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Those who are covered by health insurance are aware of out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and premiums. Even though premiums vary in affordability, there are millions of Americans who are afraid to enroll in the health plans, made possible by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), because they feel the premiums would be too much for their budgets. Click here to read more.

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March 2016 
HPRC's Healthy Church Initiative

HPRC launched its Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) in November 2015. Since then, 12 churches have signed on to commit to health and wellness for their members and local communities. The HCI is intended to empower stewards of good health through three main objectives:
  1. Educate faith-based members about the vital role of policy in health.
  2. Encourage healthy living among faith-based members and in surrounding communities through health education and training. 
  3. Collaborate with  faith-based organizations to develop health programs that promote behavior change.
The HCI team's goal is to recruit several churches and other faith-based organizations during the first year of the initiative. HPRC is partnering with the American Heart Association  (AHA) to promote the initiative and to maximize upon the  AHA's  EmPOWERED To Serve  program. Minister Kimberly Lagree, founder of the Visionary Foundation, provides volunteer support by recruiting other ministers to participate in the HCI.

The general process for a faith-based organization to get involved in HPRC's Healthy Church Initiative is to (1) fill out the HCI application, (2) complete AHA's community environmental assessment (CEA) tool, and (3) schedule a meeting with our engagement staff to discuss how to best support your church's health goals. Participants will also be able to provide suggestions for an organizational health and wellness policy, based on the data submitted in the CEA. Interested in signing up? Call HPRC at 301-375-2021 today! 

Please send completed applications to info@hprc.info to join the healthy church movement! 
HPRC in the Community
Engaging Older Adults
HPRC will host a series of health education events for seniors in 2016. Last month the HPRC engagement team was warmly welcomed by the Gwendolyn Britt Senior Center in North Brentwood, MD. Policy intern, Mijuana Miller, spoke to the group about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated. Over 25 seniors came to learn about 
easy ways to improve their diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. Click here to view the images from the event. 

Housing Policy Forum
HPRC hosted a Housing Policy Forum on Friday, February 26th in Greenbelt, MD. Speakers included HPRC's Byron Sogie-Thomas, Deputy Director of Health Policy Research and Analysis, Tori Goldhammer, Program Manager with the DC Office on Aging and Councilman Konrad Herling with the City of Greenbelt. Participants enjoyed thought-provoking presentations that illuminated the role of housing as a key social determinant of health. 
Community, Policy and Science Updates

More than 30 Million Still Uninsured

Despite some states refraining from the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, it does not explain why there are over 30 million uninsured Americans. Half of all eligible uninsured Americans live in states that have already expanded Medicaid under the ACA. Of the more than 30 million uninsured Americans, only 3 million (10%) have fallen into the coverage gap caused by the refusal of key states to expand Medicaid. 

So... what accounts for the other 90% of the 30 million+ uninsured Americans?

See the pie chart above depicting the eligibility status of 32 million uninsured Americans. Learn more in this recent article by Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation .

Baltimore City Launches the First Online Naloxone Training Tool
Naloxone is a prescription medicine that can halt an overdose and save lives in the process. On Tuesday, February 18th, as part of its robust opioid overdose campaign, the City of Baltimore released the first online naloxone training and certification program.   "Now, anyone in Baltimore can get certified to save lives with naloxone..." said  Baltimore City Health Officer, Dr. Leana Wen. The Baltimore City Health Department has pioneered a new era in the epidemic of drug overdoses with this innovative tool. In just 10 minutes physicians, nurses, police officers and anyone concerned about the health and well-being of drug-abuse patients can add this to their public health toolbox. Click here  to learn more and to become certified to stop overdose deaths.
Source: Baltimore City Health Department

In our December 2015 newsletter, HPRC highlighted the connection between transportation and health. As we reiterate that h ealth is intrinsically linked to transportation options, which are governed in part by land-use, zoning and planning policies, we also point our readers to progressive policy updates that affect active transportation options.  Active transportation includes walking, bicycling, skateboarding and other self-powered travel modes that equate to physical activity and help to minimize green- house emissions. This January 2016 report from Active Living Research explores how policies can promote walking and bicycling using a health in all policies (HiAP) framework. 

Upcoming Events

HPRC Events:

WHAT: HPRC's Minority Health Month Policy Forum
WHEN: Friday, April 15, 2016; 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
WHERE: The American Medical Association DC Office, 25 Mass. Ave NW, #600 Washington, DC 20001 
DESCRIPTION: Save the date for HPRC's Minority Health Month Policy Forum where attendees will learn about the latest in health disparity policy approaches to improving health for minorities in America. Click here to register. 

WHO: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation  
WHEN: Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. EDT
DESCRIPTION:  This webinar will feature guest presenters from Everett, MA, a 2015 RWJF Culture of Health Prize winning community that is facing rapid changes in their ethnic profile. Everett is addressing issues of racial justice, immigration and assimilation by bringing people together from across the city to talk openly and safely about how cultural and racial inequities affect residents' well-being. Click here to register.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m. EDT
DESCRIPTION: The Community Eligibility provision allows eligible low-income schools to offer meals free of charge to all students, regardless of family income. This and other school breakfast models such as Breakfast in the Classroom will be discussed during the webinar. Click here to register.

WHO:  The American Public Health Association
WHEN: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 1:00 p.m., EDT
DESCRIPTION: In light of the Flint, MI water crisis, much attention has been placed on water quality issues over the past few weeks. Join APHA and the American Water Works Association for an interactive webinar that will describe research related to the health risks posed by lead and the need to engage local water sanitation authorities. Click here to register.

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