Yesterday was the grand opening of the second building of the UTHSCSA Laredo Campus Extension, with a much larger space for the library and computer lab. The new space includes a conference room with videoconferencing capabilities, a group study room, and a computer lab with 16 workstations.
Staying Well. Connected.
UTHSCSA Library in Laredo – We’ve Grown!
A Pregnant Pause: Reflections on Teen Pregnancy in Our Community
For the second year in a row, the Annie E Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT report for 2007 found that Texas had the highest rate of teen pregnancy among the fifty states. Texas Public Radio News just completed a three-part series looking at aspects of the issue, entitled “A Pregnant Pause: Reflections on Teen Pregnancy in Our Community.”
- Part One (WMA, MP3) looks at the Casey Foundation report and the failed effort to pass Texas House Bill 1842, the Texas Prevention First Act, last legislative session.
- Part Two (WMA, MP3) looks at Project WORTH, the City of San Antonio’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention program, and Big Decisions, an accompanying curriculum designed to help teens make healthy and informed choices about sex.
- Part Three (WMA, MP3) looks at Seton Home, a residential facility for girls aged 12-19 who are pregnant or already mothers, which helps them to proceed with their education and learn parenting skills.
KFF Healthcast: “Salud para Todos”
Last week, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute sponsored a panel entitled “Salud para Todos: Expanding Access to Health Care,” intended to examine the impact of expansions of health coverage on Latinos and how access to care can be improved for Latinos. Panelists included:
- Elena Rios, President and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association
- Kathy Flores, Director, University of California, San Francisco Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research
- Aida Giachello, Director, Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center
- Celia Wcislo, Board Member, Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector; Assistant Division Director, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
- Juan Rivera, Fellow, Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for Prevention of Heart Disease
- Carmela Lacayo, Executive Director, National Association for Hispanic Elderly
VII Semana Binacional de Salud
The Seventh Binational Health Week will take place October 13-21, 2007 in 31 states in the U.S. and 3 provinces in Canada, with the participation of the 46 Mexican consulates, 11 Guatemalan consulates, 12 Salvadoran consulates, 9 Colombian consulates and the Mexican states with high rates of migration. Major events will include the inaugural event and Binational Policy Forum on Migration and Health to be held in Los Angeles on 14-16 October, a workshop for promotores de salud in El Paso on 11 October, and the closing event in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas on 19 October. Other events including health fairs, screenings, vaccination, and preventative health promotion will take place in over 200 cities across North America through the Mexican consular network and cooperating partner institutions.
La VIIa Semana Binacional de Salud se llevará a cabo del 13 al 21 de octubre del 2007 en 31 estados de los EE UU y 3 provincias de Canadá, con la participación de los 46 consulados de México, 11 consulados de Guatemala, 12 consulados de El Salvador, 9 consulados colombianos y los estados mexicanos con tasas altas de migración. Eventos importantes incluyen la apertura y Foro Binacional de Políticas Públicas en Salud y Migración, que se presentará en Los Angeles del 14 al 16 de octubre, un taller para promotoras/promotores de salud en El Paso el 11 de octubre, y la clausura en Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas el 19 de octubre. Otros eventos tales como ferias de salud, vacunación y promoción de salud preventiva ocurrirán en más de 200 ciudades norteamericanas a través de la red consular mexicana y otras instituciones. Cobertura de Notimex aquí.
Bexar County Hepatitis “B” Rate Far Above National Average
This Oct. 4 article from the San Antonio Express-News reports on the exceptionally high rate of hepatitis B in Bexar County in comparison to Texas and national rates. Figures for this article were obtained from new reports of hepatitis B cases in 2005.
Cancer Research amendment on the ballot November 6
Prop 15 would create the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and authorize the state to issue up to $3 billion in bonds over 10 years starting in 2009 to finance research for curing cancer. Ten percent would go to cancer prevention efforts.
Texans to Cure Cancer, a political action committee whose treasurer is former Comptroller John Sharp, is supporting the amendment, along with several nonprofits and politicians in a bi-partisan effort.
Cancer is expected to kill 37,030 Texans this year, and 95,310 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in Texas in 2007, according to Texans Curing Cancer. The disease is the leading cause of death for Texas women between ages 35 and 74 and the second-leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 14.In Texas, lung cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer, followed by breast, prostate and colon cancer, said James Gray, head of government relations in Texas for the American Cancer Society.
One reason the state amendment is so necessary, Gray said, is because federal funding isn’t sufficient and most cancer research grants don’t get financed.
Still, Texas has major urban cancer research facilities and there is cancer research occurring in mid-sized cities like Tyler and Lubbock, Gray said. He said passage of the amendment could lead to more research in those places.
Excerpted from AP News article by Kelley Shannon, October 4
Border Binational Health Week: October 14-19, 2007
“The goal of BBHW is to promote sustainable partnerships to address border health problems. Intended outcomes include increased community and inter-agency networking relationships, increased information sharing and educational opportunities, and increased awareness of the BHC including state and local initiatives.” The BBHW site provides information about programs and activities by state, including conferences for health professionals and health fairs for consumers.
America’s Other Drug Problem
October is “Talk about Prescriptions” month. This is the National Council on Patient Information and Education’s (NCPIE) 22nd annual observance. In August 2007, the NCPIE released Enhancing Prescription Medicine Adherence: A National Action Plan. This report provides a “comprehensive review of the extent and nature of poor medicine adherence, its health and economic costs, and its underlying factors”. Its goal is to provide a blueprint for action for research funding and educational initiatives to impact and improve medication adherence. According to its report, lack of medication adherence is America’s other drug problem and leads to unnecessary disease progression, disease complications, reduced functional abilities, a lower quality of life, and even death. The NCPIE provides many educational resources (available for purchase or free download) at its website, http://www.talkaboutrx.org/educational_resources.jsp. Some are also available in Spanish.
3 pilot sites for the Hispanic Aging Initiative in South Texas
Three areas of South Texas — the San Antonio, McAllen, and Houston metropolitan areas — are among eight areas nationwide to be selected as pilot sites in the US Department of Health and Human Service’s new Hispanic Aging Initiative.
The pilot project is designed “to help communities work together to develop coordinated strategies for improving Hispanic elders’ access to important benefits, including the new Medicare prescription drug and prevention benefits as well as low-cost evidence-based prevention programs . . . and other initiatives that can reduce health disparities”, according to a HHS’s press release.
The year-long “learning network” gets underway at a three-day workshop in Houston later this month. For more information about the Initiative, check out http://www.academyhealth.org/ahrq/elders/
Here’s a very useful resource if you need state-level statistics on health issues or topics, whether for research, program planning or grantwriting: statehealthfacts.org from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The site brings together data from a huge variety of topics, from health costs & budgets to public & private insurance to health status & provider utilization, and more. You can few the health profile of a particular state across these categories (here’s the profile for Texas), or you can compare figures across the 50 states, or even download raw data to perform your own analysis. Here’s a list of the newest and/or most recently updated reports on the site.