JULY OBSERVANCES: TOOLS AND RESOURCES
National Minority Health Month
With July being National Minority Health Month, and with this month being Pride Month,
it is a good time to focus on the well-being of American Indian/Alaska Native transgender
and two-spirit youth, their relatives and families and their health care providers. Check out this Celebrating Our Magic toolkit, which offers affirming, inclusive and sustainable resources.
UV Safety Month
Ultraviolet (UV) protection from the sun and indoor tanning plays a critical role in reducing
a person’s risk for skin cancer, the most common cancer in the U.S. and one of the
most preventable cancers. Recent research found that American Indian/Alaska Natives use
tanning devices more often when compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites and Asians, American Indian/Alaska Natives also less frequently use sun protective behaviors such as wearing hats or sunscreen or seeking shade when outdoors.
Share tips and best practices with patients to reduce their skin cancer risk:
Healthy Vision Month
During Healthy Vision Month, remind patients that annual eye exams are important.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new blindness in working age adults.
The Indian Health Service has increased access to eye care for American Indians/Alaska Natives
through the IHS-Joslin Vision Network (JVN) Teleophthalmology program. The IHS-JVN program is currently available at more than 80 IHS/Tribal/Urban primary care clinics, allowing patients to obtain a diabetic retinal exam during a regularly scheduled medical appointment.
World Hepatitis Day (July 28)
- In 2017, American Indians/Alaska Natives were twice as likely to die from viral hepatitis, compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
- In 2018, the AIAN population was almost three times as likely to die from Hepatitis C.
According to IHS, 2004 to 2014 saw a simultaneous increase in hospital admissions for acute hepatitis C and opioid injection, with 80% of new hepatitis C cases related to injection drug use.
The Indian Country ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) creates a learning environment where clinicians and staff serving AIAN people can get guidance and mentorship from clinical experts on treating and preventing hepatitis C. Check out upcoming Indian Country ECHO events and sessions. Anyone interested in learning a new skill is welcome to join!