News & Announcements

Cultural Competency in Substance Abuse Treatment Newsletter (posted 6/4)

Posted: June 04, 2009

The Institute for Research Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA) has the Fall 2008 issue of the Northeast Addiction Training and Technology Center (Northeast ATTC) Resource Links newsletter featured on their homepage.  This issue of Resource Links is focused upon cultural competency in the delivery of Behavioral Health services.  The newsletter makes a case for why cultural competency is so important, lists resources for gaining training in cultural competency and includes shared experiences from cultural competency trainers in the behavioral health field.  To download the newsletter from the IRETA website click here (it is free to download, simply click "add to basket" and fill out the form and you will be able to download it).

RWJF Provides Opportunity for Historically Underrepresented Researchers (posted 6/1)

Posted: June 01, 2009

Through its program, New Connections: Increasing Diversity of RWJF Programming the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working to expand the diversity of perspectives that informs RWJF programming, introduce new researchers and scholars to the Foundation, and help meet staff needs for data analysis that measures progress towards program objectives.  This program seeks early to mid-career scholars who have been underrepresented in research activities. This includes researchers who are historically underrepresented ethnic or racial minorities, first-generation college graduates, and individuals from low-income communities.  Brief proposals due July 1, 2009 .  To view the call for proposals click here .

States Waste Billions Dealing with the Consequences of Addiction (posted 5/29)

Posted: May 29, 2009

The vast majority of the estimated $467.7 billion in substance-abuse related spending by governments on substance-abuse problems went to deal with the consequences of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, not treatment and prevention, according to a new report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.  The report, titled, Shoveling Up II: The Impact of Substance Abuse on Federal, State and Local Budgets, found that 95 percent of the $373.9 billion spent by the federal government and states went to paying for the societal and personal damage caused by alcohol and other drug use; the calculation included crime, health care costs, child abuse, domestic violence, homelessness and other consequences of tobacco, alcohol and illegal and prescription drug abuse and addiction. For more information click here .  To download the report click here (if you have trouble click here to download it from the JT Direct website).

Obama Appoints Public Health Official as Head of CDC (posted 5/24)

Posted: May 24, 2009

President Obama announced on Friday May 15th that he is appointing New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden as the new director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Frieden has been New York City's Health Commissioner for seven years and has worked at the CDC in the past. He is credited with many successful public health initiatives in New York City including a needle exchange program and efforts to distribute condoms to promote safe sex. He also successfully implemented a data system that tracks the continued progress of public health initiatives in New York City. For a news brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation click here .

Report on the Importance of Communication in Health Care (posted 5/24)

Posted: May 24, 2009

A new issue brief released in February of 2009 from Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explores the question of what constitutes quality in a health care encounter from a patient’s perspective.

Mathematica conducted eight focus groups with African Americans, Latinos, Asian Indians, and whites. Participants were asked to define quality in the context of a visit to a primary care physician, and to describe their ideal visit and the characteristics of an excellent physician. Although participants frequently mentioned factors related to the health care setting—for example, waiting times, appearance of the doctor’s office, and efficiency of staff—their most common issues related to patient-provider communication.

The study suggests that patients value providers who take the time to familiarize themselves with their patients’ social and cultural backgrounds during office visits. They also appreciate providers who practice good listening and therapeutic communication skills.

To download the issue brief click here .

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