In the News
HPRC's Blog

The nation has made great strides in reducing tobacco use, but the effects of smoking continue to exact a heavy toll. For those smokers looking to ' kick the habit', CDC recommends setting a quit date, removing all cigarettes from your home, car, and pockets, and talking to a pharmacist or physician about ways to reduce cravings. Click  HERE to read more.
Health Policy Links

Stay Connected!
December 1, 2015 
Policy and Health

What is your primary mode of transportation? Health is intrinsically linked to transportation options, which are governed in part by land-use, zoning and planning policies at the local and state levels. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is tasked with ensuring safe, timely, cost-effective transportation options for the country. However, many communities have inadequate or unsafe transportation and pedestrian safety challenges.  Much work has been done to improve motor vehicle and pedestrian safety and increase reliable transportation options in the U.S. However, African Americans and Latinos are more likely to experience pedestrian fatalities, and less likely to have access to reliable transportation, according to  the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . E nvironmental concerns (i.e. air quality) are also an important consideration when assessing the health impact of some transportation methods such as driving. 

Active transportation includes walking, bicycling, skateboarding and other self-powered travel modes that equate to physical activity and help to minimize green house emissions. However, active transportation is not always safe or feasible as  "pedestrians and bicyclists are at an even greater risk of death from crashes than those who travel by motor vehicles."
Transportation policies have the potential to save lives by preventing chronic diseases , reducing and preventing motor-vehicle-related injury and deaths, stimulating economic development, ensuring access to healthy foods, promoting good health and other basic life needs, and  improving environmental health . The CDC has noted that t ransportation policy can:
  • Reduce injuries associated with motor vehicle crashes
  • Encourage healthy community design
  • Promote safe and convenient opportunities for physical activity by supporting active transportation infrastructure
  • Reduce human exposure to air pollution and adverse health impacts associated with these pollutants
  • Ensure that all people have access to safe, healthy, convenient, and affordable transportation
To further your knowledge on transportation and health, click HERE.

Regional Spotlight: Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware
Home ownership  in the U.S. is largely linked to net wealth and other social benefits. For many Americans their home is their greatest, most costly asset. Owning a home can seem out of reach for families struggling to make ends meet, but there are organizations and resources to help in the home buying process. Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc.  (ICHDE) is a faith-based, non-profit development corporation that provides home buying counseling to low and moderate income families in Delaware. ICHDE offers Housing and Urban Developments (HUD) approved homeownership education, tools and support programs to put their clients on the path to homeownership. Some of ICHDE's classes given through the Home Ownership Center include financial fitness workshops, foreclosure prevention seminars and first-time home buyer training. ICHDE also manages rental properties that serve as an affordable housing option for many and assist with credit repair. As poverty and housing are major social determinants of health from which a host of chronic illnesses may arise, ICHDE stands to provide much needed social services to low-income families in Delaware and potentially improve their future outlook.   
Town Highlight:

New Castle, Delaware, founded in 1651, is a historic, colonial city in  New Castle County. The estimated population in New Castle as of 2014, is 5,379, with a median household income of $ 53,553. Between the years of 2009-2013, the home ownership rates in New Castle were 68.8%, while during these same years the percent of residents living below the poverty rate was 12.2%. To promote community wellness, New Castle city government coordinates a local, community-driven wellness initiative with the easy-to-use  Toolkit for a Healthy Delaware created by the University of Delaware's   Institute for Public Administration. New Castle's community wellness initiative differs from other "eat this, not that" health promotion efforts by focusing on tailoring environments that make it easy to be healthy. Since 2011, the city has conducted a community assessment to guide its efforts and allocate resources to the most important health issues raised by community members. Funding for the initiative comes from the Delaware Division of Public Health through a state-funded grant. Click here to learn more about how New Castle is leading the State of Delaware in community health and wellness. 
In the News: 
  1. Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color: On Nov. 13, 2015 the White House friends.jpgCouncil on Women and Girls (WHCWG) co-hosted an equity forum with the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University, focusing on access to opportunity for women and girls of color. Among the concerns addressed during the forum were the high rates of suspensions, the need to increase STEM education and opportunities, and providing opportunities for economic growth through a suite of policy measures. Click here to read more.
  2. Native American HealthThe Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health recently announced the 500 Scholars Initiative, an effort to raise $3 million over 3 years to promote education and training opportunities - from high school to doctoral degrees -- for 500 American Indians and Alaska Natives. These populations are "lagging 20 to 25 years behind the general public in both health and education quality," according to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. More information can be found HERE.
  3. Minorities Receive Less Pain Treatment in E.R.: New research finds differences in pain ambulance-medic.jpg medication administered to adult E.R. patients of different racial backgrounds. Using CDC data, it was determined that minority patients over the age of 18 are less likely to receive pain medications by 22%-30% compared to White patients. A similar trend is also noticed among children, as noted in a September 2015 article in Pediatrics. These differences could be due to various factors including communication gaps, varying pain thresholds and a lack of patient-centered care. Click HERE to read more.
NIMHD Updates: NIH Research, Funding and Other Opportunities
NIH Researchers Link Gene Variation to ObesityA new study finds that a compound named brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), connected to appetite, may affect obesity rates in certain populations. Dr. Yanovski, an author on the study, noted that "...BDNF  gene has previously been linked to obesity, and scientists have been working for several years to understand how changes in this particular gene may predispose people to obesity..." BDNF protein could prove promising in combating obesity, particularly with people who exhibit a genetic predisposition. 

NIH Medical Research Scholars Program  (MRSP) Medical, dental and veterinarian students can now apply for the 2016-2017 MRSP. This year-long research-focused program is designed to mold the next cadre of translational researchers to improve the public's health. Applications are due January 15, 2016. Click HERE to learn more.  

The  National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) released new  Guiding Principles for the Care of People with or at Risk for Diabet es .These new principles are intended to help patients and care providers better manage diabetes and related complications. Over 15 non-profit organizations and government agencies collaboratively developed the new guidelines, which can be found HERE

Funding Opportunities:
Upcoming Events

WHEN: Wednesday, December 2, 2:00 p.m., EST
DESCRIPTION: The webinar will define acute, chronic and complex (toxic), historical secondary trauma; describe impact of trauma, in the context of poverty, on the family and organizational systems; and encourage participants to build their knowledge and skills to recognize the effects of trauma on children, families and staff to design family centered, trauma-specific interventions that strengthen the family and the organization's ability to adapt, cope and heal. Click HERE to register.

WHEN: Thursday, December 10, 12:30 p.m., EST
DESCRIPTION: Join Healthy People 2020 and the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance for a webinar highlighting evidence-based resources and strategies focused on diabetes self-management education. Increasing the proportion of people with diabetes who receive formal diabetes self-management education is a Healthy People 2020 objective for the nation and may help mitigate diabetes complications. 

WHO: University of Michigan School of Medicine
WHEN: Monday, December 14, 10:00 a.m., PST
DESCRIPTION: This webinar will present on the challenges posed by the quantitative health information we share with health care consumers. It will include a brief review of the prevalence and health impact of low numeracy skills in the United States identified by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a large-scale assessment conducted in 2012.

WHAT:  Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
WHEN:  Wednesday,  December 9,  8:00 AM 
WHERE:  810 First St NE, (3rd Floor Grand Hall, Room 806)  Washington , DC
DESCRIPTION: Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge. 

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. program, 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
6401 Golden Triangle Drive, Ste. 310
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: (301) 375-2021