News & Announcements

Improving Transitions for Chronically Homeless Individuals

Posted: March 16, 2017

WomanSpace Philadelphia is a residential treatment program for dually-diagnosed, chronically homeless women. The ten-bed facility includes services addressing drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness recovery, life skills, and parenting skills. Individual and group therapy is provided in an intimate home-like setting, with the ultimate objective being reintegration after a 9- to 12-month treatment stay.

A program of Resources for Human Development, WomanSpace Philadelphia is also part of Philadelphia’s Journey of Hope Project, established in 2007 to help people with a history of chronic homelessness and co-occurring disorders. Through Journey of Hope, WomanSpace residents obtain apartments in the community after successful completion of treatment. They are also connected to outpatient (OP) or intensive outpatient (IOP) continuing care at treatment organizations located close to their new apartments.

A recent NIATx change project at WomanSpace Philadelphia focused on promoting residents’ stability post-discharge from the program. The specific change project aim was to increase the number of residents who attended their intake session for outpatient or intensive outpatient services within 14 days of discharge from WomanSpace.

At the start of the change project, the follow-up to continuing care was 67.7%.

Their PDSA Cycle for the WomanSpace change team included making discharge plans weeks in advance and beginning the outpatient program immediately upon discharge. Residents attended intake at the new outpatient treatment provider in the morning, then returned to WomanSpace to attend their transition ceremony.

With this change, the follow-up to continuing care rate improved to 100%. 

Read more on NIATX.net.



Poverty and Violence Increase Depression in Older Adults

Posted: March 15, 2017

Older adults who live in poor and violent urban neighborhoods are at greater risk for depression, a study by researchers from UC Davis, the University of Minnesota and other institutions published in the journal Health & Place has found.

"Given the shift towards an aging population and the growing rates of depression among older adults, understanding the factors that contribute to depression is critical," said Spruha Joshi, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and first author on the paper. Neighborhoods in which older adults live are an important factor influencing depression and overall mental health, she said.

"We wanted to investigate the total effect poverty has on older adult depression, but also look at particular characteristics that might explain that relationship," said Magdalena Cerdá, associate professor in the UC Davis Health Department of Emergency Medicine and senior author. "Specifically, what is it about poor neighborhoods that make people depressed? This study really highlights the role violence plays in affecting mental health."

While previous studies revealed a link between poverty and depression, few have focused exclusively on older adults. In addition, previous efforts had not addressed the many conditions in poor neighborhoods that could contribute to older adult depression. "Older adults tend to be less mobile and more dependent on the amenities, services and sources of social support in the neighborhoods where they live," Joshi said.

For the study, the researchers queried data from the New York City Neighborhood and Mental Health in the Elderly Study II (NYCNAMES II), a three-year study of elderly residents in the nation's most populous city. Depression was measured using the nine-question Patient Health Questionnaire.

The team looked at several neighborhood factors that might contribute to depression, such as high homicide rates, poor perception of safety, pedestrian and bicyclist injuries, green space, social cohesion and walkability. The study sample was 61 percent female and 47 percent non-Hispanic white. In addition, 60 percent of respondents had incomes below $40,000. While many factors were examined, violence was the only neighborhood characteristic that substantially contributed to depression in older adults in impoverished, urban communities.

Read more on MedicalNewsToday.com. Read the abstract of the study.



15 Things Black Trans People Face When Going to the Doctor

Posted: March 14, 2017

According to the 2015 US Transgender Survey released late last year, one third of respondents who saw a doctor in the past year reported at least one negative experience related to being transgender. In addition to that, 40% of black trans people said they hadn’t seen a doctor in the past year because they couldn’t afford it while 26% said they didn’t see a doctor for fear of being mistreated. These are only two of several factors that contribute to a range of health disparities among black trans people — among them, 19% of black trans women live with HIV compared to 1.4% of all trans people and 0.3% of the US population. Another one: 47% of black trans people have attempted suicide compared to 40% of all trans people and 0.6% of the US population.

Read more on BuzzFeed.com.



March 20 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Posted: March 13, 2017

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD) is a national mobilization effort designed to encourage Natives (American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians) across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved in prevention and get treated for HIV and AIDS. The 2017 theme is "Unity in CommUnity, Stand Strong to Prevent HIV".

NNHAAD was founded in 2007 by three collaborating agencies whom at the time were called the National Native Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Network, which included Commitment to Action for 7th-Generation Awareness & Educations (CA7AE), Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA), and National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC). The three network agencies were funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide capacity building assistance to Native organizations, tribes, state health departments and any other organization serving Native populations. Since the founding of NNHAAD, the collaborative partnership has grown to include Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc., Begay Consulting, Center for Prevention and Wellness, Council Oaks Training and Evaluation, Inc., ETR's Community Impact Solutions Project, Florida Department of Health - HIV Section, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board, Northwest Portland Indian Health Board, as well as a twelve member materials review committee to review all products developed for NNHAAD.

Read more about NNHAAD.



Call for Proposals for the 8th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit

Posted: March 10, 2017

Public health practitioners, researchers, and community-based service providers are invited to submit abstracts for the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) 2017 National Tribal Public Health Summit, taking place June 6-8, 2017 in Anchorage, Alaska. Deadline to submit abstracts is March 17, 2017.

NIHB encourages presentations highlighting evidenced based, best, wise, or promising practices developed in and for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. NIHB is particularly interested in presentations that provide tools along with information and research, so that participants may leave with the tools they need to make the knowledge they gain actionable. NIHB is also looking for presentations highlighting the various social determinants of health (i.e. socioeconomic status, access to education and employment, the physical environment, etc.) as they pertain to the issues discussed. This year, NIHB has two new conference tracks— one on environmental health and climate change, and the other dedicated to public health issues specific to Native Youth. This year’s summit emphasizes sustaining public health as a national priority, so consider topics and content that will focus on key skills related to this theme within one of the five summit tracks – (1) Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, (2) Public Health Policy, Infrastructure and Capacity, (3) Substance Misuse and Behavioral Health, (4) Climate Change and Environmental Health, (5) Empowering Youth Wellness.

Read more about the call for proposals.



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