News & Announcements

Report Features State Efforts to Reduce Health Disparities (posted 5/21)

Posted: May 21, 2010

With support from the HHS Office of Minority Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care, Association of State and Terrirotial Health Officials (ASTHO) has developed ten case studies that highlight state-based strategies to address health equity. The report entitled, Health Equity Case Studies focuses on how state public health departments have organized to promote health equity and the tools and programs they are harnessing in this effort. The content is drawn from interviews with directors of minority health and health disparities offices, state public health officials, community leaders, and local health officials. Ten state case studies are presented, representing a geographic mix and also demonstrating a range of strategies, programs, and ethnic and racial populations. The states include Arizona, California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia. The report also includes a discussion of emerging themes and links to additional health equity initiatives by state. For more information click here. To download the report click here.

National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 5/19

Posted: May 19, 2010

On May 19, Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities across the U.S. and Pacific Island Jurisdictions will gather at over 25 events to acknowledge the impact of HIV on A&PIs, an often overlooked population at increasing risk for HIV. May 19, 2010, marks the 6th annual observance of National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This year’s theme is “Saving face can’t make you safe. Talk about HIV.”

The Banyan Tree Project, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center's national anti-stigma partnership, has wrapped production on its social marketing materials! Check out their new public service announcement, poster and fact sheets, a map of events taking place across the nation by clicking here. Spread the word by posting this video on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Use the hashtag #May19 for any National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day related tweets.

"Saving face" is a common cultural concept in A&PI communities, where individuals seek to protect the family from perceived public shame or disgrace. In practice, "saving face" contributes to silence about sex, HIV, and safe sex practices. Saving face and stigma also lead to higher rates of HIV infection and a lack of knowledge about one's HIV status:

  • 1 in 3 Asians and Pacific Islanders living with HIV don’t know it
  • Over half of Pacific Islanders have never been tested for HIV
  • Over two-thirds of Asians have never been tested for HIV

To read the Center for Disease Control's statment on National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day click here.

To watch an interview with Lance Toma, Executive Director of the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, talking about May 19th click here.

Discrimination is Associated with Depression Among Minority Children (posted 5/17)

Posted: May 17, 2010

A new study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada found that minority children who encounter racism in their daily lives have more symptoms of depression than their peers. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports:
"Unfortunately, minority children perceive discrimination often in their lives," said Lee M. Pachter, DO, co-author of the study and professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. "Fifty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education and the civil rights movement, racism is still common in their lives." Dr. Pachter and his colleagues surveyed 277 minority children ages 9-18 years to determine the contexts in which they perceive racism and the relationship between discrimination, depression and self-esteem. "Not only do most minority children experience discrimination, but they experience it in multiple contexts: in schools, in the community, with adults and with peers." Dr. Pachter said. "It's kind of like the elephant in the corner of the room. It's there, but nobody really talks about it. And it may have significant mental and physical health consequences in these children's lives." To read the full press release click here. To view the abstract click here.


Perceptions of Racism in Minority Children: Experiences and Relationship with Self Esteem and Depression

Martine Saint-Cyr, Bruce A. Bernstein, Laura Szalacha, Cynthia Garcia-Coll, Lee M. Pachter. Pediatrics, Saint Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA; University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT; Pediatrics, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT; College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ; Education, Brown University, Providence, PA.

Native American Anti-Meth Campaign Launched (posted 5/17)

Posted: May 17, 2010

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) recently launched the 2010 Native American Anti-Meth Campaign.  This prevention campaign is the only national anti-meth advertising campaign tailored to reach both Native youth and adults across Indian Country and Alaska Native lands. It will run until August and will include TV commercials, print and radio ads, and billboard advertising in the 15 states with the highest percentage of Native Americans. The states include: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and Utah. For more information click here.

According to national data, meth use rates for American Indian/Alaska Native populations remain among the highest of any ethnicity, almost two times higher than other groups. Specifically, American Indians or Alaska Natives are almost twice as likely to have used meth in the past year than whites (1.1 vs. 0.6 percent) or Hispanics (1.1 vs. 0.6 percent), and approximately five times more likely to have used meth than African Americans (1.1 vs. 0.2 percent).

The advertising celebrates Native American culture and pride. For youth, the advertising materials have a unifying, empowering message "there are a lot of cool things about being Native and meth isn’t one of them" and give them reasons not to use meth. For adults and elders, the materials encourage them to talk to their kids about the risks of meth and to take appropriate steps to protect their children. Beginning in August 2010, Native groups and others will be able to download and use the ads as free PSAs in their local communities.

Health Information Technology and HIV (posted 5/12)

Posted: May 12, 2010 has released a new video focusing on the use of Health Information Technology (HIT) as a way to improve HIV treatment/prevention. The video features Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Dr. Blumenthal discusses what the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is doing and how HIT can help to improve the quality of HIV care, reduce care costs, contribute to informed decision-making, improve coordination of care, improve public health activities and early detection, facilitate research, and promote prevention/protection for all Americans including those living with HIV. To learn more and watch the video click here.

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