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Current events have prompted many to wonder aloud about the relationship between police violence, mass incarceration, the "school-to-prison pipeline", and the economic prospects for young Black men in underprivileged neighborhoods. We agree that it is an important subject worthy of careful consideration. 
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May 5, 2015 

O n April 9, 2015  Education  Secretary Arne Duncan
commemorated  the 50th anniversary of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 with a speech encouraging lawmakers to pass legislation to promote an equitable and quality education system for all. Historically, there has been a significant difference in academic performance among children from low socioeconomic backgrounds when compared to their more well-to-do counterparts. The same is true for African-American and Hispanic students in comparison to White students. This gap, almost inevitably,  effects access to higher education, job prospects, earning potential and health status. So, h ow can policies close the achievement gap?  A recent study published in the  Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences  found that the gap may begin far before primary education. Hispanic toddlers were found to develop pre-literacy skills later than White toddlers. Why? According to the findings, Hispanic mothers tend to wait until later in child's the  development  to begin focusing on literacy skills. While this illuminates the link between cultural norms and the achievement gap, there is still much work to be done to implement tangible solutions to ensure that all Americans, in spite of social, cultural or economic background, have opportunities to succeed. Visit The Achievement Gap at Harvard University  and read a recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center On Society and Health entitled: Investments in Education Are Investments in Health to learn mor e.


A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the mission of the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute (DFLI)  is to equip individuals - especially those of low-to-moderate-income - with the tools needed to better manage their finances. This allows individuals to become self-sufficient and enjoy financial well-being over time. Best known for its signature program, The Money School, DFLI offers more than 700 free education programs annually to individuals, students and small businesses throughout the state of Delaware in what has become known as a Community of Learners in a School without Walls. DFLI's programs include Passport to Prosperity (formerly From Purses to Portfolios), a program designed to help women - and the men in their lives! - set and reach financial goals; the Center for Business Growth, an incubator for micro entrepreneurs  youth programs, such as Bank At School and Chasing the Dream Entrepreneurship Camp; and financial education programs specific to vulnerable populations, such as pre-release inmates and pregnant and parenting teens. Click HERE to learn more about DFLI.

Town Highlight:
Baltimore City Riots, Policy and Health
As the nation turns an eye on Baltimore City, many are left to grapple with media images of disenfranchised communities and a city in turmoil. In an opinion editorial, released in the New York Times Friday, May 1, 2015, Nathan Connolly, an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University and author of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida, remarked: "...the problem is not black culture. It is policy and politics, the very things that bind together the history of Ferguson and Baltimore and...the rest of America."


Growing from these policies and politics are the social determinants of health, including education, employment, income, and housing.  To be sure, challenges associated with policing -- such as profiling and police brutality -- also feature prominently among the social determinants of health.  Indeed, recent events in Baltimore have inspired a much needed conversation, not only about community policing but about race, culture, opportunity, and root causation.  HPRC would like to hear your thoughts on how to improve policing and community-police relations, how to address root causes, and how to create safer, healthier communities.  Visit us on Facebook  or follow us on Twitter to share your thoughts.

Derrick L. Coley

HPRC's Spring Town Hall in Fort Washington, MD

HPRC held its first town hall themed- Bridging the Gap between Communities and Policy Makers- on Saturday, April 25th.  Program Director, Ms. Crystal Reed, provided the opening remarks, introducing the crowd to the HPRC team, our work and mission. The day included an engaging speech from Derrick L. Coley, Public Affairs Liaison from  Obie Patterson's Office,  District 8 Councilman , Prince George's County  Council and HPRC's very own Byron Sogie-Thomas, Deputy Director of Health Policy Research and Analysis. Mr. Coley conveyed the importance of being engaged and knowing your local government, stressing some of the key health policy topics in the county. Mr. Thomas provided a riveting talk about public policy and health policy, driving home why these issues matter for health and quality of life.   Stay tuned for further details about HPRC's next town hall event!
Community Voices: Shared Prosperity Philadelphia

The West Philadelphia Promise Zone is a Federally-designated anti-poverty initiative, which engages a broad array of public, private, and non-profit partners. These partners collaborate to attract new investment to support a roughly two-square mile area confronted by high unemployment, low educational attainment, and major public health challenges. Health and wellness partners are currently engaged in three key working groups, which are focused on priorities outlined in the City's Community Health Improvement Plan. These priorities are Access to Care, Behavioral Health, and Prevention of Chronic Disease related to diet and physical activity. The Access to Care group is planning outreach to support enrollment in medical assistance programs as well as developing mixed-care platforms to increase access to specialty care. Behavioral Health is identifying existing programs to expand and promote health resources in the Promise Zone as well as creating an intuitive, accessible network of supports and services. Chronic Disease Prevention is discussing improving physical activity and healthy eating opportunities through childcare centers, food retail locations, and safe spaces for physical activity. Click HERE to view their plan to fight poverty.

NIMHD Updates 

Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable

NIH Announces a New Director for NIMHD

D r. Eliseo Pérez-Stable has been selected as the new  Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health  Disparities During an announcement on Tuesday, April 28th, NIH Director, Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., noted that Dr. P é rez "...is a highly respected leader with rich experience in advancing efforts to eliminate health disparities". 

NIMHD's Science Café
On Thursday, April 30, Mr. Kweisi Mfume, Principal Investigator of HPRC  and former  U.S. Congressman and President and CEO of the NAACP,  delivered a  presen tation on the 4th NIH Minority Health Promotion  Day in honor of National Minority  Health Month. This year's theme, recognized throughout the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services, is 30 Years of  Advancing Health Equity; The Heckler  Report: A Force for Ending Health Disparities in America, which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and Minority Health (also known as the Heckler Report). The event also marked the NIMHD's first-ever Health Disparities Science Café, where colleagues from NIMHD, NIH and other entities joined a discussion on progress and solutions relevant to minority health and health disparities. HPRC staff were on-hand at an exhibit table to talk about their work.
Upcoming Events  
Description: Join the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for their series of webinars designed to educate Americans about the health care law. The dates and time of upcoming virtual events are below.
Special Enrollment Periods and Resources for the Uninsured
  1. Wednesday, May 6 from 2:00pm-3:00pm, EDT 
  2. Wednesday, June 17 from 2:00pm-3:00pm, EDT

Got Coverage? Next Steps in Using Your Health Insurance

  1. Tuesday, May 19, 2015 from 3:00pm-4:00pm, EDT
  2. Tuesday, June 23, 2015 from 4:00pm-5:00pm, EDT
Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Time: 2:00pm, EDT
Location: Virtual

Description: The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention are incorporating community approaches to health into their current Community Guide with a focus on the built environment. Those that tune in will hear from researchers and practitioners about the connections between the built environment, physical activity, and health.


Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda Framework

Date: Thursday, May 7th and May 14th 2015
Time: 3:00pm, EDT (5/7); 3:30pm, EDT (5/14)
Location: Virtual
Description: This will be a time for EPA to receive feedback on the draft Environmental Justice Action Agenda Framework. Public comment will be accepted until June 15, 2015. Click HERE to register.

Date: Thursday, May 14, 2015
Time: 3:00pm, EDT
Location: Virtual
Description: Learn what communities can do to increase participation in school breakfast programs. This webinar will include menu ideas, innovative approaches to encourage health breakfast options and tips on how to engage st udents. 

Date:  Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Time: 1:00pm, EDT
Location: Virtual
Description: The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host a webinar to provide information about implementing a new initiative that seeks to increase school meal participation formally referred to as, Community Eligibility.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a Twitter chat on 

Tuesday, May 5 at 2:00pm, EDT #AsthmaChat2015. 

Funding Opportunities
  1. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funds research that addresses the gap in knowledge and understanding  between clinicians and patients. Qualified organizations can receive up to $50,000 from PCORI's Pipeline to Proposal initiative and Engagement Awards
  2. National Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program Deadline: May 18th, 2015; 5:00pm, EDT Award Amount: $350,000-$500,000
  3. Partnership to Increase Coverage in Communities II (PICC II) Initiative Deadline: May 22, 2015; 5:00pm; EDT Award amount: $200,000-$250,000
  4. State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities (SPI) Deadline: May 24, 2015; 5:00pm, EDT Award amount: $175,000-$200,000

Please feel free to contact the HPRC Team at 301.375.2021 with any questions.

Thank you,

The Health Policy Research Consortium

Disclaimer: The Health Policy Research Consortium (HPRC), a CTIS, Inc. program, is a U54 partnership grant funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health. HPRC only provides objective, independent advice, best practices and evidence based-recommendations. HPRC does not lobby on behalf of any private or public corporation, political candidate, advocacy organization or special interest group.
Health Policy Research Consortium
6401 Golden Triangle Drive, Ste. 310
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: (301) 375-2021