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September 2017
Key Leadership Changes at HHS, OMH, and RHEC
Matthew Y.C. Lin, MD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, and Director OMH
The post-election shift in leadership at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) brings new names and new opportunities for advancing the nation's health equity mission. 
Matthew Y.C. Lin, MD, was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health on August 21, 2017. Most of Dr. Lin's professional career as an orthopedic surgeon has been in the service of the primarily minority population of San Gabriel Valley, California.
Christine Huong Montgomery has been selected as Acting Lead of OMH's National Partnership for Action to Eliminate Health Disparities (NPA). The NPA supports OMH's 10 Regional Health Equity Councils (RHEC). Christine Montgomery's extensive bio spans 30 years of expertise. She has been at OMH for 12 years, during which time she was involved in the implementation of the ACA, federal CLAS standards, and the establishment of NPA and RHEC. As the NPA's Acting Lead, Ms. Montgomery will serve as the liaison between the OMH Director and the RHEC.
Shavon Arline-Bradley, MPH, M.Div., HHS Senior Technical Advisor, Office of Minority Health
Shavon Arline-Bradley, a seasoned health equity leader, is joining the OMH team as Senior Technical Advisor for the NPA. Ms. Arline-Bradley has previously served as the Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning at NAACP; Senior Director of Health Programs at NAACP; Director of External Engagement at the HHS Office of the U.S. Surgeon General; and Health Programs Manager at Black Women's Health Imperative. 

Health Equity Internship Program
In 2015, the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) acquired the Health Equity Internship Program, a CDC-funded program, with nearly 20 years of experience of recruiting minority and underrepresented students from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI) and placing the students in 12-week internship placements during the fall and spring semesters. The Health Equity Internship Program was formerly managed by the Directors of Health Promotion and Education.
The Health Equity Internship Program was created to support the diversification of the public health and health-related workforce. Like several areas of health, the public health nutrition workforce also needs assistance with diversification and recruiting a new generation of nutritional professionals. Since 2002, the internship program has prepared nearly 1,000 students with practical skills in the Essentials of Public Health Services and Core Competencies of Health Education and Promotion.
Federal, regional, state, and local health agencies provide real-world work experience to students for 12-weeks to complete health equity projects in the areas of HIV, cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lupus, nutrition, mental health, program planning, health policy, tobacco, injury/violence prevention, aging, and more. There is no cost to the agency to serve as a preceptor for a student intern.
The program pays students an hourly stipend and supports professional development opportunities, such as attending conferences and CHES/CPH exam fee. The Internship Program does not provide funding for housing, transportation or relocation.
Applications for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters are now being accepted. The deadline for Spring 2018, semester is Monday, October 30th. 
Email completed applications with additional components to internship@asphn.org  or mail to 3401 12th Street, NE 29046, Washington, DC 20017.
Learn more here .

NIMHD Director, Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable, Explains Health Disparities on NIDDK's Health Moment Radio Broadcast
On September 4, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Director, Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, joined National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Director, Dr. Griffin Rodgers, to explain how health disparities affect a person's ability to stay healthy.
2017 Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy & Health Equity Festival: Free Adult Dental Clinic
CTIS, Inc., parent company of HPRC, was a proud co-sponsor of the 2017 Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival, held September 8 and September 10, at the UMD Xfinity Center in College Park, MD. This free adult dental care clinic and health equity festival, organized by the UMD School of Public Health Center for Health Equity, Catholic Charities of Washington, the Maryland State Dental Association, and 250 volunteer dentists, hygienists, pharmacists, X-ray technicians, dental students, and other volunteers from the health care community provided free cleanings, X-rays, cavity fillings, extractions and other dental services to more than 1,000 people. In addition to dentistry, other services that were available included carbon monoxide monitoring, cholesterol and diabetes screenings, vision testing, information on weight loss and smoking cessation programs, and haircuts.
The HPRC team was onsite, sharing program information and networking with community members, health care providers, researchers, and other health equity stakeholders.  An estimated one-third of adult residents in Maryland live with untreated dental issues and about the same number have not visited a dentist in more than a year. The services provided at the 2-day clinic are vital because poor oral health has been linked to other chronic health issues such as heart disease, endocarditis, joint inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis, as well increased risk for stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Learn more here .

A Behavioral Blueprint for Improving Health Care Policy 

A report published in  Behavioral Science & Policy outlines how behavioral science could be used to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of American health care. To do this, researchers argue policies targeting individual behaviors need to be augmented with more far-reaching and systemic interventions.  Learn more here .

A ppalachian Region Endures Dramatic Health Challenges Compared with Nation, New Research Shows

A recent study found significant health disparities between Appalachia and the country as a whole. The study, "Health Disparities in Appalachia," is part of the larger, multi-part health research project, Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots.
Key findings of the study include:
  • Appalachia has higher mortality rates than the nation in seven of America's leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), injury, stroke, diabetes, and suicide. These rates are dramatically higher in Appalachia's rural areas and in counties experiencing economic distress.
    Click image for attribution
  • Mortality due to poisoning-which includes drug overdoses-is markedly higher in the Region, especially in the Region's rural and economically distressed areas.
  • The Appalachian Region has fewer health care professionals per 100,000 population. These include primary care physicians, mental health providers, specialty physicians, and dentists. The supply of specialty physicians per 100,000 population is 65 percent lower in Central Appalachia than in the nation as a whole.
  • Obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity-risk factors for a number of health issues-are all more prevalent in Appalachia than in the nation overall. Nearly 25 percent of adults in Appalachia's economically distressed counties are smokers, as compared with just over 16.3 percent of adults in the nation as a whole.
  • In several measures, including incidence of chlamydia, prevalence of HIV, student-teacher ratio, diabetes monitoring among Medicare patients, and the social association rate, Appalachia is doing better than the nation as a whole.
Learn more here . The full report is available here .

A Nation Under Pressure: The Public Health Consequences of Stress in America
F or this year's Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Therapies, the 19 th U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., explored the individual- and population-level impact of stress in a conversation with NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. The event took place on Thursday, September 7, 11:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M., in the Masur Auditorium (Building 10), on the main NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland.  Learn more here.

Forecasted Health Policy Research Federal Funding Opportunity
Sponsoring Agency : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - ERA
Estimated Post Date : December 1, 2017
Opportunity Number : RFA-IP-18-003
Title : Reducing disparities in vaccination coverage among adolescents living in rural areas
Award Ceiling : $350,000
Purpose : Obtain a better understanding of the factors contributing to vaccination disparities observed between adolescents living in rural areas compared to adolescents living in urban areas within the United States; and, implement and evaluate an intervention(s) to improve vaccination coverage among adolescents living in rural areas.
For additional information contact Christine Morrison, (404) 718-8845, cjm3@cdc.gov.
Events Calendar

WHAT: Tenth American Association for Cancer Research Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved
WHEN: September 25-28, 2017, 
WHERE:  Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia
Click  here for additional information. 

WHAT: 2017
Maryland Rural Health Conference- Accelerating Change in Rural Maryland: Upstream & Downstream Strategies
WHEN: October 5-6 , 2017
WHERE:  WISP Resort, 296 Marsh Hill Road, McHenry, Maryland.
Click here for additional information. Click here to register.

WHAT: Second Annual National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health 
WHEN: October 9-10, 2017
WHERE: Hyatt Regency, Louisville, Kentucky
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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