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July 2016
 'Sorry, I'm Not Accepting New Patients'
An important and often overlooked aspect of wellness is mental health.  Grappling with a mental health challenge can feel burdensome and stigmatizing. Seeking support requires no small measure of courage and sometimes a caring push by loved ones. Unfortunately, disparities that occur in medical care are also evident in mental health services. A recent study titled "Sorry, I'm Not Accepting New Patients," published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found that mental health providers are less likely to accept African American patients and working-class patients.
The Princeton University study used a phone-based field experiment to examine bias patterns among 320 psychotherapists. Each therapist received voicemail messages from individuals of diverse backgrounds seeking mental health support. Middle-class help seekers were almost three times as likely to be offered an appointment compared to working-class help seekers.   Among middle-class help seekers, 28 percent of whites versus 17 percent of blacks were offered an appointment.   Only 8 percent of working-class help seekers - black or white - were offered an appointment.   Learn more here .

Regional Spotlight
School is out and the summer is peak season for kid's fun, but it's also prime time for accidents and unintentional injuries.   According to the Safe Kids Pennsylvania Summer Safety Series, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, with roughly 750 children ages 14 and under dying each year due to unintentional drowning.   Additionally, each year, approximately 135 children die from bike-related injuries. Helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injury by 88 percent.

Safe Kids Pennsylvania is committed to "promoting the prevention of childhood injures through education, collaboration and advocacy." Based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, the organization comprises coalitions and partners located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including affiliates in Allegheny, Chester, Erie, and Lancaster Counties, as well as Southeastern Pennsylvania, which includes Philadelphia, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.  To learn more about Safe Kids Pennsylvania, click here .


HPRC releases "Building Blocks for Future Health"

Children and teens spend a huge amount of time in school, giving schools a unique opportunity to impact not only the learning and social outcomes of their students, but also their health.   To examine this important subject, HPRC recently released a new report titled Building Blocks for Future Health: Physical Activity and Physical Education Policies. The 56-page report uses a policy lens to describe today's state of physical activity and physical education in the Mid-Atlantic region, tracing how related policies have evolved over time, explaining why more robust policies are needed.   Read the report online.

Empowering Elders through the Cyber Seniors Program

HPRC promotes geriatric health by empowering elders with digital skills and electronic health information. On June 14, 2016, HPRC held the second event in the Cyber Seniors: Computer Training Series.   The HPRC community engagement team was warmly welcomed by the Frederica Senior Center in Frederica, Delaware. Community Outreach Specialists, Mijuana Miller and Gabriella Villacis, taught the group how to use the computer and how to access reliable health information through the internet. The group learned about the importance of telemedicine and how to access resources related to telehealth. The seniors engaged in a discussion about telehealth policies under Medicare and Medicaid, with a focus on healthcare options for older adults.

HPRC Hosts Policy Forum in Richmond, Virginia

On Wednesday, June 29th, the HPRC team held a Policy Forum in Richmond, Virginia. The event, which was held at the offices of the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, focused on the policy implications of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model.  The distinguished speakers were Willarda Edwards, PhD, MBA, Medical Officer, Health Policy Research Consortium (HPRC), and author of Inroads to Health Equity: The Effect of PCMH on Quality, Costs, and Health Disparities; Cynthia Newbille, PhD, Program Officer and PCMH Coordinator, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation; and Arline Bohannon, MD, Medical Director, Virginia Coordinated Care (VCC).   

The speakers presented various clinical and policy aspects of PCMH for vulnerable populations with complex clinical needs.   The positive impact of PCMH on the Greater Richmond Area has been measurable.  VCC, for example, achieved the "Triple Aim" of improved care (ER use dropped 33%), better health (the percentage of patients with cholesterol under control increased from 39% to 50%), and lower costs (49% reduction in hospital costs saved the system $3.9 million).  Forum participants engaged in a lively conversation about possibilities for improving the PCMH model, and many indicated an interest in future discussion and collaboration.


NIMHD awards SDSU $10 million endowment
Guadalupe X. Ayala, principle investigator and associate dean for research in the College of Health and Human Services, San Diego State University. Photo:SDSU
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) has awarded a $10 million endowment to San Diego State University (SDSU) to bolster the institution's health disparity research capacity. Uniquely, the NIMHD grant -- $2 million per year over the next five years -will focus not on specific disparity projects, but on building the university's operational infrastructure to make it "a hub for health disparities research." Principal investigator Guadalupe X. Ayala said, "The most exciting aspect of this endowment is that it will allow us to build an infrastructure to support health disparities research well into the future."
NCCIH releases new 2016 strategic plan
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCHI) has released a new strategic plan for guiding complementary and integrative health research into the future. Developed during an 18-month planning process, the plan establishes five core objectives and sets the blueprint for top priorities. Read more here .
The plan's five core objective objectives are:
  • Advance Fundamental Science & Methods Development
  • Improve Care for Hard-to-Manage Symptoms
  • Foster Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Enhance the Complementary and Integrative Health Research Workforce
  • Disseminate Objective Evidence-based information on Complementary and Integrative Health Interventions
One study has shown that socioeconomic disparities in the use of complementary health approaches may negatively affect quality of care. It called for strategies to reduce disparities in understanding complementary approaches. Learn more here.
Events Calendar
WHAT NACCHO Annual 2016 Conference: Cultivating
WHEN: July 19-21, 2016
WHERE Sheraton Grand Phoenix, 340 North 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Registration is open.  Click here for more information.

Assembly for Health Equity and Prosperity
WHENAugust 4-5, 2016
WHEREStamp Hall, University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland
Click here for more information.

8th Annual Health Literacy Research Conference
WHEN October 13-14, 2016
WHERE:  Hyatt Regency Bethesda, Bethesda, Maryland
Registration is open.  Click here for more information.

WHAT 29th Annual State Health Policy Conference  
WHEN:  October 17-19, 2016
WHERE:  Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, 600 Commonwealth Place, Pittsburgh, PA 1522
Click here for additional information.

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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Phone: (301) 375-2021