News & Announcements
CDC Releases First Ever Disparities Report (posted 1/14)
Posted: January 14, 2011
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released their first ever report analyzing health disparities on a broad array of health issues. The publication is the first in a series of periodic reports aimed at increasing awareness about disparities and developing strategies to eliminate disparities. The report complements the work of the National Plan for Action out of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Minority Health as well as Healthy People 2020. It also complements the annual National Healthcare Disparities Report and the periodic reports related to Healthy People 2010.
CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report - United States, 2011 provides analysis and reporting of the recent trends and ongoing variations in health disparities and inequalities in selected social and health indicators, both of which are important steps in encouraging actions and facilitating accountability to reduce modifiable disparities by using interventions that are effective and scalable. The report includes sections on Social Determinants of Health, suicide, and substance abuse.
The New York Times reports:
The agency did not delve into why suffering is so disproportionate, other than to note the obvious: that the poor, the uninsured and the less educated tend to live shorter, sicker lives. (Some illnesses were also broken down by income level, region, age or sex, but the main focus was on racial differences.) “Some of the figures, like the suicide rate for young American Indians, are just heartbreaking,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, who ordered the report compiled.
To read the full article visit the New York Times website.
Suicide Prevention Targets At-Risk Groups (posted 1/13)
Posted: January 13, 2011
In late December the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership launched in September by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tasked with decreasing the number of attempted and completed suicides, added three new task forces to address suicide prevention efforts within American Indians/Alaska Natives, youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and military service members and veterans. The United Press International reports:
"I am heartened that we are focusing attention on communities hardest hit by suicide," alliance co-chair Gordon Smith said in a statement. "By shining a light on their struggles I am optimistic we can help them identify solutions and bring hope for a better tomorrow."
New SAMHSA Publications Focus On Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (posted 1/3)
Posted: January 03, 2011
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration's National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare has announced the release of two new publications for professionals in child welfare services, substance abuse treatment services, and family court services.
The purpose of co-locating substance abuse specialists is to ensure that parents are assessed as quickly as possible, to improve parent engagement and retention in treatment, to streamline entry into treatment, and to provide consultation to child welfare and dependency court workers.
Helps guide child welfare agency policymakers in developing practice and policy protocols regarding the use of drug testing in child welfare and addresses the practice and policy issues that policymakers must consider to effectively use drug testing in the comprehensive assessment and monitoring that child welfare agencies provide.
Authors Explore Priorities for Addressing Socio-Economic Determinants of Health (posted 1/3)
Posted: January 03, 2011
"The interventions that were most important to the low-income residents of Washington, D.C. who participated in this study were health insurance, dental care, housing, job training, counseling, healthy behavior incentives, job placement, and neighborhood improvement," write the authors of an article published in the November 2010 issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU). The need to address socioeconomic determinants of health (SEDH) in the United States is well understood. Persistent and at times exacerbated shortages in resources to meet the needs of individuals with low incomes point to the importance of priority setting. With this in mind, the authors conducted a research project to facilitate the prioritization of interventions that address SEDH for an urban low-income population in Washington, DC. The project focused on estimating the costs of various socioeconomic interventions and engaging individuals with low incomes in an exploratory exercise aimed at prioritizing these interventions.
The authors found that
New Online Forum Focuses on Improving Health Care Quality (posted 1/3)
Posted: January 03, 2011
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), working collaboratively with HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), launched a new online forum in early December focused on local efforts to transform health care quality.
RWJF seeks comments on how existing programs can best be coordinated, how they can be leveraged to support local efforts and how “lessons learned” can best be shared.