Closing the Health Gap http://closingthehealthgap.org Sat, 27 Aug 2016 15:08:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 Prevalence of Suicide in African American Males: Noted Factors and Importance of Support; 8/27/16 http://closingthehealthgap.org/prevalence-suicide-african-american-males-noted-factors-importance-support-82716/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/prevalence-suicide-african-american-males-noted-factors-importance-support-82716/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 15:08:28 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6477

 

Prevalence of Suicide in African American Males: Noted Factors and Importance of Support

 

OPA Board of Directors. (2016). Mental Health Issues and Suicide Prevention in African             American Males: MarShawn McCarrell-Black Lives Matter. Ohio Psychological        Association. Retrieved from http://www.ohpsych.org/about/2016/03/04/mental-health-    issues-and-suicide-prevention-in-african-american-males-marshawn-mccarrell-black-     lives-matter/.

http://www.ohpsych.org/about/2016/03/04/mental-health-issues-and-suicide-prevention-in-african-american-males-marshawn-mccarrell-black-lives-matter/

The Center for Disease Control reports the rate of suicide among African American males has nearly doubled since 1993. In terms of leading causes of death, suicide ranks sixteenth across all African American males, third for those ages 15 to 24. Due to the increasing ...

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Prevalence of Suicide in African American Males: Noted Factors and Importance of Support

 

OPA Board of Directors. (2016). Mental Health Issues and Suicide Prevention in African             American Males: MarShawn McCarrell-Black Lives Matter. Ohio Psychological        Association. Retrieved from http://www.ohpsych.org/about/2016/03/04/mental-health-    issues-and-suicide-prevention-in-african-american-males-marshawn-mccarrell-black-     lives-matter/.

http://www.ohpsych.org/about/2016/03/04/mental-health-issues-and-suicide-prevention-in-african-american-males-marshawn-mccarrell-black-lives-matter/

The Center for Disease Control reports the rate of suicide among African American males has nearly doubled since 1993. In terms of leading causes of death, suicide ranks sixteenth across all African American males, third for those ages 15 to 24. Due to the increasing suicide in this population, factors possibly leading to suicide must be addressed.

Although depression may seem as an obvious precursor to suicidal ideation, many symptoms of depression are often overlooked including anger and irritability. Racism-related stress is also a debilitating factor that can bridge the gap to suicidal ideation, causing feelings of grief, frustration, and other emotions.

Other factors that may cause suicidal ideation include but are not limited to: poverty, unemployment, low education attainment, other health conditions, and lack of healthcare. Compared to the general population, African American males are less likely to receive treatment, and when treatment is sought, treatment is likely to be insufficient. A higher misdiagnosis rate is also present among the African American male population.

With a multitude of factors influencing the risk of suicidal ideation in African American males, the importance of social support becomes key to aiding in suicide prevention. Previous research has found lower risk of suicide in African American males with a strong source of social support, including close relationships with family members as well as close friendships.

The death of Marshawn McCarrell, a member of the national Black Lives Member movement, is a prime example of mental health disparities among minority populations, and the importance of addressing factors leading to suicidal ideation.

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Health Disparities and Access to Care: Cracks in Data; 8/26/16 http://closingthehealthgap.org/health-disparities-access-care-cracks-data-82616/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/health-disparities-access-care-cracks-data-82616/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:04:31 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6475

 

Health Disparities and Access to Care: Cracks in Data

 

Artiga, S., Foutz, J., Cornachione, E., Garfield, R. (2016). Key Facts on Health and Health Care By Race and Ethnicity. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from:

http://www.wlky.com/health/study-racial-disparities-persist-in-us-schools/39944376

Various national datasets ranging from years 2011 to 2015 show an extreme need for more data in order to fully understand and address health disparities across races and ethnicities. Along with data improvements, it is pertinent to have all health disparities identified and documented in order to follow the progress of the disparity ...

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Health Disparities and Access to Care: Cracks in Data

 

Artiga, S., Foutz, J., Cornachione, E., Garfield, R. (2016). Key Facts on Health and Health Care By Race and Ethnicity. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from:

http://www.wlky.com/health/study-racial-disparities-persist-in-us-schools/39944376

Various national datasets ranging from years 2011 to 2015 show an extreme need for more data in order to fully understand and address health disparities across races and ethnicities. Along with data improvements, it is pertinent to have all health disparities identified and documented in order to follow the progress of the disparity over time.

Data consisting of nonelderly individuals in the United States allow us to see the breakup of races and ethnicities in terms of population size. 41% of these individuals are people of color, and this same population accounts for approximately 55% of people uninsured.

The disparities in terms of health for minority populations affect access and quality of healthcare, and this can lead to negative health outcomes, as well as unnecessary healthcare costs. Minority groups experience barriers to healthcare access, and also fare worse in regards to health status and health outcomes. By improving data collection and availability, addressing the health disparities that people of various races and ethnicities experience may become an easier task.

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Racial Disparities in the Education System: A Lingering Issue; 8/25/16 http://closingthehealthgap.org/racial-disparities-education-system-lingering-issue-82516/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/racial-disparities-education-system-lingering-issue-82516/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:02:47 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6473

 

Racial Disparities in the Education System: A Lingering Issue

 

Ahmed, S. (2016). Study: Racial Disparities Persist in U.S. Schools. CNN NewSource. Retrieved             from http://www.wlky.com/health/study-racial-disparities-persist-in-us-   schools/39944376

http://www.wlky.com/health/study-racial-disparities-persist-in-us-schools/39944376

After conducting a large sample survey consisting of 50 million students in years 2013-2014, the issue of racial disparities still persists among the education system on a nationwide scale. The Education Department Report gathered from the Civil Rights Data Collection reveals not only a lack in opportunities for some students, but a multitude of problems causing barriers to education attainability.

The first startling ...

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Racial Disparities in the Education System: A Lingering Issue

 

Ahmed, S. (2016). Study: Racial Disparities Persist in U.S. Schools. CNN NewSource. Retrieved             from http://www.wlky.com/health/study-racial-disparities-persist-in-us-   schools/39944376

http://www.wlky.com/health/study-racial-disparities-persist-in-us-schools/39944376

After conducting a large sample survey consisting of 50 million students in years 2013-2014, the issue of racial disparities still persists among the education system on a nationwide scale. The Education Department Report gathered from the Civil Rights Data Collection reveals not only a lack in opportunities for some students, but a multitude of problems causing barriers to education attainability.

The first startling finding was the instances of chronically absent students, meaning missing more than fifteen days of school within the school year. The data revealed overall that one out of ten students are chronically absent, and for students in high school, one out of five students are missing fifteen or more days of school.

Other frightening statistics showed minority students are suspended more often than white students, with suspensions beginning as early as preschool. In preschool through high school, black students are almost four times more likely than white students to experience suspension.

The lack of opportunities amongst schools with large amounts of minority students exist in terms of advanced course offerings, counselor availability, and qualified teachers. In schools where there are minority students, the data shows less upper course offerings in subjects including calculus, chemistry, and physics. Many schools with minority students do not have a counselor as a resource, and rather have police officers. And in schools where teachers did not meet state licensure qualifications, blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be at those schools.

Although many changes will need to be made in order to eliminate racial disparities amongst the education system, an upcoming federal law titled Every Student Succeeds Act may aid in improvement. The law will require suspension cases to be reviewed by the state, in order to avoid excess suspensions from occurring.

Racial disparities in the education system must be addressed in order to ensure all students have the chance to successfully complete their education. Chronically absent students are more likely to fall behind coursework as well as dropout from school, and therefore decreasing the number of school days missed must become a top priority of our parents and education leaders.

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Mental Health: Aftereffects of the Affordable Care Act and Factors Leading to Gaps in Care; 8/24/16 http://closingthehealthgap.org/mental-health-aftereffects-affordable-care-act-factors-leading-gaps-care-82416/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/mental-health-aftereffects-affordable-care-act-factors-leading-gaps-care-82416/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:02:33 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6471

 

Mental Health: Aftereffects of the Affordable Care Act and Factors Leading to Gaps in Care; 2016

 

Luthra, S. (2016). Factors Beyond Coverage Limit Mental Health Care Access. Kaiser Health      News. Retrieved from http://khn.org/news/factors-beyond-coverage-limit-mental-health-       care-access/.

http://khn.org/news/factors-beyond-coverage-limit-mental-health-care-access/

Expanding mental healthcare coverage in more health plans including Medicaid and individual market plans is an ongoing goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its implementation, however the burden of mental health conditions still weighs on approximately 44 million Americans today.

Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health years ...

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Mental Health: Aftereffects of the Affordable Care Act and Factors Leading to Gaps in Care; 2016

 

Luthra, S. (2016). Factors Beyond Coverage Limit Mental Health Care Access. Kaiser Health      News. Retrieved from http://khn.org/news/factors-beyond-coverage-limit-mental-health-       care-access/.

http://khn.org/news/factors-beyond-coverage-limit-mental-health-care-access/

Expanding mental healthcare coverage in more health plans including Medicaid and individual market plans is an ongoing goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its implementation, however the burden of mental health conditions still weighs on approximately 44 million Americans today.

Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health years 2005 to 2014 was reviewed to predict the number of individuals experiencing severe psychological distress, focusing on white, Hispanic, and black populations.

Disparities related to access to care as well as physician discrimination were apparent, and more heavily present amongst the black population. After application of the ACA in 2010, whites were the only group to experience a significant increase in access to care, whereas access to care for blacks did not change. With healthcare expansion physicians have the ability to decline any patients, and previous research has shown this rejection of patients commonly taking place in minority populations.

 

Addressing the gaps present in access to mental healthcare is of extreme importance to combat against mental health conditions across the United States. Mental health conditions such as depression can negatively impact other health conditions, and can also harbor other negative effects such as poor work performance, leading to issues of cost in both medical bills as well as for employers.

Due to the short time the ACA and its mental healthcare entities have been in place, it is pertinent to continue to analyze data from most previous years, as the current data ends at year 2014. Along with Medicaid expansion, the purchasing of health insurance and knowledge of benefits may play a role in improving access to mental healthcare.

Most importantly, spreading awareness of mental health issues as well as the cultural gaps in healthcare should be a main goal by medical professionals and the general public. It is also appropriate to note that different races may have different views on mental health, and therefore may have varying levels of sensitivity when discussing the issue of mental health.

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Sleep Apnea Wellness Series 9/6/16 http://closingthehealthgap.org/sleep-apnea-wellness-series-9616/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/sleep-apnea-wellness-series-9616/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 17:10:52 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6416

Click to enlarge picture.

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Click to enlarge picture.

Saturday Wellness Series Flyers - August 6th

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Is there a racial ‘care gap’ in medical treatment? [Television series episode] (2016, April 5). In PBS (Producer), PBS NEWSHOUR. http://closingthehealthgap.org/racial-care-gap-medical-treatment-television-series-episode-2016-april-5-pbs-producer-pbs-newshour/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/racial-care-gap-medical-treatment-television-series-episode-2016-april-5-pbs-producer-pbs-newshour/#comments Sun, 17 Jul 2016 13:16:12 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6399

 

Is there a racial ‘care gap’ in medical treatment? [Television series episode] (2016, April 5). In PBS (Producer), PBS NEWSHOUR.

 

African Americans are being undertreated for pain due to medical students’ false beliefs about biological differences based on race. This is both a medical and sociological problem as deeply embedded myths in U.S. society about racial difference, especially biological differences between races, affect how patients are being treated.

 

This is both a conscious and unconscious stereotype. Societal myths do greatly impact medical student perspectives but these racial distinctions ...

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Is there a racial ‘care gap’ in medical treatment? [Television series episode] (2016, April 5). In PBS (Producer), PBS NEWSHOUR.

 

African Americans are being undertreated for pain due to medical students’ false beliefs about biological differences based on race. This is both a medical and sociological problem as deeply embedded myths in U.S. society about racial difference, especially biological differences between races, affect how patients are being treated.

 

This is both a conscious and unconscious stereotype. Societal myths do greatly impact medical student perspectives but these racial distinctions are also being taught in medical school. After surveying 400/500 medical students it was found that these biases peaked around the 2nd year of medical school as students were preparing for their board exams and memorizing these kinds of associations.

 

Although there are certain medical conditions that are more likely to affect certain races, “race” itself is a socially constructed concept – it is not biological or genetic. These differences in medical conditions are often a result of social or ethnic effects.

 

These beliefs, aside from causing unequal medical treatment, are also in part what lead to health disparities. Racially disparate health outcomes are not based upon someone’s biological differences. Reversely, racism and other structural inequities cause health disparities.

 

Thus it is imperative that medical education shifts focus to how medical practice can address these inequalities and reverse some of these incorrect interventions.

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/is-there-a-racial-care-gap-in-medical-treatment/

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The U.S. implemented the Health People initiative decades ago in order to improve health equity http://closingthehealthgap.org/u-s-implemented-health-people-initiative-decades-ago-order-improve-health-equity/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/u-s-implemented-health-people-initiative-decades-ago-order-improve-health-equity/#comments Sat, 16 Jul 2016 13:15:18 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6397

 

The U.S. implemented the Health People initiative decades ago in order to improve health equity, with a goal to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity by 2020. Many social determinants of health identified here in the U.S. also exist and influence health outcomes in other countries, such as lower income being associated with higher rates of obesity.

 

In a 2008 report by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, inequities were found to be present both across countries as well as within countries themselves, just ...

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The U.S. implemented the Health People initiative decades ago in order to improve health equity, with a goal to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity by 2020. Many social determinants of health identified here in the U.S. also exist and influence health outcomes in other countries, such as lower income being associated with higher rates of obesity.

 

In a 2008 report by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, inequities were found to be present both across countries as well as within countries themselves, just as is seen here in the U.S. across different populations varying by state, city, and even neighborhoods.

 

The World Health Organization has emphasized the importance of achieving health equity, and in order for health equity to become in reach, it must become of focus, just as education and wealth already are.

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Across the United States, income inequality is one of the top influencers of health status http://closingthehealthgap.org/across-united-states-income-inequality-one-top-influencers-health-status/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/across-united-states-income-inequality-one-top-influencers-health-status/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2016 17:14:16 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6395

 

Across the United States, income inequality is one of the top influencers of health status. In order to address health disparities, our definition of population health should focus on entire populations, and what factors that are causing the population to experience gaps in access to care.

 

Bob Evan’s research from the 1990’s concluded that income inequality plays a strong role, as well as socioeconomic status, in determining both individual health and population health. These findings were also present even after controlling for risky behaviors such as ...

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Across the United States, income inequality is one of the top influencers of health status. In order to address health disparities, our definition of population health should focus on entire populations, and what factors that are causing the population to experience gaps in access to care.

 

Bob Evan’s research from the 1990’s concluded that income inequality plays a strong role, as well as socioeconomic status, in determining both individual health and population health. These findings were also present even after controlling for risky behaviors such as consuming alcohol.

 

David Nash, dean of Thomas Jefferson University and others believe many steps should be taken in order to better understand and improve population health. Among these steps include: identifying high-risk populations and providing aggressive care, monitoring populations, data utilization, exploration of other treatment methods, providing care to individuals directly in their communities in which they live, emphasizing the importance of wellness and prevention, and learning to partner with community members and other medical professionals.

 

The article also discusses the views of many political members including the current runners for the presidential election regarding population health. Although views vary among these members, addressing income inequality is a major step to understanding and improving health equity in the U.S.

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Researchers of Washington University and St. Louis University are focusing on how to improve health and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis area http://closingthehealthgap.org/researchers-washington-university-st-louis-university-focusing-improve-health-well-african-americans-st-louis-area/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/researchers-washington-university-st-louis-university-focusing-improve-health-well-african-americans-st-louis-area/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2016 13:12:43 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6393

 

 

Researchers of Washington University and St. Louis University are focusing on how to improve health and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis area. At the Dansforth Plant Science Center, a forum took place in June centered around creating models in order to improve health, and changes that would be made in order for health models to be more effective.

 

In the past, The For Sake of All Report has noted that race, geographic location, and behavior all may influence health outcomes more so than ...

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Researchers of Washington University and St. Louis University are focusing on how to improve health and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis area. At the Dansforth Plant Science Center, a forum took place in June centered around creating models in order to improve health, and changes that would be made in order for health models to be more effective.

 

In the past, The For Sake of All Report has noted that race, geographic location, and behavior all may influence health outcomes more so than genetics, and therefore these factors must be more heavily addressed.

 

A variety of ideas and opinions were expressed during the forum, however the common theme among ideas was the importance of community-based models.Deborah Kiehl of Lindenwood University also believes funding must become more consistent in terms of health model implementation and continuance.

 

Although Jorge Riopedre, President of Casa de Salud states case management models work exceptionally well in clinics, Riopedre also expresses the utilization of home visits and importance of providing care within the individual’s community and home. Cultural competence, empathy, providing safe places for children to play, and the elimination of smoking were all common ideas and topics of importance throughout the forum.

 

The St. Louis region is currently applying for a multi-million dollar grant through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in order to implement the Accountable Health Community Model. This model will function to connect patients to both health care as well as social services in which they are in need of, and will also allow a variety of medical professionals to become more involved with communities in need.

 

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Inland Empire (2016). Kaiser Permanente Approves Nearly $600,000 in Community Benefit Grants in Riverside County http://closingthehealthgap.org/inland-empire-2016-kaiser-permanente-approves-nearly-600000-community-benefit-grants-riverside-county/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/inland-empire-2016-kaiser-permanente-approves-nearly-600000-community-benefit-grants-riverside-county/#comments Thu, 14 Jul 2016 17:11:19 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6391

 

Inland Empire (2016). Kaiser Permanente Approves Nearly $600,000 in Community Benefit        Grants in Riverside County. Retrieved from: http://inlandempire.us/kaiser-permanente-  approves-nearly-600000-community-benefit-grants-riverside-county/.

 

http://inlandempire.us/kaiser-permanente-approves-nearly-600000-community-benefit-grants-riverside-county/

 

Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit organization focused on funding programs and education to improve the health of underserved populations, has approved a total of thirty-three grants for 2016. These grants have been approved in order to improve access to primary care, provide medical homes for veterans who are homeless and/or disabled, expand dental services to those who are uninsured, as well as other aspects affecting health outcomes.

 

Although ...

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Inland Empire (2016). Kaiser Permanente Approves Nearly $600,000 in Community Benefit        Grants in Riverside County. Retrieved from: http://inlandempire.us/kaiser-permanente-  approves-nearly-600000-community-benefit-grants-riverside-county/.

 

http://inlandempire.us/kaiser-permanente-approves-nearly-600000-community-benefit-grants-riverside-county/

 

Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit organization focused on funding programs and education to improve the health of underserved populations, has approved a total of thirty-three grants for 2016. These grants have been approved in order to improve access to primary care, provide medical homes for veterans who are homeless and/or disabled, expand dental services to those who are uninsured, as well as other aspects affecting health outcomes.

 

Although located in California, funding by Kaiser Permanente sheds light on health disparities and issues with access to care that populations are experiencing throughout the United States.

 

Grants are also focusing on diabetes and obesity. Projects under these grants include Mobile Fresh, providing healthy and fresh foods to populations identified as food desserts, building community gardens for community members to utilize, and providing diabetes management services to the homeless, including diabetes education.

 

Overall, this article exemplifies the importance of large-scale, community-based funding in order to address and tackle gaps in accessing health services and education, in hopes to eventually eliminate health disparities.

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