The McAllen Medical Center Foundation has made a $52,000 contribution to The University of Texas Pan-American Foundation as part of a larger scholarship fund for students who are seeking a nursing degree. The funds will aid in faculty development and student scholarships.
UT-Pan American Nursing Program Receives Financial Contribution
UTHealth Researchers Find Diabetics at Higher Risk of Tuberculosis Infection
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston have announced that people in US-Mexico border communities who are living with diabetes have a three to five times higher risk of contracting tuberculosis. The results of the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, were published in the May issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization and reported on the UT Health website.
Tuberculosis is an ongoing problem for communities on both sides of the border, such as Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. The two Laredos current have 120 cases of TB, but joint efforts by the two cities’ public health organizations have helped to keep the spread of the disease under control according to a recent article in the Laredo Sun.
The most common signs and symptoms of TB, which is spread through the air, are a cough with phlegm for more than 15 days, sometimes bloody, fever, night sweats, momentary dizziness, chills and weight loss.
UTHSC pilot project funded to investigate methods for diabetes education
Dr. Adelita Cantu from the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) School of Nursing and colleagues from UTSA, the Texas Diabetes Institute, and UTHSC recently received funding from the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science for a one-year pilot project on diabetes education. This project forms an “innovative academic-community partnership” to investigate and better understand “how Mexican Americans with diabetes or at risk of diabetes use health information to make daily decisions about their self care management.” Investigators hope to determine whether participation in Salsa Caliente, a specially tailored curriculum, and enhanced education about accessing health information on the Internet will make a difference in diabetes awareness, management, and knowledge vs participation in Salsa Caliente alone. Half of the participants in this project will receive a laptop computer to use at home and will be trained to use MedlinePlus and other reliable Internet sites. The other half of the participants will receive general education and will not have immediate access to a computer. The project will end on April 30, 2011.
Valley Doula Program to support mother & baby health
Yesterday’s Valley Morning Star featured an article on doulas — trained childbirth educators/supporters — and a new Rio Grande Valley pilot program funded by an HHS grant that will offer free doula services to 100 women who are patients at the region’s community health centers, including Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen and Nuestra Clinica del Valle in Pharr. The goal of the program is to measure the impact of doula involvement specifically on new mothers’ mental health and wellbeing; however, the article mentions some studies that have shown positive correlation between doula involvement (also called “continuous labor support” in the literature) and physical outcomes such as higher rates of breastfeeding intent and early introduction, reduced rates of c-sections in some first-time mothers, and reduced use of obstetric pain relief interventions. The two studies mentioned in the Valley Morning Star article are:
- Mottl-Santiago J, Walker C, Ewan J, Vragovic O, Winder S, Stubblefield P. A Hospital-Based Doula Program and Childbirth Outcomes in an Urban, Multicultural Setting. Matern Child Health J [forthcoming]. doi:10.1007/s10995-007-0245-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10995-007-0245-9
- Leeman L, Fontaine P, King V, Klein MC, Ratcliffe S. The Nature and Management of Labor Pain: Part I. Nonpharmacologic Pain Relief. Am Fam Physician 2003 Sep 15;68(6):1109-12. http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030915/1109.html [Open Access]
Two additional citations from the second article above give further insight into the research on doula intervention:
- Simkin PP, O’Hara M. Nonpharmacologic relief of pain during labor: systematic reviews of five methods. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002;186(Suppl 5):S131-59. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9378(02)70188-9
- Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 3. Art No: CD003766. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub2
Veterans’ health care in South Texas: one goal, different paths
In recent weeks, there’s been considerable controversy over the VA’s ideas for expansion in South Texas. Here’s a sampling of some of the differing views that have been expressed in the papers: a September 11 article from the Rio Grande Guardian, one from September 21 in The Monitor, and one from August 21 in the San Antonio Express-News.
If you’re interested in the background, here’s the full text of the report they’re all citing: VA Health Care Study for Inpatient and Specialty Outpatient Services in the South Texas Valley-Coastal Bend Market.
The one thing everyone agrees on is that a 10-hour round-trip drive for care is much too far!
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.
Water of the Year
Congratulations to three South Texas organizations who recently won the 2007 Desalination Project of the Year award from the WateReuse Association. The Brownsville Public Utilities Board, Harlingen-based NRS Consulting Engineers, and North Alamo Water Supply Corp. received the award during a ceremony in Tampa on September 10. The winning projects include groundwater desalination projects in Willacy, Hidalgo, and Cameron counties and Texas’s first seawater desalination project, in Brownsville.
Women, Mexican Americans at Higher Risk for Certain Stroke
On June 11, HealthDay reported on a study published in the most recent issue of Neurology which indicated that Mexican Americans and women may have an increased risk of experiencing a stroke in which there is bleeding in the space around the brain. The Health Day news item states:
“Researchers, reviewing the medical records of almost 30,000 people over age 44 in southeast Texas, found that Mexican Americans ran nearly twice the risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage than white people. Women, they found, had a one-and-three-quarters-fold increased risk of having this type of stroke.
Only 107 of the 29,907 people in the study experienced a subarachnoid hemorrhage during the seven-year study period.
A subarachnoid hemorrhage often results from a cerebral aneurysm, a blistering of a blood vessel. Even if caught early, it could kill a person or lead to severe disability. The condition may cause a person to have a severe or “thunderclap” headache. Vomiting, seizures and neck stiffness may accompany the headache.
‘Physicians and public health officials should help Mexican Americans and women take steps which might prevent subarachnoid hemorrhage,’ study author Dr. Lewis B. Morgenstern, director of the University of Michigan Stroke Program in Ann Arbor, said in a prepared statement. ‘Given that Mexican Americans account for the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the United States, it is important to examine how this condition may affect certain ethnicities differently.’
Tobacco use and hypertension treatment differences among ethnic groups may have played a role in the study’s outcome, he said, noting that since the study took place in one geographic area, its results may not hold for other locations.