Encouraging Hispanics To Become Donors

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The following highlights initiatives and a grant that seek to address racial and ethnic health disparities.

* Access: As part of an initiative created by religious leaders and advocacy group Voices of Tonga, trained church members in Euless, Texas, serve as health promoters and interpreters at mobile health clinics set up at local churches to help treat people from Tonga who live in the area. Physicians and other care providers in 2002 noticed an increase in Tongans arriving at emergency departments with many preventable diseases. The clinics offer no-cost services such as flu shots, screenings and educational information. Organizers seek to encourage the Tongan community to lead healthier lives and better manage or prevent chronic diseases (Jarvis, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 12/19).

* Bone marrow: The Asian American Donor Program is launching a new initiative that seeks to register more Hispanic marrow/stem cell donors, New America Media reports. In the last 19 years, the program has been working to expand the availability of potential marrow/stem cell donors in the Asian community, and more recently has targeted Hispanics. AADP holds roughly 300 bone marrow/stem cell drives annually nationwide (Avila, New America Media, 12/14).

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* HIV/AIDS: Catholics for Choice and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health this week ended a two-week radio spot that aired in New York City and encouraged the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Windy City Times reports. The two Spanish language radio ads aimed to dispel myths about Hispanics, gays, the Catholic Church and condom use (Garcia, Windy City Times, 12/17).

* Leukemia: Officials from the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio on Tuesday announced it will launch a new program to reach more children with leukemia in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas and enroll more Hispanic children into clinical trials, the Brownsville Herald reports. Hispanic children appear to have a slightly higher risk than other children for developing the disease, according to Amelie Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health Science Center. The university will use a $100,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute to hire a "patient navigator" to help identify children in San Antonio who might qualify to participate in clinic trials, Ramirez said (McEver, Brownsville Herald, 12/17).

* Men's health: The Ohio State University Ohio Commission on African-American Males on Tuesday ended a 15-city statewide public hearing that focused on the state of black men, the Mansfield News Journal reports. The commission aims to identify and promote strategies and policies that improve the social, economic and educational issues affecting black men in Ohio, according to Samuel Gresham, executive director of the commission. He said the commission is particularly concerned with criminal justice, education, economic empowerment and health care. OCAAM will use information from the public hearings to offer black men appropriate services (Taylor, Mansfield News Journal, 12/17).

* Nursing: The Arizona State University College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation has received a five-year, $1.7 million grant from Indian Health Services to continue its American Indian Students United for Nursing project, Indian Country Today reports. IHS awarded the initial grant in 1990. The project aims to add to curriculum material and clinical opportunities that focus on American Indian health issues, as well as support students (Indian Country Today, 12/16).

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.

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