RHECs can share information on great things that the RHEC or others are doing to eliminate health disparities - projects such as the ACA Outreach, Blog Posts, Newsletters, Links (e.g., https://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/Content/clas.asp, http://www.healthcare.gov/index.html), as well as other relevant programs and sites.

Unintentional Injuries are a Leading Cause of Death for American Indian and Alaska Native Populations by Dr. Joe Coulter

posted Aug 17, 2017, 2:06 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Aug 17, 2017, 2:06 PM ]

It is no secret that American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations face unique challenges. Whether it be the extreme remoteness of some tribal lands, the lack of available resources, environmental concerns, or access to adequate healthcare, gaining health equity for AI/AN populations might seem insurmountable. However, given the right amount of focus, resources and involvement from the community, even the most pressing barriers and obstacles to care facing AI/ANs can be addressed – leading to greater health of Native populations.
Among the myriad of challenges faced by American Indians and Alaska Natives, unintentional injuries remains one of the leading causes of death. There are a number of factors that may explain why unintended injuries continue to be a leading cause of death, but the bigger question and the greater challenge is how to reduce unintended deaths and injuries among AI/ANs.

Unintentional Death and Injuries Among the AI/AN Population 

For American Indians and Alaska Natives, death and injury rates are staggering compared to those for the non-AI/AN population. For example, while eight percent of the general population will die before they reach 45 years of age, for AI/ANs, that number increases to 25% (one out of four). The sad but true fact is that a quarter of the Native population won’t see their 45th birthday not because of medical, chronic or genetic issues but rather avoidable and preventable unintentional injuries that lead to death. When the data are broken down by age, this is a common trend regardless of which age group is being examined.

Why Unintentional Injuries are So Dangerous 

Support for many of the social determinants of health that contribute to a Native person’s overall well-being are lacking for this population. Many factors – such as socioeconomic status, geographic location, access to health care and health services, transportation, nutrition, and lack of physical activity contribute to the problem. 

Most Indian tribal lands are located in remote, isolated areas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths from car accidents are greater in rural than urban areas. Among AI/AN 19 years old and younger, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, followed by drowning and poisoning.

Being rural alone does not lead to the unintentional death rate crisis that AI/AN people currently face, but it does contribute to another key factor, which is environment. Many tribes and Indian tribal lands are located in areas where the environment can be seen as perilous. Similarly, access to health services is extremely limited in these areas meaning that Native individuals need to travel great distances to receive their medical care. Conversely, medical professionals need to travel great distances to reach those who call for help. Additionally, lack of healthy and/or nutritional options and lack of transportation other than people’s own vehicles exacerbate both the causes of unintentional injuries and death.

What can be Done?

While the statistics paint a bleak picture, there is hope. Although the data on unintentional injury leading to death rates for American Indian and Alaska Natives are striking, they actually show a slight improvement – indicating both the scope of the problem and the fact that small changes, such as education and intervention, can lead to significant improvements. As attention to this issue increases, more solutions can be developed and implemented. By starting with culturally competent, socially acceptable approaches and focusing on each of the aforementioned social determinants, progress can – and will – be made to alleviate the extremely high rates of unintentional injuries and deaths among our Native populations.

Register for the FIHET Webinar: Advancing Health Equity in Tribal Communities through Public Health Accreditation

posted Aug 14, 2017, 1:29 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Aug 14, 2017, 1:29 PM ]

The webinar will take place on August 24, 2017, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT and will highlight the work that has been done at the national level as well as within a tribal community to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for AI/ANs.

Presenters will:
  1. Provide a background on the landscape of public health in Indian Country;
  2. Discuss the findings of an environmental scan on the state of public health accreditation and health equity within tribal communities; and
  3. Share one tribe’s approach to using public health accreditation activities to achieve health equity within its community. 
View the flyer below for registration details.

Cross-RHEC Oral Health Workgroup Shares Stories From The Field

posted Jun 14, 2017, 2:17 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 2:18 PM ]

The NPA Cross-RHEC Oral Health Workgroup was formed to advance oral health equity within minority populations in the United States. In an effort to spread awareness about the importance of access to preventative and restorative oral health care, the group collected accounts from individuals who have experienced challenges in accessing such services.

Here are their stories: http://oralhealth.npa-rhec.org/oral-health-stories

The Cross-RHEC Oral Health Workgroup Announces Its Oral Health Equity Hero Award Recipient

posted Jun 2, 2017, 7:45 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Jun 2, 2017, 11:50 AM ]

Becca Matusovich was named as the 2017 Cross-RHEC Oral Health Equity Award recipient. The award recognizes individuals and/or organizations that support community efforts to promote oral health equity and eliminate oral health disparities.

Ms. Matusovich is a Policy Associate at the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy within the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, and she coordinates the SmilePartners dental access initiative in Maine. SmilePartners, launched as a pilot program to address the lack of access to dental care, allows Ms. Matusovich to focus on something of great importance to her: addressing oral health disparities by focusing on systemic solutions that connect economic well-being, social supports, community engagement, and public health.

Dental disease often can result in costly emergency room visits and lost wages in Maine. To address this, SmilePartners was formed in 2013 as a dental access workgroup under the Greater Portland Refugee and Immigrant Health Collaborative to provide affordable restorative and dental care to the immigrant/refugee community. The pilot program was funded by Northeast Delta Dental and the Cumberland District Public Health Council.

To promote oral health equity, SmilePartners provides oral health literacy education to participants and relies on community health worker (CHW) support its implementation. Participants receive dental care services on a sliding fee scale. The successes of the pilot program include an 80% completion rate and a 97% appointment adherence, with 80% of participants planning to continue preventive appointments.

The workgroup currently is creating a financial model that will ensure the program’s sustainability, and it plans to launch another cohort in summer of 2017. SmilePartners will continue to work with refugees and immigrants and is planning to treat young adults aging out of foster care.

National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) Is Highlighted In Latest Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Report On Health Equity

posted Jun 1, 2017, 6:47 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Jun 1, 2017, 6:47 AM ]

The NPA is mentioned in the latest report by RWJF called 'What is Health Equity?''. The NPA is highlighted in the report as a resource for practitioners and decision-makers looking for tools to help them better design, implement and evaluate initiatives to achieve health equity. The report puts forth four key steps to achieve health equity: Identify important health disparities; Change and implement policies, laws, systems, environments, and practices to reduce inequities in the opportunities and resources needed to be healthier; Evaluate and monitor efforts using short- and long-term measures as it may take decades or generations to reduce some health disparities and reassess strategies in light of process and outcomes and plan next steps.

Download the report here: http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2017/04/what-is-health-equity-.html

Recording Now Available For The Mountain States RHEC (RHEC VII) Native American Cultural Competency Webinar

posted May 23, 2017, 6:34 AM by Tech Support   [ updated May 23, 2017, 9:28 AM ]

Did you miss the April 20, 2017, Native American Cultural Competency webinar hosted by the Mountain States RHEC (RHEC VIII)? The webinar, which focused on addressing cultural sensitivity when collecting sensitive data is now available for listening. Upon listening to the webinar, participants will be able to do the following: list three benefits of providing culturally and linguistic appropriate services; identify and understand the holistic healing approach, cultural norms, customs, and protocols of the Great Plains tribes; discuss effective strategies when working with the Native American population that can be shared with co-workers; and enhance the relationship between healthcare provider and patient by building a culturally competent workforce.

Listen to the recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3J1kFXVQHf1eE1RRUVSOHQyTnc/view?usp=sharing

To view/download the presentation (Power Point format) click below

The Latest Issue Of Network Spotlight: Caring For Each Other And The People We Serve Is Now Available

posted May 16, 2017, 11:59 AM by Tech Support   [ updated May 16, 2017, 11:59 AM ]

The Network Spotlight is brought to you by the Oral Health 2020 Network. The Oral Health 2020 Network is a diverse network of individuals and organizations at the local, state, and national level to ensure policy, financing, care, and community are aligned to promote oral health as an essential part of overall health and well-being. The Network Spotlight is designed to keep Network members abreast with current developments from both inside and outside of the Network.

Click below to view/download the latest edition of The Network

View The Mid-Atlantic Regional Health Equity Council’s (RHEC) Webinar on Social Determinants of Health

posted May 8, 2017, 1:10 PM by Tech Support   [ updated May 8, 2017, 1:11 PM ]

The webinar showcases how three states in the Mid-Atlantic Region are addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH). After viewing the webinar, you will be able to identify SDOH; be aware of innovative practices that address health inequities; and identify and access resources that can be used to champion health equity efforts.

View it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3J1kFXVQHf1RzVyZUd0bmYtYjQ/view

Watch The Latest SHEC webinar on Applying A Cultural Competency Lens to Human Trafficking

posted May 8, 2017, 1:09 PM by Tech Support   [ updated May 8, 2017, 1:11 PM ]

Watch as speaker Sunny Slaughter shares her trademark presentation ‘Marginalized. Masked. Missed.™, a discussion on addressing human trafficking victimization through a cultural competency lens. After watching this webinar, you will be able to accomplish the following from the specific organizational perspective: Identify human trafficking victimization; Describe the intersectionality of social determinants and human trafficking; Explain the importance of trauma-informed care through a cultural competency lens; Discuss best practices for multidisciplinary and collaborative partnerships; and Identify cultural competency assessment and evaluation tools.

View it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3J1kFXVQHf1ZUJzTlNhOXlmZXc/view

Now Available- Recording Of The latest American Indian and Alaska Native Behavioral Health Webinar: The National Tribal Behavioral Health Agenda

posted May 8, 2017, 1:09 PM by Tech Support   [ updated May 8, 2017, 1:09 PM ]

The recording of the latest AI/AN Behavioral Health webinar on the National Tribal Behavioral Health Agenda (TBHA) is now available. The TBHA marks the first tribally informed blueprint for improving behavioral health outcomes in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. During this webinar, NIHB staff will provide an in-depth analysis of the TBHA, including its five foundational elements, and will provide an overview of the various strategies and recommendations it puts forth for addressing behavioral health concerns.

View it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3J1kFXVQHf1TVJtOEVwcWVldm8/view

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