but we are far from the healthiest. If we look to our health care system to correct this imbalance, we may be looking in the wrong direction, because health starts where we live, learn, work, and play–long before we step into the doctor’s office. Factors such as neighborhood walkability, healthy eating habits, safe housing, and access to good jobs all help to make the healthy choice the easier choice. Keeping people out of the doctor’s office in the first place is the best prescription for better health.



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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