Posts belonging to Category 'Main'
Below are the presentations and minutes from the September 23, 2011 meeting.
Health disparities occur when there are differences in health status that are associated with social or economic disadvantages. Racial and ethnic disparities occur when those differences are associated with race or ethnicity. The Health Equity Coalition is committed to eliminating the health disparities that exist for many conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Health disparities also exist for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Minorities, particularly African Americans, make up the majority of people diagnosed with STDs each year. Societal factors (economic, environmental, and cultural) contribute to the risk of acquiring an STD by influencing sexual behavior, norms and risks.
- African Americans account for about 50% of reported HIV/AIDS cases in the US.
- This is also the racial group most affected by HIV/AIDS in Hillsborough County.
- Three times as many black men have HIV/AIDS than white men.
- Twelve times as many black women have HIV/AIDS than white women.
Click here for more information on disparities in HIV in Hillsborough County.
- Gonorrhea is the disease with the largest disparity between African Americans and whites.
- It is 18 times more prevalent among African Americans than whites.
- 70% of the reported cases of gonorrhea occurred among African Americans.
- The prevalence of syphilis among African Americans is seven times higher than the rate among whites
- 48% of all chlamydia cases occurred among African Americans.
- The prevalence of chlamydia among African Americans is 9 times higher than the rate among whites.
Addressing Disparities in STDs
- Communication: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, effective, strategic health communication is critical to eliminating racial health disparities. It is important to develop strategies that will engage African Americans and deliver the right messages.
- Misconceptions: Research indicated that socioeconomic status, poverty, and geography contribute to disparities in STDs; however risky sexual behavior does not.
- Understanding: Disparities in access to quality health care include patient misinformation, distrust of the health care system, and perceptions of provider discrimination from the health provider community.
To eliminate these disparities, patient education, investments at the health care delivery level and increased cultural competency among providers, policymakers, and advocates are critical.
Chronic diseases include ongoing and persistent conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, arthritis, and diabetes. In the United States, chronic diseases are extremely prevalent. In fact, 70 percent of deaths are caused by chronic diseases and more than half of all adults have at least one chronic disease.
The good news is that many chronic diseases are preventable. Experts know that lifestyle is a major contributor to chronic disease. Here are some tips to add chronic disease prevention to your life.
Getting the appropriate screenings for your age and gender may be one of the strongest weapons in preventing chronic disease. Visit your doctor or community health center to find out what screenings you need.
- Monitoring your cholesterol level and blood pressure are important in preventing heart disease.
- For most women, breast cancer screening will begin between ages 40 and 50.
- For most men, prostate cancer screening will begin at age 50.
- For everyone, colorectal cancer screening will begin at age 50.
If you are not exercising, don’t wait until next week – start today. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Don’t think of exercise as something you just do to lose weight. Exercise improves circulation and keeps your heart healthy. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines recommend getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise every week. That’s five 30-minute walks. Substitute a walk with a trip to your favorite dance club or teaching your kids to double-dutch. Mix it up.
Only about 25 percent of Americans get the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables: 5 servings per day. Many people do not have access to fresh produce so making this change can be difficult. Do as much as you can to get started and build up slowly. Swap recipes with friends and family.
Sometimes your health may seem outside of your control, but prevention is the best way to stay in the driver’s seat when it comes to your well-being. Follow these prevention tips to help avoid chronic disease.
The Office of Health Equity Hillsborough County strives to implement community initiatives that promote policy, organizational and environmental change. See more about our vision and how we’re working to make our goals a reality.
Pregnancy is an exciting time while you prepare for motherhood and meeting your new child. There may be times when you have to rest and take it easy, but you likely have so many responsibilities to juggle. Be sure you take care of yourself. Prenatal care is extremely important for the health and well-being of your baby, as well as for moms-to-be as they prepare for labor and delivery.
The Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County provides numerous resources for all expectant mothers, including childbirth education, parenting and breastfeeding classes, nutrition counseling, and support groups. When you first visit your obstetrician, ask for the Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screen. It’s a one-page questionnaire that you and your doctor complete to determine which programs are appropriate for you. It is completely confidential.
Many local hospitals offer prenatal classes and education programs. St. Joseph’s Hospital offers Car Seat 101, Child Birth Refresher, and a Sibling Class for kids expecting a new baby brother or sister. Brandon Regional Hospital offers a Boot Camp for New Dads. Contact your hospital to learn about their class offerings.
Pickles and ice cream may be what your mind is craving, but you baby has specific nutrition needs. You can find a maternity nutritionist in the area by searching here.
Prenatal yoga has become increasing popular over the years. It can be a great way to stay in shape, meet other expectant moms, and relax. Many yoga studios in the Tampa Bay area offer prenatal yoga classes. Visit this website to find a class near you.
Prenatal massage can help alleviate anxiety and depression, improve mood, relieve pain and potentially improve birth outcomes. You can search for a licensed massage therapist in the Tampa Bay area that specializes in pregnancy or prenatal massage through the American Massage Therapy Association or The Massage Therapists Directory
Please consult your obstetrician before beginning a yoga or massage program.
Access to Healthcare and Immunizations
In urban areas of the United States, air quality is a public health concern, since air pollution can cause respiratory problems, asthma, and even heart attack and stroke. Poor air quality or pollution does not always affect everyone the same. Some groups of people are more susceptible to harm from air pollution due to their location or socioeconomic status.
What Is Being Done About Air Quality?
Air pollution has decreased over the past year, but research shows that the effects of it on our health are worse than they were originally thought to be. So what is being done about it?
· Clean Air Act. In 1970 Congress passed this act, which sought to protect people and the environment from the effects of air pollutants. A main component of the act was that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was required to reduce routine, or daily, emissions of powerful air pollutants that cause serious health problems.
· Amendment to the Clean Air Act. In 1990, the Clean Air Act was amended to require the EPA to use a technology-based and performance-based method of reducing toxic emissions from major sources of air pollution.
· Enforcement. National Air Quality standards are enforced at both the state and local levels. In Florida, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection monitors air quality, and in Hillsborough County, the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission does.
· Transportation/ metropolitan planning. As transportation contributes to air quality, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation plays a role in reducing air pollution. MPO implements Congestion Management System planning, organizes bicycle and pedestrian programs, and promotes mass transit in an effort to reduce air pollution.
Why Are Some People Affected More?
· Location. Sometimes, sources of pollution may be located closer to areas of underprivileged communities, thus increasing the residents’ exposure to toxins.
· Socioeconomic status. People of a lower social position may be more inclined to health effects of air pollution. They may lack the access to health care, work at places with poorer air quality, or already have existing health conditions that would put them at greater risk.
What Can I Do?
While changing air quality altogether is a larger issue that you cannot change on your own, there are ways you can protect your own health and reduce your exposure to poor air and pollution.
· Check the AQI. The Air Quality Index shows you the air quality in your area on a daily basis. You can check it each day through Air Now and reduce your exposure on days when the index is at an unhealthy level.
· Avoid heavy traffic. Regularly commuting during rush hour may increase your risk of health effects from air pollutants, so if possible, try commuting during irregular hours.
· Exercise at the right time. Exercising outdoors is best done in the morning, when ozone is low. Avoiding exercising outdoors during rush hour traffic, as that will protect you from air pollutants as well.
· Use your car’s A/C re-circulate. If you do sit in rush hour traffic often, use your air conditioning’s re-circulate feature.
Air Quality and Health (WHO)
Your Health: Air pollution affects brain, heart, blood vessels (USA Today)
Health Buzz: U.S. Air Quality Better, But Still Unhealthy (US News)
Although there has been an improved focus on preventative care in the United States, not all Americans have seen the benefits. The level of medical care an individual receives has been shown to be related to economic status, education, race and gender. Immunizations rates for children are high, even among minority groups, but disparities in immunization rates are still a problem for the adult minority populations.
Closing the Gap
Health disparities are important to the entire U.S. population, as minority groups are expected to increase in proportion to the whole population. Improving the health of the minority populations will ultimately affect the future of America’s overall health.
On June 8, 2000, the state of Florida signed the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities "Closing the Gap" grant program into law. These grants are used to support the growth of community-based organizations and help with improving healthcare and disease prevention for racial and ethnic populations
Resources in Hillsborough County
Those who can’t afford proper preventative care will often put off visits to a healthcare provider until their problems become severe. Preventative care can often eliminate the need for emergency rooms visits or hospital stays, but it can be expensive for those who do not have health insurance.
Many state and county programs are available to assist you in getting preventative care. Here are some options for Hillsborough County residents:
· Medicaid—Medicaid is available for low-income families with children, children, and pregnant women, non-citizens with emergencies, elderly and disabled persons who do not receive supplemental security income.
· Medicare—Medicare is for people 65 and older, people under 65 with certain disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease. Depending on the type, Medicare can cover everything from preventative care to hospital stays, nursing facility care and prescriptions.
· Hillsborough County Health Care Plan—If you have limited income and do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, this program covers primary and specialty care, pharmacy and more.
· Free back-to-school physicals and immunizations for children—Several locations in Hillsborough County are offering free back-to-school physicals in August.
Closing the Gap (Florida Department of Health)
With the summer in full swing, it is important to keep kids busy and out of trouble. Keeping kids active on a daily basis, however, can become an expensive undertaking for parents. There are a number of options available for families in Hillsborough County to keep kids safe, happy, healthy, and active during the summer, at no great expense to their parents.
City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department Summer Camps
The Tampa Parks and Recreation Department is offering Summer Day Camps and Special interest camps at 25 different locations throughout the city of Tampa. Children will get to enjoy fresh air and outdoor activities while having fun and making new memories. This option is extremely affordable as well, just $80 per child for nine weeks.
Local YMCA clubs offer various summer camps. Some are one-week sessions and some are more extended “sports clinics.” Camps run through August 3. Most day camps operate from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. each day. For details, call (813) 224-9622.
While sports camps are somewhat more expensive, they offer the child the opportunity to refine or build new skills in a single sport or even a variety of sports. Some of the options available include: basketball, baseball, gymnastics, flag football, cheerleading, soccer or golf.
The Centre for Girls, run by the Centre for Women has a summer program that extends through August 3. The program includes cooking, field trips, aerobics, fitness classes and computer lab activities. The program is run by counselors and helps build self-esteem and healthy choices in girls. The Centre is located at 105 W. Sligh Avenue, and the program is open to girls age 10 to 18.To become a member, stop by for a tour and to pick up a registration packet, call (813) 231-3404.
Summer Camps (TampbBay.com)
Summer Camps (TBO.com)