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Efforts, Grants Seek To Improve American Indians' Health

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The following highlights efforts and a grant that seek to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

* Diabetes: Several federal government agencies and American Indian tribal leaders and educational institutions have joined efforts to launch the Diabetes Education in Tribal Schools' "Health is Life in Balance" curriculum. The curriculum, for grades kindergarten through 12th, seeks to improve diabetes prevention efforts among American Indian youth and generate interest in health and science careers. Participants involved in the project launch include NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, IHS, CDC, eight American Indian colleges and universities, the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee, American Indian health administrators, educators and about 400 IHS health providers (NIH release, 10/29).

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* Harlem, N.Y.: The first in a series of national public forums that focus on recruiting more minorities to participate in clinical trials was held at Harlem Hospital Center last week, MarketWatch reports. The forums are part of a program called Eliminating Disparities in Clinical Trials Initiative, which was developed by Baylor University College of Medicine's Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center and the Intercultural Cancer Council. The town hall meeting addressed community-based education about the clinical trial process, clinical outcomes related to minority research participation, the importance of patient navigators in health care and barriers to minorities' participation in clinical studies, such as trust. Seven additional forums will be held in other cities (MarketWatch, 10/28).

* Health Resources and Services Administration: HRSA recently awarded Tuskegee University's nursing program in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health with a three-year $1.3 million grant to fund projects that seek to increase diversity in the nursing field, the Opelika-Auburn News reports. The school's diversity workforce projects aim to increase the number of nurses from minority as well as disadvantaged backgrounds, according to the News (Prater, Opelika-Auburn News, 10/24).

* Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA on Tuesday announced that it will award 55 community-based organizations grants totaling more than $91 million over the next five years to fund substance abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention services that target at-risk minority populations. The recipients will receive up to $400,000 each to use a SAMHSA prevention process called Strategic Prevention Framework to address the specific needs of the communities (SAMHSA release, 10/28). The agency also announced that it will award $74 million in grants to American Indian tribes to support culturally tailored mental health and substance use programs for the group (SAMHSA release, 10/28).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.