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Efforts Seek To Reduce Racial Health Disparities

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

* Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation: The foundation has awarded $768,387 in grants to 11 community health organizations in Massachusetts for efforts that seek to address health care disparities on the basis of race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, mental illness and sexual orientation, Reuters reports. The grants are a part of the first phase of an intended three-year award schedule for the foundation's "Closing the Gap on Health Care Disparities" program. Phase one supports program planning and recipients can apply for additional funding in August 2009 (Reuters, 12/8).

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* Bristol Myers-Squibb: BMS last week launched its first-ever non-English television campaign in the U.S., targeting the Chinese community with hepatitis B awareness messages, MarketWatch reports. The campaign, two 60-second television segments, is exclusively in Mandarin and aims to encourage people to start a dialogue with their doctors about how to better manage chronic hepatitis B and stresses the importance of seeking care. The campaign will be extended to reach additional Asian-American communities in 2009 (MarketWatch, 12/4).

* Conference: NIH and its National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities from Dec. 15 through Dec. 18 will host a national summit in Fort Washington, Md., aimed at developing a framework for understanding and eliminating racial health disparities, the Centre Daily Times reports. Twenty-seven institutes will be involved in the summit, called "The Science of Eliminating Health Disparities," and nearly 4,000 of the nation's leading health disparity experts are expected to attend. Guest speakers include former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) and poet Maya Angelou. The event will include an awards dinner and a wrap-up session that addresses "next-step action items involving the further integration of science, practice and policy needed to facilitate eliminating inequities and alleviating health disparities," according to the Daily Times (Centre Daily Times, 12/9).

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.