Thursday, March 31, 2011

Utah Identified as a "Leader" for Using Data to Address Health Disparities

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) has identified eight states, including Utah, as leaders in terms of their analysis and/or inclusion of data from state and federal sources in strategic plans and reports to address health disparities.  The NASHP cites "Health Status by Race and Ethnicity 2010" which was created by the Utah Department of Health, Center for Multicultural Health, in collaboration with numerous other Utah Department of Health programs, as an example of noteworthy data analysis to address health disparities.

 To learn how Utah's strategies for analyzing and reporting racial and ethnic data compare to other states across the nation, see the full report: "State Documentation of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities to Inform Strategic Action."

PDF Format: "State Documentation of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities to Inform Strategic Action."

HTML Format: "State Documentation of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities to Inform Strategic Action."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Utah data about Preterm Birth

New Utah data demonstrate that while many preterm births are not preventable, some preventable risk factors are contributing to preterm births in Utah, including smoking during pregnancy, excessive weight gain during pregnancy, unhealthy maternal weight before pregnancy (either under or overweight), and getting pregnant again too soon after a previous birth.  African American women in Utah have higher risk for delivering a preterm baby.

2010 Census Maps Show Large Growth in Utah Minority Populations

The U.S. 2010 Census shows that Utah African Americans/Black, Asian, Hispanics/Latino, and Pacific Islander populations have increased by about 50%-80% over the past 10 years. Utah is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation.

Explore these maps to learn more. Hold your cursor over a county on the map to see county-level data. Click "Full Screen", on the upper right corner, to see a larger version of the map.

Health Starts Where We Live, Learn, Work and Play

 The Integral Link Between Our Health and Key Social Factors

  • Live: Living Cities CEO Ben Hecht, an effective social entrepreneur, says “No environment is more influential on health than the home.”
  • Learn: Former Education Secretary and former South Carolina Governor Richard W. Riley says education can lead to a longer, healthier life. So we must start by improving the high school graduation rate in this country.
  • Work: Timberland CEO Jeffrey B. Swartz believes the relationship between our work and our health is critical, and business leaders and employees should view “work as a place of opportunity—a source of support, satisfaction and motivation.”
  • Play: National Institute for Play Director Stuart Brown, M.D., says that play shapes our brains, makes us smarter, more adaptable people and more empathetic.
Read all four essays at

Mapping America: Every City, Every Block

is now included on our website.  See

African Americans and Sodium

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage African Americans to reduce sodium intake to even lower levels than other Americans.  The Guidelines encourage all African Americans, even those who are young and healthy, to reduce sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg per day, while other healthy Americans under 50 are advised to reduce sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg.  The blood pressure of African Americans tends to be more responsive to the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium.  Keeping blood pressure in the normal range reduces  risk of cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. 

People of any race with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease and all individuals ages 51 and older are also encouraged to reduce sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg.

For more information, see the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Foods and Food Components to Reduce

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Navigating Through Health Care Careers: Unlock Your Future" LMSA 5th Annual Conference

Latino Medical Student Association-Utah (LMSA) is pleased to announce the 5th Annual Pre-health Conference Navigating Through Health Care Careers: Unlock Your Future to be held on Saturday, April 30, 2011 in the HSEB starting at 7:30am.

This conference provides an opportunity for any high school or college students to learn about careers in Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical/Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Dentistry, and Public Health.  Each year we strive to provide students with relevant information regarding admissions requirements, career descriptions, and specific professional opportunities within these fields, as well as hands-on workshops.

Participants, please register on our website:

LMSA is a non-profit organization comprised of diverse medical and undergraduate students dedicated to volunteering in medically underserved communities as well as helping increase the number of underrepresented students in the health care fields.  This conference is open to any college or high school student interested in the health sciences, FREE of charge.  Parents and siblings are also invited to participate! 

Questions?  Contact Marie Flores, MS3 at

Hispanics with Arthritis: The first indepth look at how common arthritis is among Hispanics finds the disease affects millions.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed national survey data. The report documented the toll that arthritis can take on lives. Almost 1.4 million Hispanics said the disease limits their ability to be active. And about 1.2 million said they had severe pain.
Researcher Louise Murphy says people can act to prevent or control arthritis: "If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight can reduce your risk of getting osteoarthritis. If you already have arthritis, you can engage in low-impact exercise, such as walking."
The study is in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Learn more by visiting

Free Webinar from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: What Shapes Health?

Despite an abundance of information about healthy lifestyles and the most advanced medical care in the world, millions of Americans experience needlessly poor health and don’t practice healthy behaviors. For many, the path to a healthy or unhealthy life is influenced by factors largely beyond their control, like the neighborhoods they grew up in, their parents’ income and level of education, and the stress they’ve experienced in their daily lives. The costs of poor health are borne not only by individuals but by their families and, ultimately, by all Americans.

Moderator David Williams, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard University, will lead the panel of additional experts on the social determinants of health, including:
  • Paula Braveman, M.D., M.P.H., University of California, San Francisco,
  • Susan Egerter, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco,
  • Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. 
When:  Thursday March 24, 2011, from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET. 

This webinar is the first in a three-part series exploring how conditions where we live, learn, work and play affect our health. In this session, the panelists will provide insights on how, from early childhood on, social factors influence our health.

Building Effective Community Collaborations Free Training

The UDOH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program in collaboration with the Center for Multicultural Health is sponsoring a free training to help you build community partnerships and collaborations.  We will be discussing the fundamentals of forming and maintaining effective shared efforts and leveraging resources.  In this current economic climate, building partnerships may be more important than ever.  Don't miss out on this free training opportunity!
What:  Building Effective Community Collaborations Training
When: Tuesday, March 22nd
Time:  12:30 to 1:00 pm  Check In and Snacks
           1:00 to 5:00 pm   Training
Location: Highland Building 3rd Floor Auditorium, 3760 South Highland Drive, Salt Lake City
Registration: Contact Christine Espinel at or call 801-273-4137.

Monday, March 7, 2011

NEW! Medical Spanish courses via video-conferencing!

What:    An 8-session Medical Spanish course taught one a week through video-conferencing. Topics focus on medical terminology in Spanish specific to chronic diseases. Classes include role playing, medical vocabulary and key phrases in Spanish.

When:    Classes are held Thursday, from 12-1 p.m. The next session starts March 17th!

How:     Students participate in the courses through video-conferencing from their own site.

Who:     Health professional with a basic knowledge level of Spanish.

Costs:    *$60/student for AUCH members
              *$85/student for non-AUCH members
*Does not include costs for video-connection fees or the optional (but highly recommended) course workbook that is ~$10/book.
REGISTER NOW! Visit for more information and to register.

Medical Interpreting Training Opportunity

The Bureau of Epidemiology will be offering a 5-day  “Bridging the Gap” Medical Interpreter Training Course in April 26-28 and May 4-5, 2011.

There is no registration fee to attend this training and the course materials will be provided to you free of charge.  However, participants will be expected to attend the course in its entirety.  In addition to being fluent in English, all applicants MUST be fluent in a second language and must be willing to act as medical interpreters.  Priority will be given to applicants who work within the refugee health, Tuberculosis control, HIV, STD & Hepatitis prevention setting. Participants who miss any portion of the training will be required to leave the course materials and the training.

Applications are due April 1, 2011.  Enrollment is limited to 20 participants so it is critical that only those persons willing to commit to the entire forty-hour course apply.  For an application and details about this course, go to

Questions? Contact Edwin Espinel, Communicable Disease Prevention Program, Utah Department of Health at 801-538-9480 or

Free NAMI Classes offered in Salt Lake Area this Spring

NAMI is offering a BASICS and PROGRESSION series of classes Spring 2011.
BASICS is a FREE 6-week course covering the fundamentals of caring for you, your family and your child with mental illness. This class is taught by trained individuals who have personal experience in living with a hild who has a mental illness. Subjects covered include:
• It’s not your fault – mental illnesses are brain disorders
• The biology of mental illness and how to get an accurate diagnosis
• Treatment options
• Communication skills, problem solving, crisis preparation and response, relapse planning, handling challenging behavior, impact on family members
• Record keeping and resources

PROGRESSION is a FREE 6-week education course for youth ages 15-21 who are living with mental illness. Subjects covered include:
• You are not alone!
• Mental illness – symptoms and treatment
• Recovery and roadblocks; crisis planning
• Tools for improving self-esteem, communication, whole body care
• Looking forward to the future
• Self-advocacy
Thursdays, March 17-April 21 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Valley Mental Health, 5965 S. 900 E.
- OR -
Wednesdays, March 30-May 4
6:30- 9 p.m., University Healthcare Bldg.
650 S. Komas Drive (off Wakara Way)

 For information on upcoming class sessions or to register for any NAMI classes, please call the NAMI State Office at 801-323-9900.