Health & Wellness
Will be helped by expanded Medicaid eligibility, tax credits for health care marketplaces
Madison – A new study indicates that uninsured Wisconsin veterans will be helped by health reform, officially known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and sometimes called Obamacare. According to the report, there are roughly 17,000 non-elderly veterans who are uninsured in Wisconsin along with 11,000 of their family members. Two key provisions of reform will help these veterans starting in 2014 – just a year and a half away.
First, the law expands eligibility for Medicaid (BadgerCare) for those with incomes up to 138% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL)*. The study found that 48.8% of uninsured veterans nationwide are in this income level. Second, reform creates individual tax credits for those with incomes between 138 and 400% of FPL that can be used in new health insurance marketplaces (also called “exchanges”) if they have no other access to affordable care. The study found that 40.1% of veterans nationwide are in this income level.
The new health insurance marketplaces are required to be set up in each state for individuals and small businesses that otherwise have difficulty purchasing insurance – allowing them to pool together for greater leverage. They will function similar to purchasing an airline ticket or hotel on a website, allowing citizens to compare a range of private insurance plans for price and service in an “apples to apples” way. If states choose not to implement the marketplaces, the federal government will step in. Wisconsin has currently put implementation on hold.
“Having just celebrated Memorial Day, it’s a great time to focus on how health reform impacts uninsured veterans who have served our country,” said Doug Hill, director of Know Your Care Wisconsin. “We’re thrilled to see this study indicating that Wisconsin’s uninsured veterans will be helped by health reform through increased Medicaid eligibility and tax credits to help afford insurance in the new health insurance marketplaces that are coming online in 2014.”
According to the study, uninsured veterans tend to have served more recently, are less likely to have service connected disabilities (though many still do), are less likely to be married, have higher rates of unemployment and lower rates of full-time work, and have lower education levels. Nationwide, 41.2% of uninsured veterans and 54.8% of their family members have unmet medical needs. In addition, 33.7% of uninsured veterans and 44.1% of their family members have delayed medical care due to cost.
For the full report, visit www.rwjf.org/files/research/74428.quickstrike.veterans.052412.pdf. More about health reform can be found at www.healthcare.gov.
*FPL for one person is $11,170 and $23,050 for a family of four. For 138% of FPL, it calculates to $15,415 and $31,809. For 400% of FPL, it calculates to $44,680 and $92,200.
Information on worrisome trend among older adults; tips on prevention, treatment
Data from national surveys reveal a disturbing trend for 50- to 59-year-olds: the number of those reporting past-month abuse of illicit drugs—including the nonmedical use of prescription drugs—more than doubled from 2002 to 2010, going from 907,000 to 2,375,000, or from 2.7 to 5.8 percent in this population. Among those 65 and older, 414,000 used illicit drugs in 2010. A new topic, Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse, available on NIHSeniorHealth.gov http://nihseniorhealth.gov/drugabuse, describes this trend and the effects of medication and drug abuse on older adults.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health, the numbers of older substance abusers could continue to rise, due to the aging of the baby boomers, who were more likely than previous generations to have used illicit drugs in their youth.
Medications for a variety of conditions can help older adults maintain health and function, and most older adults take their medications as prescribed. At the same time, abuse of prescription medications—such as painkillers and depressants—and illicit drugs—such as marijuana and cocaine—can be especially harmful for older adults because aging changes how the body and brain handle these substances. “As people get older, it is more difficult for their bodies to absorb and break down medications and drugs,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIDA. “Abusing these substances can worsen age-related health conditions, cause injuries and lead to addiction.”
Although substance abuse among older adults is preventable and treatable, many older adults may not get the help they need because some common warning signs of abuse, such as sleep problems, falls, and depression, can also be signs of other health conditions. The new topic on NIHSeniorHealth provides tips on behaviors to watch for and appropriate steps to take if a substance abuse problem is suspected. “This topic is an excellent, easy-to-understand overview of a growing problem,” says Dr. Volkow. “It’s a must-read for anyone concerned about substance abuse in themselves, an older relative or friend.”
Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse is the latest topic to appear on NIHSeniorHealth www.nihseniorhealth.gov, joining a roster of nearly 60 research-based health topics of interest to older adults, including exercise and physical activity, safe use of medicines and management of diseases such as stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. A joint effort of the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine at NIH, NIHSeniorHealth has senior-friendly features such as large print and opened-captioned videos to make the information on the site easy for older adults to see, understand and navigate. Recently redesigned for today’s older adults, NIHSeniorHealth now features a search function that offers users access to an even broader selection of senior-related health information.
As a special thank you around the 4th of July holiday, presenting donors can register to win a prize certificate redeemable at GiftCertificates.com between June 29 and July 8, 2012. Visit redcrossblood.org/GiveWin for details. The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to donate blood regularly this summer, helping to ensure a stable supply for patients in need. Just recently, a new mom required 67 blood products, including red cells, platelets and plasma, on Mother’s Day. Because of dedicated American Red Cross blood donors, blood products were available for her and many other patients like her.
During the summer months blood donations decline as many regular donors are busy with summer activities. However, the need for blood is constant. All eligible donors are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply for patients.
This summer, the American Red Cross Live Life. Give Life. promotion is helping to raise awareness about the constant need for blood and encourage regular donations.Presenting donors between May 21 and September 5, 2012 will be entered automatically into the Live Life. Give Life. prize drawing and have the chance to win prize packages to GiftCertificates.com.And, from June 29 to July 8, presenting donors will be entered to win additional prize certificates to thank them for giving blood around the Independence Day holiday.Visit redcrossblood.org/GiveWin to learn more.
How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.
Blood Donation Opportunities:
6/25/2012, 12:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Trinity United Methodist Church, 300 Church St, Lomira
FOND DU LAC COUNTY
6/20/2012, 11:30 am- 5:30 pm, Mt Zion Lutheran Church, 320 Mt Zion Dr, Ripon
6/26/2012, 11:00 am- 4:00 pm, Ripon High School, 850 Tiger Dr, Ripon
6/26/2012, 11:30 am- 5:30 pm, American Legion, 500 Fond du Lac Ave, Fond du Lac
6/27/2012, 9:00 am- 3:00 pm, American Legion, 500 Fond du Lac Ave, Fond du Lac
6/21/2012, 12:30 pm- 6:00 pm, Firemans Hall, N8345 Park St, Ixonia
6/27/2012, 12:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Jefferson High School, 700 W Milwaukee St, Jefferson
6/29/2012, 12:00 pm- 6:00 pm, St Josephs School, 387 S Monroe, Waterloo
6/22/2012, 1:00 pm- 6:00 pm, St Marys Lutheran Church, 2001 80th St, Kenosha
6/16/2012, 9:00 am- 3:00 pm, Davids Donors Blood Drive at The Pettit Center, 500 S 84th St, West Allis
6/22/2012, 12:30 pm- 5:30 pm, Best Buy, 4610 S 76th St, Greenfield
6/28/2012, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm, Schlitz Park Office Building, 1555 N River Center Dr 209, Milwaukee
6/21/2012, 1:00 pm- 6:30 pm, St Francis Borgia Cath Church, 1375 Covered Bridge Rd, Cedarburg
6/26/2012, 2:00 pm- 6:00 pm, St Matthew Lutheran Church, 1525 N Grant St, Port Washington
6/21/2012, 11:00 am- 5:00 pm, Red Cross Sheboygan Chapter, 2032 Erie Ave, Sheboygan
6/28/2012, 11:00 am- 5:00 pm, Red Cross Sheboygan Chapter, 2032 Erie Ave, Sheboygan
6/19/2012, 1:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Peace United Church of Christ, 343 First St, Kewaskum
6/25/2012, 2:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Kewaskum High School, 1510 Bilgo Ln, Kewaskum
6/26/2012, 1:00 pm- 6:00 pm, St Boniface Parish, W204 N11940 Goldendale Rd, Germantown
6/18/2012, 2:00 pm- 6:00 pm, The Melting Pot, 19850 W Bluemound Rd, Brookfield
6/19/2012, 1:00 pm- 6:30 pm, Waukesha Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd, Pewaukee
6/21/2012, 1:00 pm- 6:30 pm, Waukesha Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd, Pewaukee
6/26/2012, 1:00 pm- 6:30 pm, Waukesha Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd, Pewaukee
6/27/2012, 8:30 am- 1:30 pm, Templeton Middle School, N59 W22490 Silver Spring, Sussex
6/28/2012, 1:00 pm- 6:30 pm, Waukesha Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd, Pewaukee
6/29/2012, 9:00 am- 1:00 pm, Humana, 2 Riverwood Pl N 19W24133, Waukesha
Addiction Specialist Offers Tips for Overcoming Tech Disconnection & Anxiety
Social media sites like Facebook connect users with old friends, new acquaintances and everyone in between. However, studies are revealing an inverse link with online connections and deeper, face-to-face relationships.
Norwegian researchers recently developed a test for networking sites, called the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, which likens inordinate amounts of time spent on the networking site to drug and alcohol abuse. The test measures how often people use the site, if they do so to forget their problems and how using the site negatively affects their personal and working lives.
Researchers found the following groups of people most at risk for Facebook addiction:
• Women, who are more social than men, • Young people, who are more tech savvy than older people • Anxious or socially insecure people
“Social media, and the new emphasis on the importance of ‘multitasking,’ have helped drive a wedge between family members,” says psychologist Gregory L. Jantz, author of #Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology and Social Networking (www.drgregoryjantz.com).
Ironically, people become less social the more time they spend on social sites, and they tend to get less done while multitasking because they do not focus on completing one task at a time, he says.
“When people abuse drugs and alcohol, they are trying to feel better, yet they are worsening their situation. We’re finding this is also true for those who spend excessive amounts of time on social networking sites,” he says. “Perhaps the hardest hit from social media addiction is the family unit.”
Parents should monitor their own time online to ensure it’s not further limiting the already shrinking amount of time available with their children, Jantz says. And they need to safeguard their children by monitoring their time, as well. Jantz suggests these questions for parents to ask themselves in gauging their kids’ media usage:
• How much time do your kids spend with various forms of media? There are plenty of distractions from homework. Estimate how much time your child spends with the television, internet, social networking sites, cell phone, Blu-rays and game systems. The more time spent with media, the lower a child’s academic performance, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study.
• How much time do your kids spend with you versus online media? Remember, simply being in the same room isn’t necessarily interacting. The less the scales tip in favor of human-to-human interaction, the more likely there may be a problem.
• Do you know how each device works and how it can be used? Familiarity with your children’s gadgets gives you a better perspective of what their habits may be like.
• What are the consequences of their tech habits, and what should be changed? Make a list of the good and the bad consequences of your family’s technology use. After comparing the two lists, consider changes that can turn negatives into positives.
“Technology continues at its accelerating pace, and we are in unchartered territory,” Jantz says. “Increasingly, social networking infiltrates our personal lives, but we need to remember that it is created to serve us, and not the other way around.”
About Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D
Gregory Jantz has more than 25 years experience in mental health counseling and is the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, near Seattle, Wash. The Center, “a place for hope,” provides comprehensive, coordinated care from a treatment team that addresses medical, physical, psychological, emotional, nutritional, fitness and spiritual factors involved in recovery. He is the best-selling author of more than 20 books on topics from depression to eating disorders.
by the National Cancer Institute
BETHESDA, Md. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Many people who fear cancer don’t realize that some types of cancer are preventable. Cancer of the colon or rectum (together referred to as colorectal cancer) is one of these. What’s more, colorectal cancer can often be treated effectively if it is found early enough.
Regrettably, African Americans (both men and women) are more likely than people of any other racial/ethnic group in the United States to develop colorectal cancer, and also to die from it. Nearly 17,000 African Americans will develop colorectal cancer this year. Only prostate, breast, and lung cancer kill more African Americans.
Doctors don’t know exactly why African Americans are harder hit with this disease, but they do know that many cases and deaths could be avoided if African Americans knew about––and followed––recommended strategies for prevention and early detection. Here are some things to keep in mind about colorectal cancer:
Colorectal Cancer and Precancers Can Be Detected Early
Most colorectal cancers develop from a certain type of polyp, called an adenoma. Polyps begin as small growths on the inner lining of the rectum or the colon. A number of different tests can be used to check if people have polyps or colorectal cancer. Polyps can often be detected by a colonoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy, or a fecal occult blood test, and then removed before they have a chance to develop into cancer. Some of the tests are done at your doctor’s office, and others are done at home using a kit that your doctor gives you.
Some polyps can grow and develop into cancer without any real symptoms. So, unless you are checked regularly for polyps, you could develop colorectal cancer that will be harder to treat by the time symptoms appear.
There are two ways to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. One is to be sure that you undergo regular screening—and follow-up with effective diagnosis and treatment when screening finds a possible problem, such as large polyps or a cancer. The other is to know––and try to reduce––the risk factors for colorectal cancer that you have the power to change.
Talk To Your Doctor about Regular Screening
Colorectal cancer is more likely to occur as people get older. Many experts recommend that both men and women start getting screened beginning at age 50.
People should talk with their doctor about when to begin screening for colorectal cancer, what tests to have, the benefits and harms of each test, and how often to get screened. Common considerations include your age, your family’s history of colorectal cancer, the convenience of the test and the preparation required for it, your insurance coverage, and other factors.
Although some people may feel embarrassed about the idea of colorectal cancer screening and are worried about some of the procedures that are used, colorectal cancer screening decreases the risk of dying from colon cancer. So, it’s important to push past any reluctance and talk with your doctor to learn more.
Think about Changing Your Lifestyle––Even Just a Little
A number of studies show a link between certain “lifestyle factors” and people’s chances of getting colorectal cancer–and other cancers as well. People who drink three or more alcoholic beverages per day are at increased risk of colorectal cancer, as are people who are obese. Those who engage in regular physical activity have a lower risk. Daily aspirin also decreases risk, but it may cause intestinal bleeding and other side effects, and it’s important to find out from your doctor whether it is right for you.
Take time to learn as much as you can and share the information with people you love. The National Cancer Institute is a great resource for this information. See video.
NCI leads the National Cancer Program and the NIH effort to dramatically reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new interventions, and the training and mentoring of new researchers. For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI web site at www.cancer.gov (or m.cancer.gov from your mobile device) or call NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). More articles and videos in the culturally relevant Lifelines series are available at www.cancer.gov/lifelines.
Editor’s Note: The following article is part of the monthly Lifelines education and awareness print series that the National Cancer Institute provides to African American media outlets.
Asthma disproportionally affects minority children, children living below poverty level
WASHINGTON – Today U.S. federal agencies unveiled the Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities. White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan discussed the new plan during an event at Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC), which houses The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington along with other community groups.
Nearly 26 million Americans are affected by this chronic respiratory disease, including 7 million children, especially minority children and children with family incomes below the poverty level. Asthma rates of African American children are currently at 16 percent, while 16.5 percent of Puerto Rican children suffer from the chronic respiratory disease, more than double the rate of Caucasian children in the United States. The annual economic cost of asthma, including direct medical costs from hospital stays and indirect costs such as lost school and work days, amounts to approximately $56 billion.
“The numbers don’t lie: Asthma disproportionately impacts low-income minority families which is why we must do everything we can to ensure all children have a healthy place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Today’s announcement will help the federal government support the development of innovative new approaches to improve and control asthma.”
“Across America we see low-income and minority children and families at a disproportionately higher risk for asthma and respiratory illnesses. Air pollution and other challenges are having serious health effects, which compound economic challenges through medical bills and missed school and work days,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “As the mother of a child with asthma, I know what it means for our children to have clean and healthy air to breathe. This Action Plan enables federal agencies and our partners to work more collaboratively and comprehensively on tackling a major health threat, so that we can protect all Americans, no matter what community they call home.”
“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.”
The action plan will coordinate efforts to improve asthma management and prevention:
- · Reduce barriers to asthma care: Ensure that the populations most severely impacted by asthma receive evidence-based comprehensive care, which includes access to medical services, education and environmental interventions.
- · Build local capacity: Enhance capacity to deliver integrated, community-based asthma care systems.
- · Target services: Identify the children, families and communities most impacted by asthma disparities.
- · Accelerate prevention efforts: Increase understanding of the cause or causes of asthma and test interventions that may prevent the onset of asthma.
(MEQUON, WI) – If you are like most Americans, you are probably worried about being able to keep up with your health insurance premiums. In fact, according to Intuit’s Health Care Check-Up Survey released last year, 70 percent of respondents said they are concerned about paying for their medical care.
Fortunately, there is a way of keeping your doctor and hospital bills from skyrocketing and taking a big bite out of your budget. According to a new American Heart Association research, physically fit middle-aged adults have significantly lower health care costs as they age, compared to their less active counterparts.
“It really is true that a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, is the best preventive medicine,” says Jane Westreich, owner of Mequon Adventure Boot Camp. “Just think about how much money you can save by keeping various life-threatening diseases at bay.”
This message is especially timely now because May was designated by the President as the “Exercise is Medicine Month,” which focuses national attention on the health benefits of physical fitness.
There is an abundance of evidence showing that regular exercise, especially in combination with sensible nutrition, significantly contributes to a disease-free life. By helping us maintain healthy weight, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, physical activity can prevent or reduce the incidence of heart disease, several forms of cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
“All these are serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses, but don’t forget that by working out for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week, you will also reduce the severity of various aches and pains, improve your strength, balance and flexibility, and boost your cognitive abilities and mood,” Westreich points out.
To maximize your health and quality of life while minimizing your medical expenses, Westreich recommends including the following routines in your exercise program:
Interval training: This time-efficient series of exercises will boost your health in several significant ways. It will help burn calories and fat like a furnace, give your heart a great workout, and, because it increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, will bolster your memory, lift your mood, and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, dementia and other related conditions.
Strength training: “It helps slow down or stop muscle loss that accompanies aging and even raises the body’s metabolic rate. Strong muscles protect your heart, keep your joints flexible, strengthen the bones, and help manage back and arthritis pain.
Balance and flexibility exercises will improve stability and coordination, keeping you from falling down and sustaining serious injuries. It will also increase your range of motion, decrease muscular tension, and strengthen your joints, tendons and ligaments – all of which will go a long way in preventing or relieving the pain and discomfort of arthritis.
“Clearly, a comprehensive exercise program will make you healthier and happier, and, consequently, lower your medical bills,” Westreich says. “And, in this economy, that’s certainly remarkable.” About Mequon Adventure Boot Camp: Launched by fitness expert Jane Westreich in September 2008, Mequon Adventure Boot Camp (a/k/a Brew City Adventure Boot Camp) is a women’s only boot camp fitness program which specializes in the areas of weight loss, lifestyle nutrition, lifestyle fitness, athletic training, speed and agility and TRX suspension training. Program details and client testimonials are available at www.brewcitybootcamps.com. Westreich, a certified fitness expert with 17 years experience in the fitness industry, can be reached at [email protected] or 262-389-0597.
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 [email protected], 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: http://www.mcw.edu/IHS/HealthEquity.htm
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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by Gordon Filepas
America must seem pretty dumb to the rest of the world when it comes to how we take care of ourselves. Here’s why:
• America spends more per person on health-care costs than any other country in the world, by a huge margin, yet ranks 29th in longevity and has among the worst health outcomes. • Americans and their children are still getting fatter and sicker each year. • American physicians receive less than 24 hours of nutrition training throughout all of medical school. • 90 percent of what U.S.-educated physicians learn in their careers is either directly or indirectly funded by pharmaceutical companies. • President Obama’s health-care plan and Mitt Romney’s counter-proposal don’t discuss prevention.
Everyone’s complaining about America’s increasing health and obesity issues and wondering how to solve these problems while also reducing health-care costs. They make it sound like a big, complicated mystery – how could this be happening? Giving everyone health insurance is the best solution anyone can come up with? It’s a noble proposition but it won’t solve the problem or do a thing to cure or prevent any disease.
Twenty years ago, I would have thrown up my hands in frustration along with everyone else. Back then, I was in the same place that most of America is today – uninformed, a little bit frantic, and wondering what to do.
But through two decades of common sense study, I’ve learned good health is easily attained and maintained – and it doesn’t require either deprivation or a big change in lifestyle.
I know, now, that Americans aren’t dumb about health. They’re just incredibly misinformed about how to get and remain healthy and lean, and how to extend their longevity. In many other countries, such knowledge is simply part of the culture, handed down through the generations.
Here’s what I’ve learned after 20 years of intensive research:
• The human cell is essentially immortal and humans should live to, at minimum, 120 years of age while being lean and healthy. • To achieve this you must give your body what it needs biologically – oxygen, proper nutrition, adequate water and good drainage, freedom from toxins and adequate sunlight: The same things a plant needs to thrive. • Genetics has little to do with your weight, health or longevity. • Humans gain weight or get sick only when their body becomes out of balance because it is not receiving the raw materials to meet its biological needs. • America can save $600 billion a year with common sense preventative practices that ensure individuals receive the proper nutrients. • It is impossible to reform America’s health-care “system.” The only way to change the system is to change the health of the people within the system through proper education about health and wellness. As people become healthier and demand for services is reduced, the system will gradually adapt to reduced health-care needs, much like how the music industry adapted to the introduction of iTunes.
The key is proper education that emphasizes common-sense, time-tested practices focusing on how the human body works. High-tech gadgetry and man-made petrochemicals cannot replace what the human body needs biologically.
Rapid, mass health-care reform in America will result directly from individual self-care reform from proper health education.
Try it America. You’ll like it.
About Gordon Filepas
Gordon Filepas spent 20 years researching for his book Lean And Healthy To 100 (www.adviceformychildren.com), interviewing physicians, attending seminars, and reading medical journals and other health-related literature. He is the founder of TGM Partners, a consulting and investment firm. Filepas says he was motivated to learn more about the requirements for optimal health following the deaths of his father and brother from cancer right around the time his first child was born. He hopes to ensure the good health of his family, including his wife of 25 years and three sons.