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News and Resources

The American Medical Association addresses minority physician professional issues and minority health issues on an ongoing basis. Here are activities and projects that are related to the issues addressed by the AMA-MAS. Listings of non-AMA resources do not necessarily indicate endorsement by the AMA. Links here may take you off the AMA website.

The Impact of Change

We hear all too often the familiar phrase: "I don't do well when it comes to change." Most would agree that change is difficult. Individuals constantly encounter life transitions that force them out of their "comfort zone." We have the choice to either embrace or reject the change that is implemented in our society. There are countless examples of individuals whose advocacy for change continues to impact society today. Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, and Mahatma Ghandi are just a few of the historical leaders who felt that change was essential in regards to addressing the marginalization and discrimination of various minority groups. These "pioneers of change" along with others have set the standard for current and future leaders who feel that reform is essential regarding various fields like education, the criminal justice system, and health care.

Continue reading "The Impact of Change".

National Hispanic Heritage Month, October 2012

Hispanics are the nation's largest and fastest growing major ethnic group, also at present the largest group (33%) without health insurance under the age of 65.

The U.S. Census, on September 14, 2012, reported a decrease in uninsured from 50 million (16.3%) in 2010 to 48.2 million (15.7%) in 2011.

In the last 2 years there have been substantial accomplishments. In a recent (Sept. 2012) Affordable Care Act update by White House and HHS officials to a National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) group of healthcare professionals, the focus was on the development of Health Insurance Exchanges and community health workers to start outreach programs for low-income/uninsured Hispanic families.

Continue reading "National Hispanic Heritage Month, October 2012".

Walking Together: Partnering for Suicide Prevention in Native Communities

Love, Honor, Respect. The words are printed on the back of a brightly colored tee shirt worn by an American Indian elder on a chilly, moonlit night in a tribal community in New Mexico. With their sacred mountain against their backs, children, families and elders walk forward in a determined, unified manner to break the silence and prevent suicide.

Suicide is a major cause of death for American Indian/Alaskan Native males between the ages of 12-27. Nationally the suicide rate for American Indians/Alaskan is higher than for any population within the United States.

As tribal communities seek to improve awareness, they recognize that all helpers and healers are critical in the prevention and intervention efforts of suicide prevention and intervention, especially the pediatricians and primary care physicians that serve the medical needs of American Indian/Alaskan Native children. Through well child clinics, physical exams, Head Start screenings, and primary care, physicians play a critical role in the physical and emotional well being of children in American Indian and Alaskan Native communities.

Continue Reading "Walking Together: Partnering for Suicide Prevention in Native Communities".

2011 Excellence in Medicine Award Winners are honored
Mildred Olivier, MD, FACS and Rodney Hood, MD were both recently honored as two of the AMA Foundation's Excellence in Medicine Award winners.

Dr. Olivier received the 2011 Dr. Nathan Davis International Aware in Medicine. Dr. Olivier's ultimate goal is to eradicate preventable blindness due to glaucoma in Haiti. She leads regular medical missions to Haiti several times a year, most recently after Haiti's 2010 earthquake, bringing medical equipment, her skills, other practitioners, and training programs for the local Haitian doctors. In addition, she is working with a team to identify markers for glaucoma through registration and genetic sampling of families in Haiti with high incidence of the disease. Together with her colleagues and others she has trained, Dr. Olivier has helped improve the vision, and lives, of over 17,000 patients.

Dr. Hood was awarded the Pride in the Profession award at this year's ceremonies. Dr. Hood has long spoken out on the issue of racial and ethnic health disparities in his own community, and throughout the United States. In 1994, he cofounded the Multicultural Primary Care Medical Group. This physicians group works to ensure quality health care to all segments of the community, increasing the awareness of appropriate treatments for diverse and vulnerable populations, and expanding diversity with the medical field. In his roles as president of the National Medical Association and governing member of the AMA's Minority Affairs Consortium, y, Dr. Hood has worked tirelessly to improve the systems that will reduce health care disparities in this country.

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) provides community health reform guide
In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (H.R. 3590) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R.4872) became law. In response, the CBCF produced Understanding Health Reform, a guide to help everyday people better understand the new healthcare laws. The CBCF hopes that this guide will provide readers with the knowledge to become more engaged in advocating for health care resources in their communities. For additional copies or to comment, call (202) 263-2800 or email CPAR@cbcfinc.org. Click here to read the guide.

Pregnancy-related mortality four times more likely in African-American mothers
The Associated Press (4/27, Mohajer) reports "Maternal mortality is on the rise in California, with African-American mothers roughly four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than women in any other racial or ethnic groups," according to a study conducted by the California Department of Public Health. Federal statistics cite the 2008 maternal mortality rate among African-American women was 36.1 per 100,000 live births, compared to 9.6 for white women and 8.5 for Hispanic women. Other factors such as the higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure seen in African-American women, along with increases in caesarean-section births (LA Times, 4/26) are considered major contributors.

The American Medical Association addresses minority physician professional issues and minority health issues on an ongoing basis. Here are activities and projects that are related to the issues addressed by the MAS. Listings of non-AMA resources do not necessarily indicate endorsement by the AMA. Links here may take you off the AMA Web site.

Online video covers universal HIV screening
Approximately 1 million people in the United States are believed to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A quarter of them may be unaware they are infected, thus not getting necessary treatment and risking the unintentional transmission of HIV to others.

The AMA released the new online educational video, "Universal HIV screening and reducing HIV disparities" as part of its Educating Physicians on Controversies and Challenges in Health series. The five-minute streaming video aims to educate physicians on the implementation of universal HIV screening in practice as a strategy to reduce the transmission of HIV, which disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities.

Latest in AMA online series addresses race and ethnicity data collection
A new online educational program from the AMA can help physicians see the benefits of building a more comprehensive base of patient data on race and ethnicity, and identify barriers and solutions for collecting this information from patients.

Part of the AMA's online video series Educating Physicians on Controversies in Health, "Data on race and ethnicity: How and why it should be collected in medical practice" aims to show physicians the need for reliable and accurate demographic data truly reflective of patient populations, how the data can be collected and how the data can improve the quality of care. The data will be helpful to clinicians and researchers in learning more about the causes of health care disparities and how physicians can work to eliminate them. The data will also help physicians seek new ways to provide better care for their minority patients.

If you have a minority physician or minority health related news item that you would like us to consider for inclusion on this page, please email us with the information at mas@ama-assn.org.

Lists AMA resources and products related culturally effective health care

Racial/Ethnic Healthcare Disparities materials and projects

Diversity in Medical Education
Lists AMA policy related to diversity in medical education.

Information on being involved in AMA-MAS policy and resolution development