News & Announcements
African-American Women More Likely Than Men to Stick with Substance Abuse Counseling
Posted: November 02, 2011
A new study entitled Motivational enhancement therapy for African American substance users: A randomized clinical trial, finds African-American women are more likely than men to stay with a type of substance abuse counseling called Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET). However, the women’s substance abuse issues continued.
The study compared MET with usual counseling for substance abuse among 194 African-American men and women who were seeking outpatient substance abuse treatment. “The idea of Motivational Enhancement Therapy is for counselors to help patients build motivation and strengthen commitment to behavior change,” lead researcher LaTrice Montgomery of the University of Cincinnati said in a news release. MET is designed to address patients’ ambivalence about substance abuse treatment, she said. MET uses exercises to help patients examine the pros and cons of substance abuse, Montgomery explained. “A patient discusses what he or she considers the ‘pros’ of substance use, such as drinking alcohol to reduce anxiety, but despite its ability to help reduce the patient’s anxiety, the patient might also acknowledge that heavy drinking negatively influences their interpersonal relationships,” she said.
Call for Measures: Healthcare Disparities and Cultural Competency Consensus Standards
Posted: November 02, 2011
The Healthcare Disparities and Cultural Competency Consensus Standards project seeks to expand on the National Quality Forum's (NQF) previous work where a set of criteria to evaluate disparities-sensitive measures was identified and 35 disparity-sensitive measures for the ambulatory care setting were endorsed (National Voluntary Consensus Standards for Ambulatory Care – Measuring Healthcare Disparities). The current 2011 project began with a commissioned paper, which provided guidance to NQF regarding the selection and evaluation of disparity-sensitive quality measures, outlining the methodological issues with disparities measurement, and identifying cross-cutting measurement gaps in disparities. The commissioned paper and this project are specifically focused on disparities for racial and ethnic minority populations. The Call for Measures is open through January 18, 2012 at 6:00pm ET.
Call for Measures:
In this call, NQF is seeking to identify and endorse performance measures for public reporting and quality improvement in the following areas;
For example, NQF is seeking:
Read more about the project on the NQF website.
Final Data Collection Standards for Race, Ethnicity, Sex, Primary Language Published
Posted: November 01, 2011
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Oct. 31, 2011, published final standards for data collection on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status, as required by Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act. The law requires that data collection standards for these measures be used, to the extent practicable, in all national population health surveys. They will apply to self-reported information only. The law also requires any data standards published by HHS comply with standards created by the Office of Management and Budget. Proposed standards were published on June 29, 2011, and public comments were accepted until August 1, 2011. The standards, effective upon publication, apply to population health surveys sponsored by HHS, where respondents either self-report information or a knowledgeable person responds for all members of a household. HHS will begin implementation of these new data standards in all new surveys and at the time of major revisions to current surveys.
Tribes and State Leaders Create the First Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Its Kind in the US
Posted: October 31, 2011
In Maine, the State government and the Wabanaki tribes have started the process of creating a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This effort, the first of its kind in the nation, comes from over a decade of work between tribal and state welfare agencies, to address the long term effect of child welfare practices on tribes. Chiefs of the Wabanaki nations, Maine Gov. Paul LePage and Altvater signed a Declaration of Intent to Create a Maine/Wabanaki Truth & Reconciliation Process, a process meant to heal people from the traumatic experience of the past behind and move toward the best possible child welfare system for Wabanaki children.
For more than a decade, Altvater and other indigenous Wabanaki women have worked with a Truth and Reconciliation Convening Group of individuals from the Maine Tribal Child Welfare, state Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child and Family Services and staff from the Muskie School of Public Services, American Friends Service Committee and Wabanaki Mental Health Association to bring the Truth & Reconciliation project forward. “Everyone wants to know what the goal of this project it,” Altvater said. “For me, it is about healing, education and learning. It is about changing how we do our work in the future so that every child we are responsible to protect is treated with kindness and dignity and given the best we have to offer so they will have a place that is always safe.” The Maine Tribal-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will be the first of its kind established in the country, said Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis. “This is truly a historic event,” Francis said at the ceremony. “This TRC process is unique in that parties on both sides have come together with the best interests of Wabanaki children and families at heart. It is a model of collaboration that can be replicated in other areas of tribal-state relations in Maine and has the potential to be a model for other states as well.”
Read more on Indian Country Today Media Network.com. Visit the Maine Wabanaki Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission Facebook page.
Pathways to Integrated Health Care: Strategies for African American Communities
Posted: October 30, 2011
The Office of Minority Health convened a national dialogue on Effective Holistic Health for African Americans in Washington DC in August 2010, to address specific and outstanding concerns related to addressing mental health, substance use/abuse and primary care. It is hoped that this report, Pathways to Integrated Health Care: Strategies for African American Communities, will assist in building systems of prevention by establishing improvements to meaningful access to care for African American individuals and families to holistic and comprehensive behavioral and primary health care through the development of strategies that are culturally designed to meet their needs. This report will additionally make unique contributions to the Department of Health and Human Services by conducting a first ever meeting that focused on complicated issues and prospective solutions that intersect behavioral and primary health care systems of delivery, stigma, cultural competence and proficiency– in a holistic manner.
Forty-five key leaders in health, medicine, mental health, substance use, religion, education, research, advocacy, public policy, and clinical practice developed a set of consensus statements and recommendations for improving the health across the life span of all segments of the diverse American communities of African ancestry across the United States.
The four consensus statements are:
1. A long-term response to health disparities in African American communities has been the development of informal or practice based evidence as well as the use of healers. For behavioral health care and related problems, African Americans often seek services from their houses of worship. However, there is a need to assess these interventions to determine the effectiveness of their outcomes and how the interventions can become evidence-based practices.
2. Reductions in disparities are partially dependent on the quality, quantity, and skills of the health and behavioral health workforce and the type of integrated care applied. There is a need for a more diverse workforce that utilizes culturally and linguistically proficient and competent interventions that are developed within African American communities in addition to those that may also involve adaptations of evidence-based practices from other communities.
3. There is a pressing need to develop and measure a core set of practice standards and criteria that focus on holistic health, wellness, and community based standards.
4. A significant number of the health and behavioral health conditions in African American communities co-morbid with other socio-economic conditions. These cooccurring conditions include substance disorders, severe mental illness, HIV/AIDS, poverty, diabetes, heart disease, low income, unemployment, and homelessness as examples. The presence of multiple conditions increases overall health risks, stigma, costs, and health outcomes.