Aug/Sept 2013 REACH Newsletter, Issue 3

Advancing Racial and Ethnic Health Equity

In the Aug/Sept edition of the NRC Newsletter, we proudly salute all of the hardworking and dedicated health care centers and workers across the nation. August 11-17, 2013 is proudly recognized as National Health Center Week.  

Each year, the second full week of August is dedicated to recognizing the service and contributions of community, migrant, homeless, and public housing health centers in providing access to affordable, high-quality, cost-effective healthcare to medically vulnerable and underserved people. Find out what upcoming 
activities and events will take place in local health care centers in your area and join in on the week of recognition!
2013 NRC-REACH Workshop a Success!

NRC Program Director, Cathy Morales and CDC Program Officer, Latrece Timmons, enjoy a delightful discussion with featured speakers, Dr. Leonard Jack, Director of the Division of Community Health; and Mr. Daniel Dawes Esq., healthcare attorney and NRC Consultant.

Featured speaker and NRC Strategic Communications Consultant, Courtney Lang, JD, informs the consortium members on effective ways to implement the projects set forth for their upcoming work plans. Members left the workshop well-prepared to "reach" for success within their community-based organizations.

Attendees from The Korean Community Services (KCS) share thoughts and ideas after a useful session during the Technical Assistance Workshop.

Lots of Opportunities to Remain Active During the Late Summer Months

Take advantage of the weather. Late August and early September can be a treat for the senses: the crisp air, apple picking, a gorgeous canopy of fall foliage, and the crunch of leaves underfoot. These months are a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures.

Discover park trails and take in some new scenery, whether you're walking, biking, or in-line skating.  Keep the physical body moving and active.

Physical activity can improve health. Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies found that people who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Physical activity can also help with weight control and lessen the risk of obesity.

THE UAB Minority Health Disparities Center Makes the Connection Between Physical and Spiritual Health
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Minority Health and Health Disparities Center (MHRC) is partnering with the Mount Pilgrim Baptist District Association to educate African American church leaders about the importance of healthy congregations.
The program kick-off event was Friday, August 2, at Sardis Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham.  The activities included fun puppet shows, and physical activity for children along with keynote speaker Dr. Vernon Swift, president of the Alabama State Missionary Baptist Convention Inc.  Dr. Swift discussed the link and overall importance between physical and spiritual health.

Saturday, August 3, began with a parade at the church, basketball for the children and included an address by keynote speaker Dr. W. M. Norwood, pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, along with speakers from UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center and REACH.
“Our goal is to encourage the congregants of the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist District Association and surrounding communities to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” said the project’s principal investigator and sponsor Mona Fouad, M.D., director of the UAB MHRC and Director of the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine.  "This project wants to focus on the physical part of ministry by collaborating with the association’s existing members to adopt and/or amend existing church-related rules and protocols to promote healthy lifestyle practices.”

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Arranges a Local Farm Tour Displaying Benefits of Healthy Eating
The UIC Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center hosted a tour of the Chicago State University Aquaponic Farm for its Community Leadership Team on Thursday, July 11, 2013. 

The Midwest Latino Center organized this event as part of its NRC funded-REACH project to increase the availability and consumption of healthy food in minority communities that have experienced food desserts.  The UIC Midwest Latino Health Center wanted to share this successful model of economically and ecologically sound production of healthy food with members of the target communities to show what can be done with urban gardening and the strategies that make this possible and practical in urban areas. 

Emmanuel Pratt of The Mycelia Project and Sweet Water Foundation gave the group a personal tour of the facility and explained how he was able to turn a vacant shoe factory into an urban farm. The farm raises tilapia and perch for local distribution and the waste goes to fertilize the soil needed to grow a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs in the indoor farm.   As a part of the tour, Emmanuel discussed farm sustainability and urban renewal, and has led economic development and educational opportunities to improve community health.   

The tour facilitated dialogue about unrecognized community assets that can be used to increase healthy eating and strategies to engage community leaders in the effort.

Breastfeeding Toolkit Offers Healthy Tips from the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan (ITCM)

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan (ITCM) Breastfeeding toolkit was created for tribes in order to assist them in increasing culturally appropriate practices which support breastfeeding. The ITCM first recruited a team of community leaders which included each of the 12 Michigan Tribal Health Directors and the Health Director from the American Indian Health and Family Services Agency, Tribal Maternal Child Health staff, Healthy Start staff, Michigan Public Health Institute staff, and staff from the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan. The Tribal Maternal Child Health staff “Healthy Start” have worked to promote breastfeeding within their communities and the development of workplace breastfeeding policies.

The result was a beautifully tailored toolkit focused on Native American women in the workplace.  The toolkit contains real-life sample workplace breastfeeding policies, statutes, resolutions, and promotional materials each submitted with permission from Tribal leadership.  The project picked up synergy and several Michigan Tribes passed resolutions, statutes, and policies during the toolkit development.  Final evaluation will take place in September 2013 and will include talking circles, which will be used to capture project successes within each Tribe.


Asian Pacific American Community Network (APA ComMNet) Held its First Pan Asian Arts Festival and Health Fair 
The Asian Pacific American Community Network (APA ComMNet) coalition members had an eventful summer engaging with Asian Americans/Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in North Minneapolis and throughout Minnesota.   Improving the health of AAPI Minnesotans were the main goal of coalition members as they work to increase physical activity opportunities for their community and educate them on the political, systematic and environmental results of poor health.  

In May 2013, APA ComMNet partnered with the Pan Asian Arts Alliance and Asian Media Access to hold its first Pan Asian Arts Festival and Health Fair.  Over 20 dance groups performed different Asian dance routines at the festival.  Several Asian American health professionals were on hand to provide multi-lingual education materials on different health topics, including physical activity and reducing the risk of obesity.

National REACH Coalition Mission: To coalesce, increase the capacity and social capital of underserved racial and ethnic communities across the U.S. to achieve health equity. 

About Us
The National REACH Coalition (NRC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to the elimination of health disparities and the achievement of health equity among racial and ethnic minorities. NRC leads a national network of community-based organizations to promote, develop, and implement transformative, effective and innovative health equity strategies and programs intended to strengthen the quality of health and preventive servicesin both urban and rural communities across the United States. The NRC supports and engages in initiatives that bridge the gap between health and social resources, as well as build the capacity of communities to provide cost-effective interventions that eliminate barriers to health.  


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