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March 2017
Women's History Month  Special Edition 
Remembering a Health Equity Pioneer : Judith Bradford 1943-2017  
In recognition of Women's History Month, HPRC honors the life and celebrates the work of Judith Bradford, PhD, a pioneer of health disparity research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. After a long and valiant battle with cancer, Dr. Bradford passed away last month, leaving behind a tremendous legacy in the nation's health equity movement. Nearly 30 years before the U.S. Institute of Medicine released its 2011 landmark report on LGBT health, Dr. Bradford had already played a key role in one of the first community research studies of HIV/AIDS among gay men. Addressing health disparities across the LGBT population would become her life's work.

Dr. Bradford played a key role in creating an LGBT research framework, and she was the first scientist to head an NIMHD-funded, LGBT-focused population studies center - The Fenway Institute (TFI), which she co-chaired since its inception in 2001. She was also the Director of the TFI's Center for Population Research on LGBT Health. In 2014, Dr. Bradford was appointed to NIMHD's National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

LGBT Health Resources:

H PRC Focuses on New Policy Landscape at Health Action 2017


As Capitol Hill revs its engines to advance the call for new directions in health care, HPRC is joining other policy experts and other stakeholders in order to better understand emerging policy actions and national responses to the shifting health policy landscape. On February 16-17, Byron Sogie-Thomas, HPRC's Deputy Director of Health Policy Analysis and Research, joined hundreds of federal, state, and local policymakers, researchers, and health care advocates at Health Action 2017. The event was sponsored by Families USA, a leading health care consumer organization that uses public policy analysis, advocacy, and multisector collaboration to promote a "patient-and-community-centered health system." Byron participated in sessions and round-tables to engage stakeholders on a broad range of health policy challenges, including state-based solutions to securing health coverage, educating public officials about policy strategies, helping consumers understand the changing health policy landscape, and promoting greater understanding of the implications of health policy for addressing health disparities.

HPRC to Facilitate Discussions at Johns Hopkins University's Social Determinants of Health Symposium

Each year, the Urban Health Institute at Johns Hopkins University hosts the Symposium on the Social Determinants of Health. The day-long event brings together health disparity experts, local community leaders, JHU faculty and students and other stakeholders to examine the root causes of health disparities.  This year, at the sixth annual symposium, John Sankofa, HPRC's Senior Health Writer, will be among the key facilitators who will guide the symposium's discussions on the social determinants of health and help identify evidence-based strategies for local and national intervention. Established in 2012 by the Johns Hopkins Office of the Provost, the objectives of the symposium are to create learning opportunities for participants, bring together experts from multiple sectors, highlight innovative partnerships for health equity research and service delivery, inform new directions for addressing local health disparities in Baltimore, and strengthen relationships between Johns Hopkins University and community partners. The theme for this year's symposium, which will be held on April 3, is Baltimore's Youth: Reducing Vulnerability to Improve Our Future. Learn more here about the Sixth Annual Symposium on the Social Determinants of Health.

Humana Exits from the ACA's Health Insurance Exchange


While evidence shows that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been effective at increasing access to care, with more than 90% of American now covered under a private or public plan, the ACA still finds itself losing support among big insurers. On February 14, 2017, Humana became the first insurance company to withdraw from the ACA's health insurance exchange for 2018, amid uncertainty about the impending replacement of the ACA's provisions. Last year, Aetna, United Healthcare, and Humana all scaled back on their ACA marketplace participation. Beginning in 2018, Humana will not participate at all. Some policy experts and market analysts are predicting that Humana's recent announcement of withdrawal may trigger a "domino effect" among insurers, potentially leaving thousands of health care consumers with reduced or zero coverage next year. Most of the proposals (see below) for replacing the law would inevitably impact Medicare and Medicaid as well, potentially jeopardizing patient protections that the ACA has afforded to all Americans, and not just those who get their coverage via the ACA.
Comparing ACA Replacement Proposals

With mounting public interest in the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Kaiser Family Foundation has compiled a webpage of ACA 
replacement proposals. The online template allows viewers to compare up to the three proposals at a time. Five proposals, including the ACA plan, are posted:
  • The Affordable Care Act, 2010 (PDF)
  • Rep.Tom Price's Empowering Patients First Act, 2015 (PDF)
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan's A Better Way: Our Vision for a More Confident America, 2016 (PDF)
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy's Patient Freedom Act, 2017 (PDF)
  • Sen. Rand Paul's Obamacare Replacement Act, 2017 (PDF)
The idea is simple yet powerful:  Everyone deserves a chance to achieve their best possible health.  That's the guiding principle behind the mission of the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE). Launched in August 2014, the NCHE is rather unique among health equity organizations in that it focuses significantly not on the health care system, but on addressing the social determinants of health - those structural conditions like racism that give rise to health disparities.

Brian Smedley, PhD, Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity
Operating under the leadership of Brian Smedley, PhD, many of the programs of the NCHE were developed over many years at the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. A groundbreaking initiative of the NCHE is the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Measures Project. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the HOPE project has set out to create an evidence-based tool chest for measuring the "health opportunity gaps." The tools include a theoretical framework for understanding "health opportunity," a state-level analysis depicting the magnitude of disparities in health outcomes and health opportunity gaps, and a national analysis describing the many health opportunity gaps across the country.

The National Collaborative also operates a multisector initiative called Building the Capacity of Public Health to Advance Equity. Funded by three grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, totaling nearly $2 million, the capacity-building initiative takes stock of health department practices and policies within the specific context of "equity, community engagement and the social determinants of health." The initiative works in collaboration with the Milken Institute of Public Health at the George Washington University and the Prevention Institute.  Learn more here   about the National Collaborative on Health Equity.

Health Observances

WHEN March 10, 2017
WHERE:  Nationwide. Learn more  here.
WHEN March 20, 2017
WHERE:  Nationwide. Learn more here .
WHEN March 2017
WHERE:  Nationwide. Learn more here .   


WHEN: February 23, 2017, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
WHERE: Online webinar. Click  here to register.

WHEN:  March 16-18, 2017
WHERE:  Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Click here for additional information.
WHEN:  May 3-5, 2017
WHERE: Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, California 92614
Click here for additional information.
WHENMay 3-6, 2017
WHERE:  JW Marriot, 614 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
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.

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