Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Place and Race Affect Infant Mortality in Utah

(Salt Lake City, UT) – A Utah Department of Health (UDOH) study shows Pacific Islander and African American/Black residents have the highest infant mortality rates of all Utah racial/ethnic groups. However, data from the same report show that rates are also higher in three small rural areas of the state with very few Pacific Islander or African American/Black residents.

“These infant mortality data demonstrate why it’s so important to look at health differences by geography as well as by race,” said April Young Bennett, Health Program Specialist with the UDOH Office of Health Disparities Reduction (OHD).  “Our office has been working with racial minorities to address their infant death rates, but non-minorities in certain rural areas have high rates as well.”

In 2005-2008, the statewide infant mortality rate was 4.4 per 1,000 live births. In comparison:
  • The Utah Black/African American rate was 6.8 per 1,000 live births
  • The Utah Pacific Islander rate was  8.4 per 1,000 live births 

During the same time period, the small areas with the highest infant mortality rates were:
  • Sevier/Piute/Wayne counties at 9.07 per 1,000
  • Wasatch County at 8.21 per 1,000
  • Box Elder County (excluding Brigham City) at 7.91 per 1,000

OHD has interviewed Utah Pacific Islanders and African Americans/Blacks to learn how to address infant mortality in their communities.  Pacific Islanders reported that many people in their community were unaware of pregnancy health guidelines such as folic acid consumption, appropriate pregnancy spacing, and when to get prenatal care.  African Americans told OHD staff that they need better access to birth control options and women’s health care before pregnancy. Based on these discussions, OHD has contracted with the Queen Center, the National Tongan American Society, and Project Success to conduct health outreach projects.

“The new report is one of the first OHD efforts to analyze health disparities by geography since Utah lawmakers expanded our mission during the 2011 legislative session,” said Bennett.  “We’re excited to address all kinds of health disparities, whether based on race, geography, income, or some other factor.”

The report also discusses overweight by race and geography.  Unlike infant mortality, Utahns living in urban areas have higher rates of overweight and obesity than those in rural areas.


Contribute to the Draft Plan to Address Health Disparties thru Information Technology

Comments Sought on Draft Plan to Reduce Health Information Technology Disparities

Comments Sought on Draft Plan to Reduce Health IT Disparities
A draft Federal Health IT Disparities Strategic Plan was posted for public comment on Aug. 24 on the blog by the Office of Minority Health and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The comment period will last for approximately 30 days. Those who are interested in commenting are encouraged to provide input on an electronic form available just below the blog posting. The blog can be found at .

Remembering Martin Luther King's Words about Health Disparities

Repeating the Call for Equity in Health Care

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., today called on health care leaders to be tenacious in supporting efforts to identify and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Addressing more than 200 national and international experts at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Health Equity Summit in Washington, D.C., Lavizzo-Mourey relayed personal anecdotes of her family’s relationship with the Civil Rights leader and the abiding impression a one-time meeting with him as a young girl made on her. She said current health care leaders must respond to King’s nearly 50-year-old call for social justice and racial equality in order to produce laudable, lasting results for U.S. health and health care.

“Two generations ago Dr. King issued a stinging indictment of the inequalities of the health of Americans. He said, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane.’ He was spot-on then—and it’s still spot on today,” said Lavizzo-Mourey. “America cannot reconcile the differences that divide us without also reconciling the inequality and injustice that’s embedded so deeply in the health and health care of our people.”

Lavizzo-Mourey cited examples of just two RWJF-supported programs that are providing needed resources and connections to help improve equity within communities and called on others to commit to similar efforts. Today’s summit was sponsored by the Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine as part of a week-long series of events leading up to the unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the national mall in Washington, DC., on August 28.

Childhood Obesity Addressed in CDC Research Publication

The September issue of Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is now available! Please visit our site at, where you will find downloadable articles and information on PCD.
This issue includes a special focus on Ethical Issues In Interventions for Childhood Obesity.

Table of Contents

  A91: Ethical Concerns Regarding Interventions to Prevent and Control Childhood Obesity
  John Govea

  A92: Protecting Children From Harmful Food Marketing: Options for Local Government to Make a Difference
  Jennifer L. Harris, Samantha K. Graff

  A93: Childhood Obesity: A Framework for Policy Approaches and Ethical Considerations
  Rogan Kersh, Donna F. Stroup, Wendell C. Taylor

  A94: Childhood Obesity: Issues of Weight Bias
  Reginald L. Washington

  A95: Children With Special Health Care Needs: Acknowledging the Dilemma of Difference in Policy Responses to Obesity
  Paula M. Minihan, Aviva Must, Betsy Anderson, Barbara Popper, Beth Dworetzky

  A96: Public Policy Versus Individual Rights in Childhood Obesity Interventions: Perspectives From the Arkansas Experience With Act 1220 of 2003
  Martha M. Phillips, Kevin Ryan, James M. Raczynski

  A97: A Question of Competing Rights, Priorities, and Principles: A Postscript to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Symposium on the Ethics of Childhood Obesity Policy
  Shiriki K. Kumanyika

  A98: The Ethical Basis for Promoting Nutritional Health in Public Schools in the United States
  Patricia B. Crawford, Wendi Gosliner, Harvey Kayman

  A99: Ethical Family Interventions for Childhood Obesity
  Mandy L. Perryman

  A100: Public Policy Versus Individual Rights and Responsibility: An Economist’s Perspective
  Frank J. Chaloupka

  A101: State Requirements and Recommendations for School-Based Screenings for Body Mass Index or Body Composition, 2010
  Jennifer Linchey, Kristine A. Madsen

  A102: A Common Denominator: Calculating Hospitalization Rates for Ambulatory Care–Sensitive Conditions in California
  Camillia K. Lui, Steven P. Wallace
  Icon indicating a podcast (Includes podcast interview with Camillia Lui, winner of the inaugural Preventing Chronic Disease Student Paper Competition)

  A103: PCD’s First Annual Student Research Contest: Lui and Wallace Examine Hospitalization Rates for At-Risk Populations
  Samuel F. Posner

  A104: Vigorous Physical Activity Among Tweens, VERB Summer Scorecard Program, Lexington, Kentucky, 2004-2007
  Moya L. Alfonso, Robert J. McDermott, Zachary Thompson, Carol A. Bryant, Anita H. Courtney, Jeffery A. Jones, Jenna L. Davis, Yiliang Zhu

  A105: Associations of American Indian Children’s Screen-Time Behavior With Parental Television Behavior, Parental Perceptions of Children’s Screen Time, and Media-Related Resources in the Home
  Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Jayne A. Fulkerson, Mary Smyth, John H. Himes, Peter J. Hannan, Bonnie Holy Rock, Mary Story

  A106: Parental Exposure to Carcinogens and Risk for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Colombia, 2000-2005
  Miguel Ángel Castro-Jiménez, Luis Carlos Orozco-Vargas

  A107: An Observational Study of Physical Activity in Parks in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities in Urban Honolulu, Hawaii, 2009
  Jane J. Chung-Do, Elise Davis, Stephanie Lee, Yuka Jokura, Lehua Choy, Jay E. Maddock

  A108: Regional and Racial Differences in Smoking and Exposure to Secondhand Smoke: the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study
  Leslie A. McClure, Heather L. Murphy, Jeffrey Roseman, George Howard, Ann Malarcher

  A109: Awareness, Treatment, and Control of Hypertension and Hypercholesterolemia Among Insured Residents of New York City, 2004
  Quynh C. Nguyen, Elizabeth Needham Waddell, James C. Thomas, Sara L. Huston, Bonnie D. Kerker, R. Charon Gwynn

  A110: Awareness of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests and Use of Genetic Tests Among Puerto Rican Adults, 2009
  Ana Patricia Ortiz, Magdalena López, Libertad T. Flores, Marievelisse Soto-Salgado, Lila J. Finney Rutten, Ruby A. Serrano-Rodriguez, Bradford W. Hesse, Guillermo Tortolero-Luna

  A111: Strategies Implemented by 20 Local Tobacco Control Agencies to Promote Smoke-Free Recreation Areas, California, 2004-2007
  Travis D. Satterlund, Diana Cassady, Jeanette Treiber, Cathy Lemp

  A112: Physician Visits and Colorectal Cancer Testing Among Medicare Enrollees in North Carolina and South Carolina, 2005
  Anna P. Schenck, Carrie N. Klabunde, Joan L. Warren, Eric Jackson, Sharon Peacock, Pauline Lapin

  A113: Child Care Provider Training and a Supportive Feeding Environment in Child Care Settings in 4 States, 2003
  Madeleine Sigman-Grant, Elizabeth Christiansen, George Fernandez, Janice Fletcher, Susan L. Johnson, Laurel Branen, Beth A. Price

  A114: Predictors of Repeated PSA Testing Among Black and White Men From the Maryland Cancer Survey, 2006
  Yue Zhu, John D. Sorkin, Diane Dwyer, Carmela Groves, Eileen K. Steinberger

  A115: A Midpoint Process Evaluation of the Los Angeles Basin Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Across the US (REACH US) Disparities Center, 2007-2009
  Annette E. Maxwell, Antronette K. Yancey, Mona AuYoung, Joyce J. Guinyard, Beth A. Glenn, Ritesh Mistry, William J. McCarthy, Jonathan E. Fielding, Paul A. Simon, Roshan Bastani

  A116: Use of Indoor Tanning Devices by High School Students in the United States, 2009
  Gery P. Guy, Eric Tai, Lisa C. Richardson

  A117: Using a Concept Map as a Tool for Strategic Planning: The Healthy Brain Initiative
  Lynda A. Anderson, Kristine L. Day, Anna E. Vandenberg

Poor and Minority Teens Less Likely to Finish HPV Vaccine Series

Increases in vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV) are trailing increases in rates for two other vaccines recommended for teens and preteens, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coverage rates for the other two vaccines —Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and MenACWY, which protects against meningococcal meningitis—are continuing to increase, but vaccination rates for HPV vaccine remain low, the study found. HPV infection can lead to cervical cancer, but vaccination dramatically reduces this risk.

The study in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report drew on data from the 2010 National Immunization Survey-Teen.

“More U.S. teens are being protected against these serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases,” said Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.  “However, the HPV results are very concerning.  Our progress is stagnating, and if we don’t make major changes, far too many girls in this generation will remain vulnerable to cervical cancer later in life.  Now that we have the tools to prevent most cervical cancers, it is critical that we use them.”

About 6 million people become infected with HPV each year, and the CDC reports that every year, about 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. CDC recommends HPV vaccine for 11- or 12-year-old girls to protect against the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and also recommends teenage girls who have not yet been vaccinated with HPV vaccine complete the vaccination series. HPV vaccines are given in three doses (as shots) over six months. To ensure the highest level of protection, girls must complete all three shots.

The CDC NIS-Teen survey found:
  • Coverage for the three routine teen vaccines was 49 percent for one dose of HPV vaccine; 63 percent for MenACWY; and 69 percent for Tdap vaccine.
  • For girls who received the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine, coverage increased 5.3 points to 32 percent over the previous year.
  • Hispanics had higher coverage for one dose of MenACWY and HPV, but third-dose HPV coverage lagged for blacks and Hispanics compared with whites.  Girls living in poverty were also less likely to complete the HPV series.
  • Coverage increases for HPV were less than half of the increases seen for Tdap (13.3 points) and meningitis (9.1 points) vaccines.
Continued improvements in MenACWY and Tdap are important. With 27,550 cases of pertussis reported in 2010 – 4,858  in 11- to 18-year-olds – it is critical that preteens get their Tdap vaccine. “This one-time dose of Tdap can prevent pertussis infection,” said Dr. Schuchat.  “Also, preteens and teens who get vaccinated with MenACWY are protecting themselves from an infection that can lead to lifelong disability – or, in some cases, death in 48 hours or less. Let’s make sure all teens are protected.”

Dr. Schuchat stressed that any visit to the doctor—such as annual health checkup or physicals for sports, camp, or college—can be a good time for preteens and teens to get the recommended vaccinations.  By making sure all recommended vaccines are given at every opportunity, coverage for all the teen vaccines could increase substantially.

Families who may need help paying for vaccines should ask their health care provider about the Vaccines for Children program, which provides vaccines at no cost to uninsured children younger than 19 years. For help in finding a local health care provider who participates in the program, parents can call 800-CDC-INFO or go to

The CDC has conducted the National Immunization Survey-Teen since 2006. This survey of more than 19,000 teens aged 13-17, is similar to the standard NIS which began collecting immunization information in 1994 among children 19 through 35 months old.  The NIS-Teen is a random telephone survey of parents or caregivers, followed by verification of records with health care providers. The survey estimates the proportion of teens aged 13 through 17 years who have received the three recommended adolescent vaccines, as well as three of the recommended childhood vaccines, by the time they are surveyed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Recent Trainings

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate in the Media conferences, they were very helpful because we could meet in person with a very professional people in our community.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

National Partnership for Action: not like previous approaches

The National Partnership for Action is the first, comprehensive initiative by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its partners to address health disparities among racial, ethnic and other underserved populations.

At a recent conference hosted by OHD, Lorenzo Olivas, Regional Minority Health Consultant for the U.S. Public Health Service, explained other ways this plan differs from previous strategies:


For more information, see