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April 2016 
    Special Minority Health Month Edition
Minority Health Month - Yesterday and Today
In 1915, prominent educator Dr. Booker T. Washington launched Health Improvement Week, armed with public health data showing that "45% of all deaths among Negroes were preventable" and "sickness and death cost Negroes annually 100 million dollars." [1] The massive, community-driven health campaign caught on like wildfire and quickly grew into the federally-funded National Negro Health Movement (NNHM).   Between 1915 and 1951, the vibrant year-round community engagement initiative dispatched an army of African American public health nurses, sorority women, church leaders, and other volunteers sent door-to-door across the South, teaching the basics of healthy living.  Church pastors delivered health sermons.  Public health nurses spoke on local radio broadcasts.  Residents scrubbed outhouses, sidewalks, and public spaces. [2]   The campaign brought public attention to environmental conditions and sanitation needs, promoted healthy schools, and educated communities about disease prevention.   For more info click here.

[1] Pattern F. Statement concerning national Negro health week. National Negro Health News.  April-June 1939;7:13.
[2] Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD (2001) The National Negro Health Movement: Lessons for Eliminating Health Disparities. Minority Health Today Vol. 2 No. 3

Did you know?  In 1933, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), which began managing the National Negro Health Movement in 1932, reported that 2,941 health presentations were attended by 269,572 people; 3,872 outhouses were improved or built; and 477 health clinics were conducted in 25 states.

In 2016, Minority Health Month is alive and well - and it continues to carry out Dr. Washington's vital legacy of galvanizing community residents and other stakeholders for the common aim of tackling health inequities.  As a direct outcome of the National Negro Health Movement, today's Minority Health Month, which is observed annually in April, now focuses on improving the health status of all racial and ethnic minority groups, including Americans of African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native descent.   National and local campaign efforts include health awareness and promotion activities, health literacy projects, health care enrollment campaigns, and many other efforts aimed at closing the nation's health gap.

The HHS Office of Minority Health has announced that the theme for 2016 Minority Health Month is "Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation."  The month's activities will focus on raising awareness of the ongoing challenge of health disparities and working collaboratively across multiple fronts to address these inequities.  For more info click here.  

HPRC Updates
New Health App for
Prince George's County Maryland Residents

HPRC has created and launched a new mobile app that empowers community residents of Prince George's County, Maryland, to instantly find local resources for healthy living and to engage in public policies that affect their community's health.  Health Connect - Prince George's operates on both iPhone and Android platforms, providing fast access to an array of valuable health resources.  Synced to the user's location, the free mobile app allows individuals to find nearby parks, farmer's markets, and recreation centers that encourage healthy living.  For those seeking preventive care or medical treatment, the app provides a fingertip directory of primary care physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, and urgent care facilities.  Geared toward public action and policy information, the app also provides a calendar of local community events and a database of local public policies affecting key health issues, including health care access, public safety, housing, and transportation.

Save the Date
HPRC's Minority Health Month Policy Forum
Friday, April 15th

On April 15, 2016, from noon to 2:00pm, HPRC will host the Minority Health Month Policy Forum.  The topic for discussion is "How Coverage Impacts Care Coordination among Previously Uninsured Populations and its policy implications." Guest speakers include Dr. Willarda V. Edwards, HPRC's Medical Officer and Past President of the National Medical Association (NMA), and Ben Turner, Program Manager, Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County.  All are welcomed to attend.  Lunch will be provided.
  • WhenApril 15, 2006, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
  • WhereAmerican Medical Association, DC Office, 25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 600
The event is free, but registration is required. Click here to register.  For more information call Byron Sogie-Thomas or Gabriella Villacis at 301-375-2021.

HPRC's Basics of Public Policy Training   
The Health Policy Research Consortium's new Basics of Public Policy online training is geared towards community residents, health advocates, policymakers and other stakeholders who yearn to learn the basics of public policy - or who need a refresher course.   HPRC's new  Basics of Public Policy online training taught participants about the fundamental principles of public policy, how government develops policy, and the policy cycle.  "The free online training was designed for participants who are unfamiliar with the policy process or who want to refresh their core knowledge," said Sherette Rhodes, HPRC's Deputy Director of Education and Training.  Stay tuned for the upcoming policy online training on The Social Determinants of Health.
HPRC's Health in All Policies Timeline
The evolution of automobile safety provides an important lens for understanding the relationship between policy and public health across time. HPRC has produced A Health in All Policies (HiAP) Interactive Timeline:The Automobile Industry's Road to Health , an interactive timeline that depicts how automobile policy, regulation, and design are related to health policies.  Highlighting the advancement of the automobile design and safety features from 1890-2015, the timeline visualizes how local, state, and federal policy efforts ensure that policy decisions have a neutral or beneficial impact on health.  The timeline, available at www.hprc.info, is the first in a series of timelines addressing HiAP.

HPRC Attends the 9th Annual Health Disparities Conference in New Orleans

Xavier University's 9th Annual Health Disparities Conference in New Orleans.   (L-R, Dr. Daniel Sarpong, Director of the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research at Xavier University;  Dr. David Satcher, Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. John Ruffin, founding director of NIMHD; and Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Xavier University.)  Photo: Bernie Saul

On Feb 29 - Mar 2, HPRC staffers Crystal Reed, Program Director, and John Sankofa, Senior Health Writer, participated in Xavier University's Ninth Annual Health Disparities Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.   They engaged in roundtables, workshops and other discussions addressing a wide range of health equity issues, including Community-based Participatory Research, diversity among research participants, policy outcomes from the West Baltimore Health Empowerment Zone, equity versus equality, and federal perspectives on the social determinants of health. 

Other highlights:
  • During the Closing Session, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher received the John Ruffin Lecture Series Award from Dr. John Ruffin, founding director of the National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).  
  • At the conference, Lucio Miele, MD, PhD, of the School of Medicine at Louisiana State University, said access to Precision Medicine could be "the next health disparity."  He bases this concern on the longstanding challenge involved in equalizing access to "basic care" for vulnerable populations, including racial and ethnic minorities.  Dr. Miele believes the Precision Medicine Initiative will require robust attention to outreach and it must use CBPR to ensure community engagement and community empowerment. 

Click here for a 1-year update on the Precision Measurement Initiative.  


     In Baltimore: Community Engagement Makes a Stronger City
The community engagement team at Strong City Baltimore, the single largest sponsor of federally-funded AmericaCorps VISTA positions in the state of Maryland.  (Photo: StrongCityBaltimore.com)

O n Monday night, March 21st, a standing room only crowd gathered at the storied 29th Street Community Center in East Baltimore to hear former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke discuss the importance of "positive community engagement."  He said community engagement and true leadership doesn't begin with the question "What do you want to be?"  It begins with "What do you want to do?"  The gathering was organized by Strong City Baltimore, one of the city's most active and influential forces for social change and community improvement.  Mr. Schmoke, now president of the University of Baltimore, said community engagement plays a pivotal role in situations where public policy is heading in the wrong direction.  Underscoring the capacity of communities to change the rules of the game, he attested to many past situations in Baltimore "where the government was going one way, and then the community got involved and steered it another way."

Echoing a point raised in Health Policy Capacity (an HPRC Issue Brief), Mr. Schmoke said that communities must have a basic understanding of the "policy infrastructure" before they can effectively change policy.  He explained, for example, that the policy infrastructure of the Baltimore school system is not conducive to empowering parents - "the people who actually know what needs to be changed." 

The March 21st lecture was the first in a series of community engagement presentations organized by Strong City Baltimore.  Min. Kim Lagree, resource coordinator at Strong City Baltimore, has played an active role in supporting HPRC's Healthy Church Initiative.  Learn more
here about the community engagement work at Strong City Baltimore.
WHEN: Friday, April 8, 10:30am-2:00pm
WHERE: 201 West Preston Street, Lobby, Baltimore MD
Click here for more info.

WHAT : FRIDAY STUDENT HANGOUT WITH THE SURGEON GENERAL   A virtual tele-town hall meeting featuring U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek K. Murthy.  
WHEN: Friday, April 8, 2:00pm
Click here for RSVP info.  Students are invited to submit a video with questions.

WHAT : THE REDLINING SERIES - a future-focused conversation about inequality and racial segregation, and ways to dismantle these systems.  Hosted by John Hopkins University's 21st Century Initiative.  
Click here to learn more and register.

WHAT: THE FLINT WATER CRISIS AND BEYOND THREE PART WEB SERIES.  APHA webinar will address water quality regulation as a health equity issue and explain the role of public health in maintaining water quality.
WHEN : April 6th, 13th,20th and May 4th
Click here to register for webinars.

WHEN : Hyatt Regency, 100 Heron Boulevard, Cambridge, MD 21613             
Click here to register for virtual forum.

WHEN: April 10-12
WHERE: Hyatt Regency, 100 Heron Boulevard, Cambridge, MD 21613                
Click here for more info.

WHEN: April 15th
Where: American Medical Association,25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 600
 Washington, DC 20001
Click here for more info.  
WHEN: April 28
WHERE: First District Plaza, 3801 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104              
Click here for more info.
Please feel free to contact the HPRC Team at 301.375.2021 with any questions.
Thank you,

The Health Policy Research Consortium
HPRC, a CTIS Inc. division, is supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health under award number #1U54MD008608-01. This content does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Health Policy Research Consortium
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Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: (301) 375-2021