Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 28 Webinar: Health Equity Zones


You are invited to a webinar hosted by the 
Federal Interagency Health Equity Team 
and the 
Association for State and Territorial Health Officials

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RI DOH) has implemented a framework to improve the health and well-being of the state’s population through a focus on the social and environmental determinants of health (SEDH). This approach uses a life course perspective to achieve health equity and demands a better understanding of what is happening at the community level through the communities’ lenses. The presenters will discuss the creation of Centers for Health Equity and Wellness (CHEW) grants to community-based organizations serving low-income neighborhoods in Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls.  The webinar will also discuss place-based initiatives called the Health Equity Zone (HEZ) that facilitate community collaboration in conducting baseline assessments that look at the SEDH and in creating, implementing and evaluating a Plan of Action. The presenters will discuss the outcomes, challenges and lessons learned from the CHEW initiative in the shift from an “agency based approach” to a “place based approach” focused on collective impact. 

Rhode Island: Health Equity Zones

Ana P. Novais, MA Lead Presenter, Director Title V/MCH Director and Executive Director of Health, Rhode Island Department of Health

Angela Ankoma, MPH, MSW, Chief Office of Minority Health, Rhode Island Department of Health

Carol Hall-Walker, Associate Director Division of Community Health, Rhode Island Department of Health

DATE: January 28, 2016 

TIME: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

Register Here1:

Click Here for Full Abstract and Speaker Biographies:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Diversity Summer Research Training Program

2016 NIDDK/ OMHRC Diversity Summer Research Training Program (DSRTP)

Application Now Available

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) through the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination (OMHRC) is now accepting applications for the Diversity Summer Research Training Program (DSRTP). Please visit  to start the online application process.

The overall goal of this program is to build and sustain a biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social science research pipeline focused on NIDDK mission areas. The NIDDK Diversity Summer Program is particularly interested in increasing students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research, including individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.... Read more »

Program Highlights

Independent research in a NIH laboratory;
Weekly research and career development seminars;
Summer seminar series where senior NIH investigators discuss the latest developments in biomedical research.
Poster presentation
Will be required to attend courses in Ethics in Research and Lab Safety.
Students will be paired with post baccalaureates or postdoctoral fellows for informal guidance.
Bi-weekly informal meetings with OMHRC staff.

Eligibility Requirements

Undergraduate students who have completed at least 1 year at an accredited institution
U.S. Citizen or permanent resident status
Minimum of 3.0 GPA
Health Insurance coverage


Student Participation Allowance ($2,600)
Housing (​Housing consists of double-occupancy rooms)
Travel expenses to Bethesda, Maryland or Phoenix, Arizona (up to $700)

Location and Duration

10 weeks, starting in June through mid-August.
Bethesda, Maryland or Phoenix, Arizona

Application Procedure

Complete the on-line application at
Include a copy of your curriculum vitae.
Submit two letters of recommendation from faculty members/advisors who can address your intellectual and personal suitability for the Program.
Personal Statement - Describe your research interest, career goals, and reasons for applying to this program in 600 words or less; double-space.
Official Transcript - The official college transcript should be mailed directly from your school to Ms. Martinez.
Application selection - Priority will be given to students who reside outside of the Maryland/Washington DC/Virginia areas.  Local students are encouraged to apply for the NIH Summer Internship Program​ (SIP).
Application Deadline: February 15​​​​​, 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

HHS and USDA Release New Dietary Guidelines to Encourage Healthy Eating Patterns to Prevent Chronic Diseases

January 7, 2016

Contact: HHS Press Office: 202-690-6343

USDA Press Contact: 202-720-4623

HHS and USDA Release New Dietary Guidelines to Encourage Healthy Eating Patterns to Prevent Chronic Diseases

Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today released updated nutritional guidelines that encourage Americans to adopt a series of science-based recommendations to improve how they eat to reduce obesity and prevent chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the nation’s trusted resource for evidence-based nutrition recommendations and serves to provide the general public, as well as policy makers and health professionals with the information they need to help the public make informed choices about their diets at home, school, work and in their communities.
“Protecting the health of the American public includes empowering them with the tools they need to make healthy choices in their daily lives,” said Secretary Burwell. “By focusing on small shifts in what we eat and drink, eating healthy becomes more manageable. The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic conditions, like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.”
The newly released 8th edition of the Dietary Guidelines reflects advancements in scientific understanding about healthy eating choices and health outcomes over a lifetime. This edition recognizes the importance of focusing not on individual nutrients or foods in isolation, but on the variety of what people eat and drink—healthy eating patterns as a whole—to bring about lasting improvements in individual and population health.
“The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is one of many important tools that help to support a healthier next generation of Americans,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines provides individuals with the flexibility to make healthy food choices that are right for them and their families and take advantage of the diversity of products available, thanks to America’s farmers and ranchers.”
The specific recommendations fit into five overarching guidelines in the new edition:
  • Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. Eating patterns are the combination of foods and drinks that a person eats over time
  • Focus on variety, nutrient-dense foods, and amount
  • Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake
  • Shift to healthier food and beverage choices
  • Support healthy eating patterns for all
Healthy eating patterns include a variety of nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy, lean meats and other protein foods and oils, while limiting saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars and sodium. A healthy eating pattern is adaptable to a person’s taste preferences, traditions, culture and budget.
Importantly, the guidelines suggest Americans should consume:
  • A variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other vegetables
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds
  • Oils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils also are naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados
Further, Americans should be encouraged to consume:
  • Less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars. provides more information about added sugars, which are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those consumed as part of milk and fruits
  • Less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats. The Nutrition Facts label can be used to check for saturated fats. Foods that are high in saturated fat include butter, whole milk, meats that are not labeled as lean, and tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil
  • Less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium for people over the age of 14 years and less for those younger. The Nutrition Facts label is a helpful tool to check for sodium, especially in processed foods like pizza, pasta dishes, sauces, and soups
Based on a review of current scientific evidence on nutrition, the 2015 edition includes updated guidance on topics such as added sugars, sodium, and cholesterol and new information on caffeine. For example, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines is the first edition to recommend a quantitative limit to consume less than 10 percent of calories from added sugars. This edition also reaffirms guidance about the core building blocks of a healthy lifestyle that have remained consistent over the past several editions, and suggests there is still work to be done to encourage more Americans to follow the recommendations outlined in the Dietary Guidelines.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines was informed by the recommendations of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which was composed of prestigious researchers in the fields of nutrition, health, and medicine, and by consideration of public and federal agency comments.
Since 1980, HHS and USDA have shared a responsibility to the American public to ensure that advancements in scientific understanding about the role of nutrition in health are incorporated into the Dietary Guidelines, which is updated every five years. USDA has also released updates for consumers on, and new resources will soon be available on from HHS that will help health professionals support their clients and patients in making healthy choices.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is available at

Monday, January 4, 2016

Healthcare Depot Opens Up Shop at Valley Fair Mall

There’s a new storefront at Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City, but they’re not selling shoes or clothes. They’re in the business of healthcare.

Across from a shoe store and next to a game shop is Healthcare Depot, with signs in Spanish and English. Insurance agent Miguel Palacios has just finished helping a family of seven sign up for insurance on

“There is a great need for healthcare coverage and especially for the low-middle class. There is a large Spanish population in Utah, and it’s growing, and there is a lot of people out there still in need,” Palacios says.  

This storefront method was pioneered in Miami, Florida when enrollment in the Affordable Care Act first opened. The agency has expanded to Texas, California, and now Utah.
“There are a lot of people that are not educated on this benefit, on the aid that’s out there for them to be able to have health insurance,” says Raiza Sakamoto, Community Outreach Director for Healthcare Depot in Utah. “Then, what ends up happening is that they literally find out they do qualify for the subsidy, and oh my gosh, I can’t believe my premium is so low, and oh my gosh, I get that covered, this is incredible, thank you so much! We’re getting that a lot.”

Healthcare Depot partners with Molina Healthcare to raise awareness about enrollment. Most of the policies the agents sell are with Molina. The managed care company was founded in Long Beach, California by a Hispanic emergency room physician who wanted to help low-income people access healthcare. Adam Grimaldo is a regional broker manager with Molina. He says these new outreach efforts further their mission.

“It really fits into why we’re in business and that is to provide quality healthcare to those that really need it the most,” Grimaldo says.  

As word spreads about the rising costs of federal penalties for not having insurance, the agents at Healthcare Depot say more people are seeking their assistance.

by Andrea Smarden,