Closing the Health Gap http://closingthehealthgap.org Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:24:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 Marijuana Conspiracy: Loud & Clear Men’s Health Event http://closingthehealthgap.org/marijuana-conspiracy/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/marijuana-conspiracy/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:24:53 +0000 Lauren Hardin http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6881 Powered by Eventbrite

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OAACHD Invites you to a Health Forum http://closingthehealthgap.org/oaachd-invites-health-forum/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/oaachd-invites-health-forum/#comments Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:38:17 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6875

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Ohio African American Health Disparities Coalition for the South West Region (4)The Center for Closing the Health Gap3120 Burnet Avenue, Suite 201Cincinnati, OH 45229 (7)

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The Health Gap, Cincinnati Medical Association and Melrose YMCA join forces to improve infant health outcomes http://closingthehealthgap.org/health-gap-cincinnati-medical-association-melrose-ymca-join-forces-improve-infant-health-outcomes/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/health-gap-cincinnati-medical-association-melrose-ymca-join-forces-improve-infant-health-outcomes/#comments Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:13:20 +0000 Lauren Hardin http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6866

A painful irony exists alongside Cincinnati’s national acclaim for pediatric health care: Hamilton County ranks amongst the worst areas in the nation for infant mortality rates. Defined by the CDC as the number of infant deaths before turning one-year-old per 1,000 live births, the national infant mortality rate stands at 5.9 as of 2016. The infant mortality rate in Hamilton County weighs in at 9.3, according to a 2016 quarterly report done by the Hamilton County Public Health. However, the county has seen 16 percent ...

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A painful irony exists alongside Cincinnati’s national acclaim for pediatric health care: Hamilton County ranks amongst the worst areas in the nation for infant mortality rates. Defined by the CDC as the number of infant deaths before turning one-year-old per 1,000 live births, the national infant mortality rate stands at 5.9 as of 2016. The infant mortality rate in Hamilton County weighs in at 9.3, according to a 2016 quarterly report done by the Hamilton County Public Health. However, the county has seen 16 percent drop in infant mortality rates throughout the last 10 years. The Health Gap’s Do Right! Babies campaign has partnered with the Cincinnati Medical Association and the Melrose YMCA to address the factors contributing to Cincinnati losing so many babies.

Do Right! Babies just concluded a six-week-long educational series for pregnant and new African-American mothers living in urban communities, which are particularly prone to high infant death rates. Physicians of the Cincinnati Medical Association came to the Melrose YMCA to deliver free learning sessions about topics such as prenatal health, post-natal care, and sex education. The series coincided with National Infant Mortality Awareness Month.

Participants sit in on an educational session.

While the considerably high infant mortality rates in urban communities can be partially attributed to a lack of healthcare resources, Roosevelt Walker of the Cincinnati Medical Association says individual behavior changes can also help remedy this disparity.

“We know that there are some factors within the community and within the home that seem to be having a great impact on how well black babies do,” Walker says. “The solutions that we are coming up with are bringing attention to the community environment and the home environment.”

Making sure new parents are educated about safely putting a baby to sleep is an important factor, Walker says. “Babies are not supposed to sleep in the bed with them (parents). They’re supposed to be in a crib that only has a sheet on the mattress.” Cribs should be free of pillows, blankets, and toys, which pose a risk for suffocation.

In addition to making sure new moms understand safe sleep practices, considerations such as pregnancy spacing, contraception, postpartum mental health, and planning doctor visits were discussed. The sessions encouraged a mutual dialogue between the physicians and participants, giving the women in attendance opportunities to ask important questions and share their personal experiences.

Dinner was provided for participants and their children as they engaged with physicians and fellow mothers.

“It was pretty helpful because I’m a first-time mom,” Mishael Yisrael, 22, says. The Avondale resident says the sessions taught her things she may not have learned otherwise
and boosted her confidence about becoming a mother. “I would definitely recommend it to others,” Yisrael says about the series.

We would like to give a special thanks to the following CMA physicians who so graciously dedicated their time to the series:

Regina Whitfield-KeKessi, MD, MPH
Rhonda Washington, MD
Bradley Jackson, MD
Nurse Practitioner Cassie Wordlaw, APRN, MSN, MSW
Kent Robinson, MD
Roosevelt Walker, MD

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STATEMENT FROM DWIGHT TILLERY, CENTER FOR CLOSING THE HEALTH GAP May 19, 2017 http://closingthehealthgap.org/statement-dwight-tillery-center-closing-health-gap-may-19-2017/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/statement-dwight-tillery-center-closing-health-gap-may-19-2017/#comments Mon, 09 Oct 2017 19:17:23 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6707

 

The City of Cincinnati has released the findings from its compliance audit of the Center for Closing the Health Gap. Despite the unfair and unbalanced media reporting by the Cincinnati Enquirer and WCPO, the findings confirm what the Health Gap has contended all along: that while improvements may be required in the City’s internal administration of contracts with human service agencies, the Health Gap was in compliance with City processes that have been in place over the past five years.

Throughout the life of our contract ...

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The City of Cincinnati has released the findings from its compliance audit of the Center for Closing the Health Gap. Despite the unfair and unbalanced media reporting by the Cincinnati Enquirer and WCPO, the findings confirm what the Health Gap has contended all along: that while improvements may be required in the City’s internal administration of contracts with human service agencies, the Health Gap was in compliance with City processes that have been in place over the past five years.

Throughout the life of our contract with the City, the Health Gap has always abided by the City’s requirements and processes, and we will continue to do so. If more specific language and performance measures are requested as part of the City’s revamped internal review process, than we are more than pleased to comply.

My team and I have spent the past thirteen years dealing with the most difficult health issues affecting our most vulnerable populations and specifically the black community. By its nature, the issue of Health Disparities is among the most challenging we face as a society – not just for Cincinnati but for the entire nation – because of its complexity and because of the long list of social determinates that create it. Instead of simple band-aids that address only the symptoms, we’re doing the hard work of addressing the root causes. Like any worthy effort, that takes time and it takes people and it takes money.

Since our launch, several of Cincinnati’s major hospitals have funded the Health Gap and served on our board. They have contributed almost 18 million dollars because they believe in our work, and they continue to do so. They know firsthand the depth of our healthcare problem – they scrutinize our programs to justify the money they provide – and they continue to support us year in and year out. Like these trusted hospital partners, the City of Cincinnati has continued to understand the value of our work and support the decision to invest in it, year in and year out. Even in the midst of this audit, the City Manager has placed the Health Gap in the City’s 2018-19 budget at a level of $750,000. Like with previous taxpayer dollars, that investment in the Health Gap will yield an extraordinary return in the improved health and well-being of our urban residents.

Despite a legion of corporate, civic and government supporters and neighborhoods filled with people and families who have been positively impacted by our work, some local media outlets continue to focus on misleading language and facts that suggest wrongdoing. Yes, a significant portion of our budget goes to staff salaries. We are a service organization, after all. Yes, we pay contractors to assist us with fundamental marketing, promotion and infrastructure services. I can’t think of a single non-profit that doesn’t invest in those important things. Yes, we recognize a minor oversight on an invoiced program that amounted to less than one percent of our annual budget. We proactively worked to correct it.

It’s important to note the differences in media reporting of the Health Gap audit and the currently pending audit of another local non-profit. The Health Gap audit was called an “investigation” and it was repeatedly suggested that Health Gap spending was irresponsible if not illegal. When City Manager Black was asked for comment on the Health Gap audit findings, his remarks that the Health Gap was not at fault never found their way into the coverage. For the other non-profit, meanwhile, the reporting says it’s simply an “audit.” The organization’s spending on marketing, public relations and staff salaries was never questioned. Mr. Black’s positive sentiment about the organization’s “forthrightness” was front-and-center in the reporting. All of this despite the fact that its executive director was placed on administrative leave.

Why the ongoing, unnecessary, biased attacks on the Health Gap? Why are articles printed without an invitation to us for comment? Why are the thousands of people who directly benefit from our work never asked for their perspective? The reporters didn’t want those stories to interfere with the story they wanted to tell. But our impact stories are worth telling all the same. Here are a few:

The Health Gap’s Annual Health Expo has reached nearly 100,000 individuals since 2003. Nearly 30,000 health screenings have been conducted – 38% of which were for individuals who had not received a health check in past three years. More than 3,400 volunteers have supported this event and help to make it a success year after year. We have a stack of letters and emails that document the impact. People whose lives have been changed and saved because of the Expo and the chance it gave them to receive healthcare they couldn’t have received anywhere else in our community.

  •  There’s our Do Right! Campaign in Mt. Auburn, where we’re working directly with residents to help them change their lifestyles with a focus on physical activity and healthier eating. We’ve served almost 20,000 participants since 2008.

 

  • We’re working to address Food Deserts in Cincinnati’s most impacted neighborhoods. These areas where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain is an epidemic with no easy solutions. But take away what the Health Gap is doing through the Cincinnati Fresh Food Retail Financing Fund and the City of Cincinnati Food Access Task Force and there would be nothing for the thousands of residents in our urban core who struggle daily.

 

  • There’s our Hands Helping Hands program and our Community Health University to equip individuals with the tools to navigate and utilize the health care system efficiently.

 

I’m proud of the work we do every day, proud of the community leaders who continue to support and fund us, proud of the residents who use our programs to take back control of their health. There is no secret recipe to cure the root causes of ethnic health disparities and a system that’s been broken for decades. But the Health Gap is using every tool at our disposal. The impact is real and it’s all around us. And we’ll continue to work hard to make a difference no matter the obstacles.

 

Dwight Tillery

Center for Closing the Health Gap

 

 

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Sign up for Community Engagement Academy (CEA) http://closingthehealthgap.org/sign-up-cea/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/sign-up-cea/#comments Tue, 03 Oct 2017 20:37:36 +0000 Lauren Hardin http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6861 Powered by Eventbrite

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New Cea Class Sign Up http://closingthehealthgap.org/new-cea-class-sign/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/new-cea-class-sign/#comments Tue, 03 Oct 2017 15:39:06 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6857

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CEA 10.21.17 v 5CEA 10.21.17 v 4

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Feet in the Street 5K http://closingthehealthgap.org/feet-street-5k/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/feet-street-5k/#comments Tue, 03 Oct 2017 15:09:31 +0000 Lauren Hardin http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6852

Be sure to sign up for the 4th Annual Avondale Feet in the Street 5K on Saturday, October 14th, 2017. For more information and to sign up visit: https://www.runningtime.net/races/avondale-feet-in-the-street-5k

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Be sure to sign up for the 4th Annual Avondale Feet in the Street 5K on Saturday, October 14th, 2017. For more information and to sign up visit: https://www.runningtime.net/races/avondale-feet-in-the-street-5k

5k Flyer FITS 2017 Poster

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Studies show exposure to violence linked to high obesity rates in teens and young adults http://closingthehealthgap.org/studies-show-exposure-violence-linked-high-obesity-rates-teens-young-adults/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/studies-show-exposure-violence-linked-high-obesity-rates-teens-young-adults/#comments Sat, 30 Sep 2017 14:07:16 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6849

Teens are more likely to indulge in unhealthy food and drinks on days they’ve been exposed to violence, a new study finds. The study published by the Social Science and Medicine journal also found that those same teens often suffered from fatigue the following day. These behaviors lead to weight gain, and in turn, contribute to the fact that more than 20 percent of American adolescents are categorized as obese. Obesity rates are most prevalent among children from low income households, with black and Hispanic ...

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Teens are more likely to indulge in unhealthy food and drinks on days they’ve been exposed to violence, a new study finds. The study published by the Social Science and Medicine journal also found that those same teens often suffered from fatigue the following day. These behaviors lead to weight gain, and in turn, contribute to the fact that more than 20 percent of American adolescents are categorized as obese. Obesity rates are most prevalent among children from low income households, with black and Hispanic children ages 12-19 at the top end of the scale.

Researchers were able to track more than 500 teens’ sleeping habits, thanks to a previous study that collected data on adolescent cell phone usage. In the first study conducted in California, 151 at-risk teens were given cell phones that prompted them to complete a survey three times a day for a month. Participants logged whether or not they’d witnessed or experienced violence each day, fast food and soda consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, and exercise. Additionally, the teens BMIs were recorded before and after the 30-day study.

In a second study done in North Carolina, subjects also reported feeling more exhausted on the days following exposure to violence. However, data gathered from devices worn by this sample group did not show any notable increase in junk food consumption on days of exposure to violence. Both groups actually reported an increase in physical activity on days of exposure, averaging 1000 more steps on these days than others.

A third study conducted for nearly 30 years in Flint, Michigan found that African-American teenage girls were particularly impacted by the correlation between obesity and violence. Exposure to violence in the teenage years is believed to be linked to the high obesity rates seen in black women in their 20s and 30s. Dr. Shervin Assari of the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health at the University of Michigan said in 2016 that the anxiety of living in a high crime area contributes to poor eating habits, which may be an unconscious coping tactic.

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The untold story of heroin in the black community http://closingthehealthgap.org/untold-story-heroin-black-community/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/untold-story-heroin-black-community/#comments Fri, 29 Sep 2017 14:06:20 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6847

Those living in the Tristate area especially know that in recent years, heroin usage rates have risen exponentially. The drug problem has been described by many as a crisis and thus, has come to the forefront as a national emergency. For the most part, treatment and intervention efforts seem to be particularly centered around predominantly white communities. But there’s an untold story of heroin addiction in black neighborhoods, says President of the Cincinnati Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP), Kamaria Tyehimba.

Many have ...

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Those living in the Tristate area especially know that in recent years, heroin usage rates have risen exponentially. The drug problem has been described by many as a crisis and thus, has come to the forefront as a national emergency. For the most part, treatment and intervention efforts seem to be particularly centered around predominantly white communities. But there’s an untold story of heroin addiction in black neighborhoods, says President of the Cincinnati Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP), Kamaria Tyehimba.

Many have noted the discrepancies— both past and present—between narratives of the crack cocaine epidemic and the heroin problem. “People of all races admit that we responded to the crack epidemic very differently than we’re responding to the opiate epidemic,” Tyehimba says. “They took people who were suffering from a crack addiction and they put them in jail. But they’ve put heroin addicts in treatment or sent them home.” While people of all races use both drugs, crack has historically been associated with African-Americans and heroin with white Americans.

“It is not just a white addiction or disease,” Tyehimba says. That myth has led to African-Americans missing signs that their friends and loved ones may have a problem with the drug. Consequently, heroin related deaths amongst blacks are rarely concluded as such and thus, are not reflected in the statistics.

When it comes to referrals to drug treatment centers, UMADAOP usually falls to the bottom of the list—if it even makes the cut. This is a consequence of a lack of emphasis on drug addiction in the urban core. “Are physicians even asking questions or doing screenings? Tyehimba wonders. “And if they are, what do they do with that information? I’m not sure they’re looking at the number of pills being prescribed in the same deliberate way as they do with other populations of people.”

And while the current narrative points to prescription opiates as the gateway to modern heroin use, that doesn’t account for the sector of old-time users who have relied on the drug for decades. Heroin became a huge problem within black neighborhoods during the 1960’s, and even then, the treatment centers accessible to urban communities reserved help for those actively undergoing overdoses or withdrawals, Tyehimba says. She sees patients who have been using opiates for more than 40 years, and offers out-patient services.

Though there is a wide gap between drug intervention in urban and rural communities, the UMADAOP CEO says she does see major efforts to regulate the use of opiates amongst communities of color by Hamilton County officials. But ultimately, it will take more than just funding boards and the commissioners office, Tyehimba says. “It takes the EMTs, doctors, and others in the community as well.”

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Autism Under-diagnosis in Girls http://closingthehealthgap.org/autism-diagnosis-girls/ http://closingthehealthgap.org/autism-diagnosis-girls/#comments Thu, 28 Sep 2017 14:04:54 +0000 Matt Vander Laan http://closingthehealthgap.org/?p=6844

 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a brain and developmental disorder that begins when a person is very young, and continues for the rest of their lives. It is a “spectrum” disorder because although people with ASD tend to have problems interacting with others, communicating, and learning, the severity of these symptoms is usually different from person to person. The symptoms that people with ASD present lead to problems in everyday life.

A study by a team at UCLA looked at how boys and girls with autism ...

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a brain and developmental disorder that begins when a person is very young, and continues for the rest of their lives. It is a “spectrum” disorder because although people with ASD tend to have problems interacting with others, communicating, and learning, the severity of these symptoms is usually different from person to person. The symptoms that people with ASD present lead to problems in everyday life.

A study by a team at UCLA looked at how boys and girls with autism interact with their peers. They found that boys with autism stuck out more easily; while the other boys would play in a large group, boys with autism would be off on their own. The girls, on the other hand, underwent what is called “social camouflaging”, where they would be near the other girls, while still failing to connect with them socially. A survey of doctors found that clear gender differences were reported in autism symptoms. Girls tended to be more verbal and socially interactive than boys, who also tended to repeat behaviors and have certain, obsessive interests. One researcher said that these obsessions tend to distract boys with autism away from socializing, but girls’ obsessions appear to be simply cute, and are considered more appropriate behavior.

The lack of obvious autism symptoms may limit girls from receiving an early diagnosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism intervention works best and has less of a financial burden the earlier in life it can be provided. This places a large barrier on African American populations, as well, who often lack the resources or the support network required to get a diagnosis and the help and therapy they need in the future.

 

Early intervention has many benefits that help children with autism better adjust to everyday life. First, it can help change the child’s development path, allowing them to communicate, socialize, and understand social norms better. Second, it increases the likelihood of improving learning and behavioral outcomes, which is easiest to improve in the first three years of a child’s life. Third, families are better able to meet their child’s special needs right away, and keep them throughout life. Lastly, early intervention decreases the need for children with autism to depend on special education and other social services; rather, they may be better equipped to socialize and play with their peers.

If you believe that your child has ASD or another form of developmental disorder, talk to your child’s pediatrician right away and talk about how to create the best care plan for your child.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/31/539123377/social-camouflage-may-lead-to-underdiagnosis-of-autism-in-girls

https://www.cdc.gov/Features/act-early/

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