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New Coalition Addresses Health Equity Challenges through Inclusive Data Collection

To improve health outcomes, groups join forces to standardize race, ethnicity,
language, sexual orientation, and gender identity data collection

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WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ — Today, the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), and 17 partner organizations announced the formation of the Data Equity Coalition, a new partnership to improve health outcomes through better, more accurate and more representative data on race, ethnicity and language (REL) and sexual orientation and gender identification (SOGI). Developing a standardized approach to this important data can be critical to ensuring everyone in America has an equal opportunity to attain their highest level of health.

Inequities exist throughout our health care system—and they must be addressed. Many racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and LGBTQIA+ communities are underserved and under-represented, and as a result, experience higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, asthma, heart disease, cancer, and preterm birth. The lack of comprehensive data to better understand these challenges as well as archaic standards for collecting it are contributing factors to the growing health equity gap.

“This coalition is an important step toward improving the health of millions of Americans,” said Kim Keck, BCBSA president and CEO. “People from underserved communities often face critical disparities in health care and data standardization will allow our country to target solutions to improve outcomes and ultimately create a better system of health, where equitable care is an expectation, not an exception.”

In 1977, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) introduced Statistical Policy Directive No. 15 (SPD 15) that established a set of minimum standards for collecting race and ethnicity. OMB is initiating a formal review to revise SPD 15, which was last updated almost 30 years ago.

NMQF and BCBSA partnered to release an issue brief that outlines comprehensive solutions for OMB including clear requirements for REL and SOGI data collection and disaggregated race/ethnicity collection as well as non-voluntary, uniform adoption of the updated directive for all government agencies and private sector health care stakeholders.

The Data Equity Coalition will focus on the following:

  • Education on the importance of data as a critical pillar in advancing health equity.
  • Accelerating data advocacy to influence policy standards.
  • Effective data collection standards as a necessity to improve health outcomes.

The coalition will educate and engage OMB and policymakers to expand SPD 15 by further disaggregating the minimum standard collection categories and requiring non-voluntary, uniform, and universal adoption of the new SPD 15 by health care entities, including all government and private sector stakeholders. Additionally, the coalition will engage with the Department of Health and Human Services to elevate the implementation of the new SPD 15 standards and advocate for the creation of supplemental standards for SOGI data.

“Data is the lifeline of modern health care and after decades of collecting health data, NMQF is concerned about the limitations of available comprehensive standards for REL and SOGI data,” said Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, NMQF president and CEO. “The formation of the Data Equity Coalition marks a shared commitment to not only advancing health care equity but also enabling targeted solutions to better meet the needs of underserved groups. We are proud to co-lead this multi-stakeholder coalition of leaders to forge a healthier future for all communities.”

Members of the Data Equity Coalition include:

  • AAMC Center for Health Justice
  • Advocates for Community Health
  • Alliance for Women’s Health and Prevention
  • American Benefits Council
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Diabetes Association®
  • Asian & Pacific Islander Health Forum
  • Association of Black Cardiologists
  • Association of Black Health-system Pharmacists
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
  • Families USA
  • Mental Health America
  • Minority Health Institute, Inc
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • National LGBTQ Taskforce
  • National Minority Quality Forum
  • National Rural Health Association
  • Urban Institute

About The National Minority Quality Forum
National Minority Quality Forum assists healthcare providers, professionals, administrators, researchers, policymakers, and community and faith-based organizations in delivering appropriate healthcare to minority communities. This assistance is based on providing evidence in the form of science, research, and analysis that will lead to the effective organization and management of system resources to improve the quality and safety of health care for the entire population of the U.S., including minorities. For more information, please visit www.nmqf.org.

About the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 34 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans.

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

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Exploring the Healthiest Communities in the United States: California Counties Shine Bright

Discover how California’s Marin County leads the healthiest U.S. communities, boasting high life expectancy and low obesity rates in a recent study.

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A recent study by MarketWatch has unveiled a list of the healthiest communities in the United States, with California counties claiming top spots. Marin County, nestled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, emerged as the healthiest county, boasting a remarkable life expectancy of 85, a lower-than-average adult obesity rate, and a mere 5 percent of residents without health insurance.

The study evaluated 576 U.S. counties using 14 key metrics, including food insecurity, healthcare access, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, and environmental factors like water and air quality. Western states dominated the top 10 list, with Colorado, Hawaii, and Montana also showcasing exemplary county health profiles.

The findings emphasized a correlation between community health and wealth, with affluent areas exhibiting lower rates of food insecurity and higher levels of health insurance coverage. The presence of nature parks in many of the healthiest counties underscored the positive impact of green spaces on well-being, aligning with scientific research on the subject.

However, the study also shed light on disparities, highlighting that residents in the unhealthiest counties face challenges such as limited access to grocery stores, higher rates of food insecurity, and inadequate primary care services. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, was identified as the least healthy county due to high uninsured rates and poor environmental quality.

In California, 37 out of 58 counties were ranked, with Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties clinching top positions. The data revealed a stark contrast in median incomes between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties, with Marin County boasting a median income well above the national average.

This comprehensive analysis serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and healthcare professionals striving to address disparities and promote well-being across communities. It underscores the importance of factors such as access to healthcare, environmental quality, and socioeconomic status in shaping overall community health outcomes.

https://patch.com/california/sanrafael/ca-has-3-10-healthiest-counties-u-s-new-study-says

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Celebrating National Random Acts of Kindness Day

“February 17th marks National Random Acts of Kindness Day, a celebration encouraging acts of kindness that spread joy and positivity nationwide.”

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Every year on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day gains momentum as a day dedicated to spreading goodwill and positivity. People from all walks of life come together to celebrate this occasion, emphasizing the importance of kindness in our daily interactions.

“Embracing Kindness: Celebrating National Random Acts of Kindness Day”

The essence of this day lies in the simplicity of performing acts of kindness, both big and small, to brighten someone else’s day. Whether it’s buying a coffee for a stranger, complimenting a co-worker, or simply offering a listening ear, these gestures have the power to make a significant impact on someone’s life.

What makes National Random Acts of Kindness Day truly special is its ability to inspire a ripple effect of positivity. Acts of kindness not only benefit the recipient but also uplift the spirits of the giver, creating a cycle of compassion and empathy that transcends boundaries.

As individuals, groups, and organizations come together to participate in this day, the message of kindness spreads far and wide, fostering a sense of community and unity. It serves as a reminder that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference in the world around us.

So, this National Random Acts of Kindness Day, let us embrace the spirit of generosity and compassion. Let us take a moment to brighten someone’s day, spread a little joy, and make the world a kinder place for all.

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Empoderar a los afroamericanos con el aprendizaje de habilidades que salvan vidas

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(Family Features) En el espíritu del Mes de la Historia Afroamericana, usted puede empoderarse, educar a otros y mejorar la salud cardíaca de su comunidad convirtiéndose en un defensor de la RCP (reanimación cardiopulmonar) y del DEA (desfibrilador externo automático). Compartir la importancia de estas habilidades que salvan vidas puede ayudar a crear un futuro más saludable para las generaciones futuras.

Según la American Heart Association, los afroamericanos tienen la mayor incidencia de paro cardíaco fuera del hospital y tienen muchas menos probabilidades de sobrevivir. El paro cardíaco en las colonias negros se asocia con bajas tasas de tratamiento y supervivencia; los estudios han demostrado tasas más bajas tanto de RCP como de uso de DEA por parte de transeúntes en estas colonias.

En Estados Unidos, las desigualdades en salud son diferencias sistemáticas en el estado sanitario de diferentes grupos demográficos y, a menudo, son el resultado de barreras como el racismo, la pobreza, la discriminación, la falta de vivienda asequible, educación de calidad y acceso a la atención médica.

El Mes de la Historia Afroamericana sirve como telón de fondo relevante para la campaña Nation of Lifesavers de la American Heart Association, cuyo objetivo es alinear los principios de empoderamiento, participación comunitaria y equidad en salud. Al celebrar la abundante herencia y la resiliencia de la comunidad afroamericana, también se puede reconocer la importancia de fomentar la educación sobre la salud cardíaca y construir un legado de salud.

Puede defender la importancia de la capacitación en RCP y DEA compartiendo esta importante información en su comunidad.

RCP
Debido a que alrededor del 70% de los paros cardíacos fuera del entorno hospitalario ocurren en el hogar, aprender RCP puede salvar la vida de alguien que conoce y ama. De hecho, si bien el 90% de las personas que sufren un paro cardíaco fuera de un entorno hospitalario no sobreviven, se pueden duplicar o triplicar las posibilidades de supervivencia de una víctima realizando RCP de inmediato. Consta de dos sencillos pasos:

  1. Llamar al 9-1-1 (o enviar a alguien para que lo haga).
  2. Presionar fuerte y rápido en el centro del pecho.

DEA
Un DEA es un dispositivo portátil y liviano que administra una descarga eléctrica a través del pecho hasta el corazón cuando detecta un ritmo anormal y luego cambia el ritmo a la normalidad. Más del 15% de los paros cardíacos fuera de un entorno hospitalario ocurren en lugares públicos, lo que significa que los DEA de acceso público y la capacitación comunitaria desempeñan un papel importante en la desfibrilación temprana. La RCP combinada con el uso de un DEA ofrece las mejores posibilidades de salvar una vida.

Las ambulancias, los vehículos policiales, muchos camiones de bomberos y otros vehículos de primera respuesta contienen DEA. Además, se pueden encontrar en áreas públicas, como recintos deportivos, centros comerciales, aeropuertos y aviones, empresas, centros de convenciones, hoteles, escuelas, piscinas y consultorios médicos. Por lo general, puede buscar cerca de ascensores, cafeterías, áreas de recepción y en las paredes de los pasillos principales donde se reúne un gran número de personas.

Siga estos pasos para utilizar un DEA:

  1. Encienda el DEA y siga las indicaciones de voz.
  2. Retire toda la ropa que cubra el pecho. Si es necesario, seque el pecho.
  3. Retire el protector de las almohadillas y colóquelas en el pecho desnudo de la persona siguiendo la ilustración de las almohadillas.
  4. Enchufe el conector de las almohadillas al DEA, si es necesario.
  5. El DEA verificará si la persona necesita una descarga y le indicará cuándo administrarla. Mientras el DEA analiza, asegúrese de que nadie toque a la persona.
  6. Reanude la RCP si no es necesaria ninguna descarga. Si es necesaria una descarga, asegúrese de que nadie toque a la persona y presione el botón de “descarga” y luego reanude inmediatamente la RCP.
  7. Continúe la RCP hasta que llegue el personal de emergencia.

Obtenga más información y descubra cómo empoderarse a sí mismo y a su comunidad en heart.org/blackhistorymonth.

Foto cortesía de Shutterstock


SOURCE:
American Heart Association

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