News & Notices

This page includes only news listings from SWRnet announcements from September 2013 and on – please go to SWRnet Archives to view postings from all of our previous SWRnet updates.

National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) Blog – Community Coaches: Partnering with Communities to Build a Culture of Health

In the latest NPA blog, Representative Attica Scott (KY-District 41), discusses her work as a Community Coach with the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program.

The Nation’s Health – Community-Based Care Critical for Transgender Health: Working for Access

Historically, community-based initiatives that cater to the LGBTQ population were borne out of a need to fill the gaps in traditional health care. Many providers still lack the training and knowledge necessary to treat transgender patients.

NPR – A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America

In 1933, faced with a housing shortage, the federal government began a program explicitly designed to increase – and segregate – America’s housing stock. Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a “state-sponsored system of segregation.”

Rural Health Information Hub Blog – Community Health Workers Get Trained to Reduce Oral Health Disparities

Black Muslims Face Double Jeopardy, Anxiety In The Heartland

The intersection of these two identities has become more acute thanks to Black Lives Matter and protests against the Trump administration’s executive order on immigration.

NPR – Black, Latino Two-Parent Families Have Half The Wealth Of White Single Parents

The racial wealth gap has been measured and studied for decades. One fact has remained the same: White families build and accumulate more wealth more quickly than black and brown families do.

NPR – The Future Of Medicaid May Be Found In Indiana, Where The Poor Pay

To get a glimpse of where Medicaid may be headed after Donald Trump moves into the White House, it may be wise to look to Indiana. That’s where Seema Verma, Trump’s pick to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, comes from. And that’s where she put her stamp on the state’s health care program for the poor. The plan she came up with for Indiana requires poor Medicaid recipients to make monthly payments for their insurance, or lose benefits.

NPR – Police, Protesters Clash Near Dakota Access Pipeline Route 

Police and demonstrators opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline clashed overnight on a bridge that has been a flashpoint in the ongoing protests.

The Atlantic – This is Who We Are

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency reveals the true character of America.

November is National Native American Heritage Month

Delivery of health services and funding of programs to maintain and improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives are consonant with the federal government’s historical and unique legal relationship with Indian Tribes. In recognition of this, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports research on improving the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Women Across Frontiers – The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Latinas in the U.S.

Since coverage expansions under the ACA, also known as Obamacare, went into effect three years ago, the number of American women living without health insurance has dropped by more than 50 percent. Latinas, who have long had very high uninsured rates, are among those who have benefitted from the ACA and begun to obtain coverage.

RWJF Culture of Health Blog – Parents Need Flexible and Affordable Child Care

Child care plays a critical role during the formative years and is key to familial stability. A new poll illustrates the challenges that parents face in accessing quality, affordable child care, and the opportunities for improvement.

Living Cities Blog – Bringing Equality to Health

Racial segregation restricts access to such health-promoting resources as stable housing, healthy food choices, quality schools, job opportunities, and safe streets and parks. In fact, racism itself is a health risk. We know what the problem is. Now, let’s get to work solving it.

NIH Director’s Message – Sexual and Gender Minorities Formally Designated as a Health Disparity Population for Research Purposes

NIMHD Director, Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, announced the formal designation of sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) as a health disparity population for NIH research. The term SGM encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations, as well as those whose sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, or reproductive development varies from traditional, societal, cultural, or physiological norms.

September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Click here for more information.

NPR – At The Sacred Stone Camp, Tribes And Activists Join Forces To Protect The Land

The Camp of the Sacred Stone is full of all manner of people – kids, elders, lawyers, laid-back hippies, and representatives of several Native American tribes – all gathered alongside the Standing Rock Sioux Nation to resist construction of a controversial oil pipeline that would cut across the American heartland. Since construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline brought protesters to the encampment in April, organizers say nearly 200 tribes have offered support.

Bloomberg – Worker Hours Are More Unpredictable Than Ever

What a job looks like has changed for many people since the recession. In general, things are looking up: Both unemployment and jobless claims are falling. But a good chunk of job creation has come at the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum, a trend that has only recently started to change with gains for middle-wage earners. Many people who lost well-paying jobs have found work, but for less money, doing hourly retail and food services jobs. These new hourly workers not only make less money, but they have much less predictable schedules than hourly workers had before the recession, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis.

Center for Health Journalism – Q&A: What has health reform meant for rural America?

Despite health reform’s promise of expanding coverage, almost two-thirds of the rural uninsured live in states that are not expanding Medicaid. To learn more about rural health, we caught up with University of Washington professors Eric Larson and Davis Patterson, the director and deputy director of the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center.

New York Times – New Clues in the Mystery of Women’s Lagging Life Expectancy

It is now a grim fact that the life expectancy of American women is stagnant, but the reason for this remains a mystery.A team of researchers has now come up with an important clue: Where women live matters just as much as who they are.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Blog – How Social Spending Affects Health Outcomes

The United States spends more on health care than any other developed nation, yet a recent study suggests social services could have a greater impact on health outcomes.

New York Times – More Older People Are Finding Work, but What Kind?

As men and women 55 and older looking for employment probably suspect, at a certain point the kinds of jobs available to them narrow significantly. New research by Matthew Rutledge, an economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, found that they are increasingly being funneled into what he describes as “old-person” jobs.

NPR – The Obamas And The White House’s Slave Legacy

It remains easy to forget, or ignore, or even deny, that the number of black Americans to hold office in the White House will almost certainly never come close to the number of black slaves once forced to toil there.

The Commonwealth Fund Blog – Closing the Equity Gap in Health Care for Black Americans

The U.S. health care system does not perform well for black Americans. On average they experience worse access to care, lower quality of care, and poorer health outcomes than the nation as a whole.

Pew Research Center – Biggest Share of Whites in U.S. are Boomers, but for Minority Groups it’s Millennials or Younger

2015 statistics show that non-Hispanic whites tend to skew toward the older end of the spectrum, while minority groups skew younger.

Twitter Chat on African American Men’s Mental Health

For National Men’s Health Week, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities co-hosted a Twitter chat on June 16, 2016. The transcript of the chat is now available.

Why It Matters That It Was Latin Night at Pulse

The LGBTQ identities of the victims of Sunday’s massacre must not be erased. Nor should the fact that most of the victims were Latinos.

May is National Foster Care Month

Show your support for all youth in foster care, but especially those who will age out, but supporting Dr. Johanna Greeson’s “Let’s End The Aging Out Crisis” Thunderclap! She started this online campaign to raise awareness of the issue of youth aging out foster care and the potential of natural mentoring to be a part the solution.

Health Affairs Blog – Medicare Help At Home

This blog presents a Medicare Help at Home policy proposal to add home and community-based services to Medicare to enhance financial protection for beneficiaries, provisions to ensure the quality and efficient use of services, and honor beneficiary preferences for independent living and care at home.

New York Times – The Rich Live Longer Everywhere. For the Poor, Geography Matters

The poor in some cities – big ones like New York and Los Angeles, and also quite a few smaller ones like Birmingham, Ala. – live nearly as long as their middle-class neighbors or have seen rising life expectancy in the 21st century. But in some other parts of the country, adults with the lowest incomes die on average as young as people in much poorer nations like Rwanda, and their life spans are getting shorter.

Huffington Post – Why Raising The Social Security Retirement Age Could Hit Latinos Hardest

Older Latino workers are far more likely to have physically stressful jobs than their peers.

New York Times – The Return of the D.I.Y. Abortion

Google searches show a hidden demand for self-induced abortion reminiscent of the era before Roe v. Wade. This demand is concentrated in areas where it is most difficult to get an abortion, and it has closely tracked the recent state-level crackdowns on abortion.


The Atlantic – Medicare Is Leaving Elderly Women Behind

They have longer life spans and less money, but U.S. health policy is failing the nation’s oldest female patients-and no presidential candidate seems to have an answer.

Michelle Alexander on Racial Justice, Mass Incarceration and Black Lives Matter

Michelle Alexander-activist, author of the New York Times bestseller The New Jim Crow, and Ford Foundation senior fellow spoke to Ford Foundation staff about the state of racial justice in America. Here are some highlights from her candid and very timely talk.

Brookings Institution – The Case for ‘Race-Conscious’ Policies

Concerted action is required to tackle systematic racial gaps in everything from income and wealth to employment rates, poverty rates, and educational achievement.

NPR – New Study Links Widening Income Gap With Life Expectancy

You might have heard about the widening income gap. You might not know there’s a life expectancy gap as well. The rich are outliving the poor by a wider margin than ever before, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution.

Huffington Post – Seeing is Believing: Unlocking the Power of Senior LGBT Women in Business

Only 5% of the Fortune 500 CEO’s are women. None identify as LGBT (and only one man does, Tim Cook of Apple). The Financial Times publishes an annual list of the world’s leading LGBT executives; in 2015 only 24% of the list were women.

February is Black History Month

During Black History Month, we commemorate the ways in which African Americans have helped shape our nation’s history and culture. This year’s theme is “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories.

Time – The Gender Pay Gap Haunts Women in Retirement Too

Women’s retirement income is stretched thinner than men’s because they earn less and live longer.

New York Times – As Population Ages, Where Are the Geriatricians?

Geriatrics is one of the few medical specialties in the United States that is contracting even as the need increases, ranking at the bottom of the list of specialties that internal medicine residents choose to pursue.

NPR – Long Before They Were ‘Apparent Muslims,’ Sikhs Were Targeted In U.S.

Some scholars estimate there are about 100,000 Sikhs in the U.S. and 25 million worldwide. The Sikh Coalition, a nonprofit legal group, has analyzed more than 140 actual or suspected hate crimes against Sikhs in the U.S. between 2001 and 2012. The group says that this past December alone, it received a surge of calls from Sikhs seeking legal help- three times as many as during the same time in 2014.

NPR – Alzheimer’s Disease Underdiagnosed In Indian Country

About 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, the latest statistics suggest, and it’s probably about as common on Native American reservations as anywhere else. But a diagnosis in Indian Country is rarer, say mental health workers.

Justice Department Releases Guidance To Address Gender Bias in Police Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has announced a new guidance to help law enforcement agencies identify and prevent gender bias in their response to sexual assault and domestic violence. The guidance offers eight principles for law enforcement to incorporate into policies and training to ensure that neither implicit nor explicit gender bias will undermine efforts to keep victims safe and hold assailants accountable. The principles include recognizing and addressing biases and stereotypes regarding victims, treating all victims with respect, and encouraging victims to participate in the investigation.

New York Times – An Aging Society Chances the Story on Poverty for Retirees

A typical American worker in the middle rung of the earnings ladder – whose career pay averaged out at about $46,000 a year in today’s money – could retire this year at age 65 with a Social Security benefit worth 39 percent of the career average. But unless something is done to replenish Social Security‘s shrinking trust funds, by 2035 the first pension check for such a worker might amount to as little as 27.5 percent of her career wage, according to calculations published last year by the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration.

Commonwealth Fund Blog – 2015: The Health Care Year in Review

When it comes to historic changes in the U.S. health care system, few years could compete with 2014, but 2015 gave it a run for its money. With 2016 knocking at the door, it’s time to take a look back and round up the biggest health care events of the year.

NPR – People Of Color With Albinism Ask: Where Do I Belong?

Albinism affects people of all races, but for people of color, a lack of pigment can leave them struggling to fit in.

NPR – After The Mizzou Protests, Students Ask Themselves: Now What?

A week after protests over racism at their school became the biggest story in the country, 300 students, faculty and community members marched through the University of Missouri, Columbia campus behind a banner that read “Mizzou United, Columbia United.” Their goal: to keep talking about what’s been going on here, and why.

The Washington Post – Specialty Drugs Now Cost More than the Median Household Income

The average annual retail cost of specialty drugs used to treat complex diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis now exceeds the median U.S. household income.

NPR – For Women, Income Inequality Continues Into Retirement

Poverty does not treat men and women equally, especially in old age. Women 65 years old and older who are living in poverty outnumber men in those circumstances by more than 2 to 1. And these women are likely to face the greatest deprivation as they become older and more frail.

Huffington Post Black Voices Blog – How Racism is Hurting Our Nation’s Foster Children

As our nation turns to celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Adoption Month in the coming weeks with heartwarming success stories, mass adoption finalizations, and other special events, we should be mindful that much remains to be done to make the foster care and adoption system, renown for bringing people together and crossing social boundaries, a holiday truly inclusive for all regardless of race.

The Atlantic – Where Seniors Go When Their Nursing Homes Close

When assisted-living facilities shut down, their elderly residents often have to scramble for a new home-and health and financial concerns can make it hard to find a fit.

November is Native American Heritage Month

New York Times – New Medicare Rule Authorizes ‘End-of-Life’ Consultations

Six years after legislation to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a furor over “death panels,” the Obama administration issued a final rule on Friday that authorizes Medicare to pay doctors for consultations with patients on how they would like to be cared for as they are dying.

Opportunity for Public Comment – Soliciting Input for the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) FY 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit broad public input on the core scientific and policy areas of basic and applied behavioral and social sciences research that hold extraordinary opportunities to achieve the stated mission of the OBSSR and NIH.

Opportunity for Public Comment – The National Institutes of Health FY 2016-2020 Strategic Plan To Advance Research on the Health and Well-Being of Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM) 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing a strategic plan to guide the agency’s efforts and priorities in SGM research over the next five years (2016-2020). The purpose of this notice is to seek input from researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and health advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, public agencies, and other interested members of the public about proposed goals and objectives for advancing research and other research-related activities with SGM populations.

November 19 is National Rural Health Day

Today more than ever, rural communities must address accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens. 

Washington Post – How Social Security Penalizes Working Women

Married couples with a lone (usually male) breadwinner can put less into Social Security and get more out of it than families with other arrangements. These costly quirks in the system are putting more and more retirees at a disadvantage. More women have joined the workforce, and fewer are getting married. Rates of divorce have increased as well. In particular, there are far more unmarried and divorced black women, and the result is a racial skew in Social Security benefits.

HHS Press Release – HHS awards up to $22.9 million in Planning Grants for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), today awarded a total of $22.9 million to support states throughout the nation in their efforts to improve behavioral health of their citizens by providing community-based mental and substance use disorder treatment.

Opportunity for Public Comment – NIH 2016-2020 Strategic Plan to Advance Research on the Health and Well-being of Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM)

Deadline: November 2, 2015

The NIH is seeking input from researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and health advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, public agencies, and other interested members of the public about proposed goals and objectives for advancing research and other research-related activities with SGM populations. Submit comments to

HHS Press Release – 10 Million People Expected to Have Marketplace Coverage at End of 2016

U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today that she expects 10 million individuals to be enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces and paying their premiums – so-called effectuated coverage – at the close of 2016.  As part of that goal, HHS believes more than 1 out of every 4 uninsured Marketplace-eligible consumers will select plans during Open Enrollment.

NPR – On Campus, Older Faculty Keep On Keepin’ On

Protected by tenure that prevents them from being dismissed without cause, and with no mandatory retirement age, a significant proportion of university faculty isn’t going anywhere. A third are 55 and older, compared with 20 percent of the rest of the workforce, according to the University of Iowa Center on Aging.

Kaiser Health News – Poll Finds Overwhelming Support For Medicare Paying For End-Of-Life Talks

The public overwhelmingly supports Medicare’s plan to pay for end-of-life discussions between doctors and patients, despite GOP objections that such chats would lead to rationed care for the elderly and ill, a poll released Wednesday finds.

NPR – Children In Foster Care Aren’t Getting To See The Doctor

On any given day, about half a million children are living in foster care. They’ve been removed from violent or abusive households; many suffer physical and mental health problems that have gone untreated. Their need is acute but the response is often dangerously slow, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Atlantic – Moynihan, Mass Incarceration, and Responsibility

Good intentions and deep sympathies cannot counter corrosive doctrines and destructive policy.

Washington Post – The stunning and Expanding Gap in Life Expectancy Between the Rich and the Poor

Wealthy and middle-class baby boomers can expect to live substantially longer than their parents’ generation. Meanwhile, life expectancy for the poor hasn’t increased and may even be declining, according to a report published Thursday by several leading economists. 

HHS Press Release – HHS Hosts 50-state Convening Focused on Preventing Opioid Overdose and Opioid Use Disorder

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell kicked off a two-day intensive convening of representatives from all 50 states and Washington, DC focused on preventing opioid overdose and opioid use disorder. During her remarks, the secretary announced that HHS will move to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) by revising the regulations related to the prescribing of buprenorphine to treat opioid dependence. She also announced $1.8 million in awards to rural communities to expand access to naloxone – a drug that reverses an opioid overdose. 

National Center for Medical Home Implementation Website Update

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation (NCMHI) in the American Academy of Pediatrics is pleased to announce the launch of its new Web site. The Web site provides pediatric medical home information, tools, and resources for practices, clinicians, families, and state agencies. 

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) is proud to have spearheaded the establishment of September as National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. The observance originated in 1975 when the National Association for Sickle Cell Disease (NASCD) (which changed its name to Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. in 1994) and its member organizations began conducting month-long events to raise awareness about sickle cell disease and the need to address the problem at national and local levels. 

IRP Press Release – Interim Report Released on Early Findings from Demonstration Designed to Identify Effective Policies to Help Noncustodial Parents Support Their Children

Early findings from the first two years of an ambitious national five-year demonstration designed to identify effective policies to help noncustodial parents support their children are reflected in an interim report issued today by the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin, along with its partner, Mathematica Policy Research. 

HHS Press Release – HHS Takes Next Step in Advancing Health Equity Through the Affordable Care Act

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule to advance health equity and reduce disparities in health care.  The proposed rule, Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities, will assist some of the populations that have been most vulnerable to discrimination and will help provide those populations equal access to health care and health coverage. 

NPR – Tracing The Shifting Meaning Of ‘Alien’

The terms that dominate public immigration debates result from the deliberate choices of key political players. These choices sometimes have unintended consequences.

PBS – Many Rural Hospitals Remain at Risk Nationwide

There are approximately 2,300 rural hospitals in the U.S., most of them concentrated in the Midwest and the South. For a variety of reasons, many of them are struggling to survive. In the last five years, Congress has sharply reduced spending on Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly, and the patients at rural hospitals tend to be older than those at urban or suburban ones. Rural hospitals in sparsely populated areas see fewer patients but still have to maintain emergency rooms and beds for acute care. They serve many people who are uninsured and can’t afford to pay for the services they receive. 

New York Times – Gay Couples Are Eligible for Social Security Benefits, U.S. Decides

Same-sex married couples who were living in states that did not recognize their unions and who previously filed claims for Social Security benefits will be able to collect those payments, the government said on Thursday. 

RWJF Culture of Health Blog – How Food Marketing Can Help Kids Want What’s Good For Them

A new report from the UConn Rudd Center for Food, Policy & Obesity reveals that a majority of the largest food and beverage companies are spending a disproportionate amount of money advertising their nutritionally poor products to Black and Hispanic consumers, especially youth.

Commonwealth Fund Blog – The Ramifications of Repealing the Individual Mandate

Although it survived the 2012 Supreme Court challenge, the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain insurance or pay a penalty remains broadly unpopular.1  Most legislative proposals to modify the ACA would eliminate this requirement, which-along with subsidies to make coverage affordable and bans on denying people coverage or charging them more on the basis of their health-is critical to achieving the law’s goal of near-universal coverage. This post explores the effects of eliminating the mandate on health insurance enrollment and individual-market premiums. Analyses find that repealing the requirement would significantly reduce health insurance enrollment and cause individual market premiums to rise.

Health Affairs Blog – Expanding Access To Palliative Care Services: The Tide Is Turning

Two recent announcements by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstrate a clear commitment to improving the quality of care for older adults with serious illnesses. Together with the introduction of a bipartisan bill to better train our nation’s health care workforce, these announcements suggest that the tide is turning in the effort to provide high-quality, patient-centered care to medically complex and seriously ill patients.

NPR- 50 Years Ago, Medicare Helped To Desegregate Hospitals

The law creating a national health insurance program for older Americans was signed in 1965 after a long political battle. One big opponent was the American Medical Association. When he signed it into law, President Lyndon Johnson made a point of not inviting the AMA to the ceremony. He did invite the National Medical Association. That was the organization for black doctors. They’d long supported the bill. They saw the potential for Medicare to help desegregate health care for patients and professionals.

New York Times –  Helping Patients and Doctors Talk About Death

Medicare announced plans this month to reimburse doctors for talking with patients about what treatments they want – and don’t want – toward the end of life.

HHS Press Release – Aging in 2015: HHS and the White House Conference on Aging

Today’s White House Conference on Aging is focusing on the issues facing every American as they plan for retirement, care for older loved ones, and improving the quality of life for older Americans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is engaged in the government-wide initiative to develop programs and provide funding and resources to help older adults live independent and fulfilling lives. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security, HHS today is announcing several programs designed to enhance the lives of older Americans and provide resources to their families, friends and other caregivers. 

New York Times – Medicare Plans to Pay Doctors for Counseling on End of Life

Medicare, the federal program that insures 55 million older and disabled Americans, announced plans on Wednesday to reimburse doctors for conversations with patients about whether and how they would want to be kept alive if they became too sick to speak for themselves.

Gay And Old: ‘A Special Class Of People?’

Earlier this year, the City of New York helped SAGE (the nonprofit Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders) open five senior centers focused on meeting the needs of LGBT seniors. While many felt it was an important way to reach those who feel discriminated against in conventional senior centers, some were outraged.

New York Times – Supreme Court Allows Nationwide Health Care Subsidies

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Obama‘s health care law allows the federal government to provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance, a sweeping vindication that endorsed the larger purpose of Mr. Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

Office of Minority Health – June is Men’s Health Month

During Men’s Health Month, we are raising awareness about health disparities that affect boys and men of color. And we are also raising the dialogue on efforts to ensure that all men achieve better health outcomes. This June, encourage the men in your lives to take a powerful step towards good health by making healthier food choices, avoiding smoking, staying active, reducing risk for injury and scheduling a check-up.

The Nation’s Health – Q&A with ONDCP’s Botticelli: No other disease requires patients to ‘hit bottom’ before getting care: US drug czar calls for comprehensive care for substance use

Michael Botticelli, MEd, might be uniquely prepared to serve as director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy: When he was sworn into the job in February this year, he had 25 years of sobriety. Botticelli has been open about his own history of alcohol abuse, and how the option for a treatment program, rather than jail, helped set his life’s course for work in public health. Botticelli has worked in prevention, treatment and education about substance use, including with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health before taking over as America’s drug czar.

New York Times – Strengthening Troubled Sibling Bonds to Deal With an Aging Parent

The sibling relationship can become even thornier when dealing with aging or infirm parents. All sorts of issues that can test even the best relationships arise, including differences of opinion on housing, caregiving, medical treatment, estate planning and end-of-life care.

Office of Minority Health Blog – Understanding Diversity and the Power of Inclusion to End Health Disparities in the AANHPI Community

The essence of diversity is brilliantly reflected across the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. Its rich tapestry of history comes from nearly 50 countries and many more ethnic groups, each with distinct cultures, traditions and histories and over one hundred languages and dialects. This diversity brings a complex set of social and economic challenges that impact health outcomes for this vibrant and rapidly growing U.S. population, but we have made progress over the past few decades in addressing the myriad of health needs across this community.

NPR – On ‘Menace II Society’ And ‘Easy Rider’: Why All The Talk On Bikers And Thugs Matters

This week, many have been contrasting the tone the media have used to describe this incident with coverage of protests against police brutality in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore. 

Office of Minority Health Blog – Better Women’s Health Across the Generations

Across the lifespan, the health status of racial and ethnic minorities has often long lagged behind that of whites, and this is no more plainly evident than with minority seniors who oftentimes battle multiple chronic illnesses. For older women of color, the impact of health disparities can have a greater impact for a variety of reasons including language barriers and access to affordable, healthy food to ensure proper nutrition. Poverty and cultural norms that often differ from their health care providers can be major challenges to promoting health and wellness in their later years.

ChildTrends Blog – Teen Birth Rates are Declining, but the Job is Not Done

Births to U.S. teenagers are at a historic low, but the job is not done; the declines in teen births have not occurred among all teens equally, and some teens in the United States remain at higher risk than do other teens. Notably, there is large variation by place of residence and by race/ethnicity. 

Institute for Research on Poverty Podcast – Pollution and Environmental Justice in Low-Income Communities of Color

In this podcast, Professor Dorceta Taylor discusses her book, Toxic Communities, which addresses the state of environmental justice scholarship, and the structural processes by which poor and minority Americans are disproportionately exposed to industrial pollution. Click here to listen to the podcast recording. Click here to read a transcript of the podcast.

PBS – Why African-American seniors are less likely to use hospice

Black seniors are more likely than whites and Latinos to forgo hospice care. Due to deeply felt religious beliefs and a long history of discrimination in the U.S., African-American patients are often reluctant to plan for the end of their lives, and more skeptical when doctors suggest stopping treatment.

Commonwealth Fund Blog – Latinos Have Made Coverage Gains but Millions Are Still Uninsured

Since the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces opened and states began to expand Medicaid eligibility, uninsured rates among Latinos have begun to decline for the first time in decades. Studies of the effects of health insurance suggest that these higher coverage rates will contribute to better access to care, increased use of preventive services, better management of chronic illness and, eventually, longer and healthier lives for many Latinos.

NIMH Science News – A New Look at Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use Among Adults

New findings on mental health service use by racial and ethnic groups are now available in a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

How Housing Matters – Q&A on How Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) are Changing Affordable Housing

The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, is a national initiative designed to promote the use of health impact assessments (HIAs) as a decision-making tool for policymakers. HIAs help identify and address the health impacts of policies and decisions in non-health sectors.

ChildTrends Blog – Poverty’s Pernicious and Persistent Toll on Young Children

Children are the poorest age group in the country, and among children, the youngest are the poorest.  In 2013, 20 percent of all children in the U.S. were poor; 24 percent of children under age three were poor.  That’s 2.9 million children. Among black children, 43 percent are poor.  Among Hispanics more than one-third are poor. 

New York Times – Senate Approves a Bill on Changes to Medicare

The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved sweeping changes in the way Medicare pays doctors, clearing the bill for President Obama and resolving an issue that has bedeviled Congress and the Medicare program for more than a decade. 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Blog – Design That Heals: The American Institute of Architects Rewrites the Rules

The South Bronx’s Via Verde, an award-winning affordable housing complex designed around equity and social cohesion, shows us a new era of healthy design is here-and it’s contagious.

RWJF Culture of Health Blog – Data, Meet Curiosity: Finding Bright Spots in Appalachia

There are so many opportunities to connect the wealth of data we have at our fingertips and to start asking new questions. David Krol tells his story about how he took this approach to find bright spots in Appalachia.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Each year, April is designated National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for raising awareness about child abuse and neglect. In recognition of the importance of ensuring child safety and welfare, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) presents this compilation of publications and resources. 

New York Times – House Approves Bill on Changes to Medicare

The House overwhelmingly approved sweeping changes to the Medicare program on Thursday. The measure, which would establish a new formula for paying doctors, increase premiums for some Medicare beneficiaries and extend a popular health insurance program for children, has already been endorsed by President Obama and awaits a vote in the Senate. 

April is National Minority Health Month

We are pleased to announce this year’s theme, “30 Years of Advancing Health Equity; The Heckler Report: A Force for Ending Health Disparities in America,” in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health (also known as the Heckler Report). This theme reflects our collective efforts to accelerate momentum towards achieving a nation free of disparities in health and health care and the ways in which the Heckler Report has served as a driving force for the monumental changes in research, policies, programs and legislation to advance health equity. 

National Organization of Forensic Social Work – Short Documentary

View this documentary short entitled, “The social work role in Justice Reform: Cultural Justice, LGBT Rights (Queer Justice), Solitary Confinement.”

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 20, 2015 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD).

HHS Press Release – Nationwide nearly 11.7 million consumers are enrolled in 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace coverage

Nationwide, nearly 11.7 million consumers selected or were automatically re-enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace as of Feb. 22, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

New York Times – Psychiatric Drug Overuse Is Cited by Federal Study

Federal investigators say they have found evidence of widespread overuse of psychiatric drugs by older Americans withAlzheimer’s disease, and are recommending that Medicare officials take immediate action to reduce unnecessary prescriptions.

Commonwealth Fund Blog – King v. Burwell: What a Subsidy Shutdown Could Mean for States

Virtually all commentators on King v. Burwell agree that a Supreme Court ruling against the government would be disruptive. But most skip over the potential real-world impact of the loss of health insurance subsides for millions of people, preferring instead to speculate on how Congress, the Obama administration, or the states might stave off insurance market failures. This is the fourth in a series of four posts examining the serious consequences of a decision that would terminate subsidies for residents of the 34 states that have federally run health insurance marketplaces. Today we look at how states would fare under the “Subsidy Shutdown” scenario.

Testimony to Subcommittee on Human Resources and Committee on Ways and Means – Challenges Facing Low-Income Individuals and Families

Testimony by Ron Haskins.

LA Times – Labor Department Extends Caregiver Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples

Most legally married same-sex couples will be entitled to take up to 12 weeks leave to care for an ailing spouse regardless of whether the state in which they live recognizes their marriage under a rule issued Wednesday by the Department of Labor. 

NIA Blog – Supporting Aging Research in Challenging Times

The energy of our robust and growing field is meeting the reality of budgets that have failed to keep pace, in real terms, over time.

HHS awards $386 million to support families through the home visiting program

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced $386 million in grant awards to states, territories, and nonprofit organizations to support the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Home Visiting Program). These funds will allow states to continue to expand voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children.

MacArthur Launches $75M Initiative to Reduce America’s Use of Jails

MacArthur today announced an initial five-year, $75 million investment that seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. The Safety and Justice Challenge will support cities and counties across the country seeking to create fairer, more effective local justice systems that improve public safety, save taxpayer money, and lead to better social outcomes.

The Atlantic – Rural America’s Silent Housing Crisis

Accounting for only 20 percent of the population, residents of more isolated areas struggle to find a safe, affordable place to live-and to make anyone else care.

NPR – Without Help, Navigating Benefits Can Be Overwhelming For Veterans

Back in 2010, a VA survey found that nationwide fewer than half of veterans understood their benefits, whether it was medical care, college tuition or pension and disability payments. There are all sorts of reasons why veterans in one area may not receive as many benefits as veterans in another. Veterans from different eras, such as Vietnam or Iraq, can receive different amounts. Older vets might receive more benefits.

National Institute on Aging (NIA) Blog – Diversity Training and Health Disparities Research at the NIA

Late last year, more than $31 million was awarded to academic institutions to develop and test strategies that address the racial diversity of the United States biomedical workforce.

PBS – Experimental Program Helps Seniors Move Out of the Nursing Home

Using federal funds from a special project, thousands of elderly and disabled nursing home residents have been able to move into their own homes in recent years. The experimental project has reached people in 44 states. It connects people to the medical and living support they need to move into private homes, so that they can live independently.

New England Journal of Medicine Editorial – International Health Care Systems

The New England Journal of Medicine, in collaboration with The Commonwealth Fund, is launching a series of Perspective articles on the health care systems of selected countries around the world. The Journal has commissioned articles on health policies in place or under development in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa, and Australasia. Each article will present one or several aspects of a national health care system, chosen by the authors as distinctive, new, innovative, or potentially instructive for other countries.

NPR – New Blood Donation Rules Would Still Exclude Many Gay Men

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration recommended a change in the discriminatory and unscientific policy that effectively prohibited men who have sex with men from donating blood for life. However, the new policy would ban blood donation for men who have had sex with another man for the past year. So the most likely outcome is that the vast majority of gay or bisexual men still won’t be able to donate blood.

NIH Statement on the National Children’s Study

The National Children’s Study (NCS) was envisioned as a longitudinal, observational study examining the effects of a broad range of environmental and biological factors on children’s health and development by following 100,000 children from the womb to age 21. The NIH announced that the NCS as currently designed is not feasible and will be discontinued.

NPR – When Grandma’s House Is Home: The Rise Of Grandfamilies

In a shift driven partly by culture and largely by the economy, the number of grandparents living with their grandchildren is up sharply. According to recent U.S. census data, such families have increased by about a third over the past generation. Click here for more information.

Huffington Post – Aging in Place: An Intergenerational Priority

Increasingly, older adults want to stay in their own homes, neighborhoods, and towns even if this necessitates specialized services to maintain their independence. But “aging in place” will require a shift in the way our society thinks about the role of communities and the way services are delivered to individuals.

NPR – Old And Overmedicated: The Real Drug Problem In Nursing Homes  

Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.  Antipsychotics, however, are approved mainly to treat serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. When it comes to dementia patients, the drugs have a black box warning, saying that they can increase the risk for heart failure, infections and death.

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare Training Videos – The Relational Worldview: A Tribal and Cultural Framework for Improving Child Welfare Outcomes

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW), in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, announce the release of The Relational Worldview: A Tribal and Cultural Framework for Improving Child Welfare Outcomes, a two-set training video for professionals and organizations working with American Indian communities. This video series introduces audiences to the Relational Worldview model developed by Terry Cross and NICWA and features Cross, Executive Director of NICWA, along with Sandy White Hawk, Rachel Banks Kupcho, and Bryan Blackhawk. The nine video segments can be used as a whole or in part and are wonderful additions to course lectures, training seminars, unit meetings, and interdisciplinary conversations.

Center for Advancing Health (CFAH) Blog – The Canadian Doctor Who Prescribes Income to Treat Poverty

A Toronto doctor named Gary Bloch has developed a poverty tool for medical practitioners. The tool assesses what patients might need other than prescriptions for the newest drugs. Bloch’s idea was to zoom in on the social determinants of health – food, housing, transportation – all poverty markers linked to bad health and poor health outcomes.

Health Affairs Blog – Reforming Medicare: What Does the Public Want?

Is Medicare adequately meeting the needs of seniors, or are there ways that its core attributes could be improved? Numerous elected officials, policymakers, and other thought leaders have offered perspectives on ways to change the program. Few efforts, however, have been directed at understanding how the public-given accurate information, a variety of options, and a valid structure for weighing the pros and cons-would change Medicare’s basic design.

The Commonwealth Fund Blog – The Supreme Court Decides to Hear King v. Burwell: What Are the Implications?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) entered new and perilous territory once again today when the  Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided to hear the case of King v. Burwell. King is one of several cases that are challenging the legality of federal subsidies granted to low- and middle-income people who buy health insurance in the 34 federally run marketplaces created under the ACA.

Health Affairs Blog – Social Insurance Is Missing A Piece: Medicare, Medicaid, And Long-term Care

Medicare and Medicaid are partners in providing health insurance protection to older people and people with disabilities. But when it comes to helping the very same people with long-term care-assistance with the basic tasks of daily life (like bathing, eating and toileting)-no such partnership exists.  Instead, there’s a gaping hole in protection that leaves people who need care, along with their families, at risk of catastrophe.

NPR – Medicare Concedes, Agrees To Pay For Woman’s Home Health Care

A disabled woman with serious health problems who successfully challenged Medicare for denying her home health care coverage has racked up another win against the government.

APA – Bills by Rep. Harris Would Add Resources to Foster Early-Career NIH Investigators

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., a member of the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, is circulating two draft bills that would add funds for new investigators or “emerging scientists” and mandate that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) enact policies to lower the average age of those scientists to 38 within 10 years. The average age is now between 39 and 42, depending on how “emerging scientists” is defined.

CFAH – Health Care Shortfalls for LGBT Young Women

Young sexual minority women, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women and lower odds of receiving a physical or dental examination.

The Commonwealth Fund Blog – Keeping Covered: The Affordable Care Act’s First Reenrollment Period for Marketplace Plans

On November 15, the health insurance marketplaces will open for the 2015 enrollment period. As many as 13 million people may have a plan through the marketplaces by the end of the three-month period. Among those will be people who are continuing their coverage and tax credits from last year. This “reenrollment” will be a first-time experience for the marketplaces and consumers, and it will be administratively complex for everyone.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Blog – New Research Projects to Understand and Improve Responses to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a widespread problem in the United States. In response, ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) has recently initiated a project in collaboration with the Office of Family Assistance to strengthen appropriate approaches to addressing IPV in the context of healthy relationship programs, and another project in collaboration with the Family and Youth Services Bureau’s Division of Family Violence Prevention and Services to document how IPV hotlines funded by ACF are linking the public with needed resources.

Wall Street Journal – Without Social Security Income, A Majority of U.S. Seniors Would Be Poor

A majority of U.S. seniors would be poor if Social Security were excluded from their incomes, according to a report on poverty released by the Census Bureau.

Child Trends – New Source for Research on Hispanic Kids and Families

The National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families has a new Twitter handle: @NRCHispanic where you can find timely research findings related to Hispanic children and families.

HHS Press Release – National Health Service Corps Expands the Primary Care Workforce in Communities that Need Them Most

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today that because of the Affordable Care Act, $283 million has been invested in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in fiscal year 2014 to increase access to primary care services in communities that need it most.  Today, more than 9,200 Corps clinicians are providing care to approximately 9.7 million patients across the country.

Huffington Post – New National Study: Five Things You Should Know About Aging and LGBT People

Much has been written about the growing number of older people in this country (as the baby boom generation rapidly ages), as well as the incremental shift in favorable policies and attitudes toward certain segments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population. However, less public attention has been placed on the intersection of these two trends: how LGBT people experience aging, beginning in midlife all the way through later life.

The New Social Worker Column – Achieving Racial Equity Through Social Work

Why is achieving racial equity still an important focus for social work? This column will explore this question and provide tools to create change in yourself, your organization, and your community.

HHS Press Release – HHS Awards $3.2 million to Help Support Minority Enrollment in Health Insurance Coverage

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced $3.2 million in grant awards to 13 organizations to help support health coverage enrollment of racial and ethnic minorities. The new Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities (PICC) Initiative will help identify, inform and enroll minority populations in the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace).

NPR – HBCUs Move To Address Campus Sexual Assaults, But Is It Enough?

When it comes to studying sexual violence, college surveys often don’t include students at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. But one major study found sexual assaults are lower on those campuses than others.

PBS Newshour – Why So Many People Die in Hospitals Instead of at Home

Chronically ill patients in New York and New Jersey spend more time in the hospital during their last six months of life than their counterparts in the rest of the country – an average of 14.4 and 12.9 days, respectively. The national average is 9.8 days.

National Academy of Sciences Press Release – U.S. Health System Not Properly Designed to Meet the Needs of Patients Nearing End of Life

Advance planning, financial incentives, and improved training for clinicians are essential to offer quality, affordable, and sustainable care.

The Elderly Are No Longer More Likely to Be Poor 

Poverty has been associated with old age for centuries: To be old also often meant to be destitute. The latest Census report reveals that’s not quite true any more. People older than age 65 are less likely to be poor than people in their prime working years.

Kaiser Health News – One-Quarter Of ACOs Save Enough Money To Earn Bonuses

About a quarter of the 243 groups of hospitals and doctors that banded together as accountable care organizations under the Affordable Care Act saved Medicare enough money to earn bonuses, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday.

September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month – Hispanics: A Legacy of History, a Present of Action and a Future of Success

According to the Library of Congress, “National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates and recognizes the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to American society and culture and to honor five of our Central American neighbors who celebrate their Independence days in September.”

AIDS Blog – “What’s your story?” Using Social Media to Reach Communities of Color

Health communicators from around the U.S. met last week to share and learn about evolving outreach strategies to connect with at-risk communities, to amplify the experiences of individuals coping with health issues, and to learn how to adapt health information to different social media channels. Click here for more information.

The Wall Street Journal – A Perilous Gap in Health Insurance Literacy

It’s not a news flash that health insurance can be complex and confusing. But the health insurance maze can be a problem, especially if you have never had health insurance before or have not had it for a long time. That’s the case for about half of the uninsured and for many people enrolling in the new insurance marketplaces set up under the Affordable Care Act.

The New York Times – Encouraging End-of-Life Talks

There is reason to hope that a degree of sanity may be returning to the touchy issue of advance planning for medical care at the end of life. Some private and public insurers have begun paying doctors to have end-of-life discussions with their patients.

Market Basket: The Return of Boomer Activism

Workers at the Market Basket supermarket chain just successfully undertook a high-risk job action with potentially historic repercussions. But this was more than just a fight for leadership control. It was also a story about boomers standing up for workplace values.

National Institute on Aging Blog Post – The next generation: what will it take to keep them in research?

This post discusses potential differences in values between experienced aging researchers and emerging scholars in this area.

HHS Press Release – The Affordable Care Act supports patient-centered medical homes in health centers

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced $35.7 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 147 health centers in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to support patient-centered medical homes through new construction and facility renovations.

New York Times – Medicare to Start Paying Doctors Who Coordinate Needs of Chronically Ill Patients

In a policy change, the Obama administration is planning to pay doctors to coordinate the care of Medicare beneficiaries, amid growing evidence that patients with chronic illnesses suffer from disjointed, fragmented care.

Institute of Medicine (IOM) Interactive Infographic – Looking at Policies Through a Health Lens

This interactive tool allows users to explore how public policies can impact physical activity and health.

HHS Press Release – HHS awards more than $106 million to support state home visiting programs

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today  $106.7 million in FY 2014 grant awards to 46 states, the District of Columbia, and five jurisdictions as part of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Home Visiting Program) established by the Affordable Care Act.  These funds will allow states to continue and expand voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children up to age five.

Q&A: APHA Annual Meeting keynoter Isabel Wilkerson: Geography plays important role in health equity: Effects of Great Migration still impact black American health today

The Great Migration of blacks from the southern U.S. is something often not covered in history textbooks. Over the course of several decades, 6 million black Americans left southern states in search of a better life unchained from a caste system that left little opportunity for social, educational and economic advancement – all things that lead to better health. Pulitzer Prize-winner Isabel Wilkerson, keynote speaker at the opening general session of APHA’s 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, authored “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” to capture that history through the lives of three people who migrated from the South.

New York Times – Budget Office Lowers Its Estimate on Federal Spending for Health Care

The growth of federal spending on health care will continue to decline as a proportion of the overall economy in the coming decades, in part because of cost controls mandated by President Obama’s health care law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

HHS Press Release – HHS announces availability of $11 million to better integrate HIV services into community health centers

HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today the availability of $11 million, through the Affordable Care Act and the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, to support the integration of high-quality HIV services into primary care through innovative partnerships between health centers and state health departments in Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York.

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental illness affects one in four adults and one in ten children in America. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that minorities are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care. Furthermore, mental illness is a leading cause of disability, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment, and racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. are even less likely to get help, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

HHS Press Release – DOJ and HHS Call for Action to Address Abuse of Older Americans

Today, leaders in the fight against elder abuse announced a framework for tackling the highest priority challenges to elder abuse prevention and prosecution, and called on all Americans to take a stand against the serious societal problem of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Blog – Building a Culture of Health in America

“What we mean by ‘building a Culture of Health’ is shifting the values-and the actions-of this country so that health becomes a part of everything we do,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), during her keynote address at Spotlight: Health. blog – Strengthening the Mental and Behavioral Health Workforce through the National Health Service Corps 

Strengthening the mental and behavioral health workforce is a critically important component of our overall efforts to expand the nation’s health care workforce.  Far too many Americans live in areas of the country-both rural and urban-with limited access to mental and behavioral health services. The NHSC helps ensure that underserved communities have access to quality health care both today and in the future.

Time – Why Same-Sex Families Lag Straight Families on Retirement Savings

A new survey finds that gays and lesbians with kids have about 20% less saved for retirement than straight couples. One possible reason why these couples may have less saved is that about two thirds of same-sex parents are female.

National Academy of Sciences News – Effectiveness of PTSD Treatment Provided by Defense Department and VA Unknown

A new congressionally mandated report from the Institute of Medicine says that the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should track the outcomes of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) provided to service members and veterans and develop a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to do so.

NPR – How Your State Rates In Terms Of Long-Term Care

In just 12 years, the oldest members of the huge baby-boom generation will turn 80. Many will need some kind of long-term care. A new study from AARP says that care could vary dramatically in cost and quality depending on where they live.

Community Catalyst Statement on Rockefeller CHIP Legislation 

Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced a bill to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional four years. CHIP, in partnership with Medicaid and the ACA, plays a crucial role in covering children and pregnant women. Unless Congress acts, CHIP will end in 2015 leaving many children and their families struggling to secure affordable, high-quality coverage.

Survey: Social Work Roles and Responsibilities in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

The National Association of Social Workers is compiling information on the activities of social workers in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, this survey is collecting information about social work practice in accountable care organizations (ACOs).  If you are involved in an ACO, please take 15 minutes to complete the survey.

The Nation’s Health – Advocates Raise Awareness of Range of LGBT Health Issues: Programs Address Disparities, Needs

While HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment remains a prominent issue in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, staff at health centers such as Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago know it is not the only public health issue of concern to the population.

NPR – Paroled From Life Sentences, Aging Ex-Cons Find World That Didn’t Wait

In the second of a two-part series, NPR’s Laura Sullivan follows a group of aging ex-cons in Colorado. Out from behind bars for the first time in decades, they attempt to make their way in a fast-paced world, still unsure if they deserve that chance.

Tackling Stigma: Fundamental to an AIDS-Free Future

In a new commentary in The Lancet Global Health, experts argue that it is time to put stigma reduction at the forefront of programmatic responses to HIV.

HHS Press Release – New Funding Gives States and Innovators Tools and Flexibility to Implement Delivery System Reform

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced new delivery system reform efforts made possible by the Affordable Care Act that offer states and innovators tools and flexibility to transform health care. HHS announced twelve prospective recipients receiving as much as $110 million in combined funding, ranging from an expected $2 million to $18 million over a three-year period, under the Health Innovation Awards program to test innovative models designed to deliver better care outcomes and lower costs.

Intergenerational Family Connections: The Relationships that Support a Strong America

Generations United and the Alliance for Children and Families set out to take America’s temperature on family connections across the generations, commissioning an original Harris Poll survey in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the U.N. International Year of the Family in 2014. Structured around extended family, we explored the relationships and roles across generations that support or inhibit intergenerational solidarity and the transfer of care and resources between family members of all ages. Insight on the importance of connectedness provides a call to action for innovative community supports and policy considerations that not only replicate what is working, but also find solutions for families needing help.

The Commonwealth Fund Blog – The Two Americas: Moving Farther Apart?

The Commonwealth Fund’s recently released Scorecard on State Health System Performance, 2014, finds big differences between states on measures of health care access, quality, costs, and outcomes. What’s more, its authors warn that these differences could very well widen in the future. Many of the lowest-performing states are choosing not to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Some also are discouraging eligible uninsured citizens from purchasing subsidized coverage through new ACA marketplaces, though some uninsured are signing up nonetheless.

National Foster Care Month 2014

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Find resources and information to help ensure that their future is bright.

Through Their Eyes: How Prisoners Make Sense of Their Incarceration

A new theoretical framework looks at punishment from the prisoner’s perspective and reveals how the lived experience of punishment differs from the punishment conceived by lawmakers.

Can You Have College Without the Bottleneck?

The bottlenecks approach is particularly applicable to postsecondary education. Few high-stakes choices are as pockmarked with pitfalls that can throw aspiring students off-track.

National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review Announcement of Requirements and Registration for Strategies To Strengthen Fairness and Impartiality in Peer Review

NIH has a longstanding and time tested system of peer review to identify the most promising biomedical research. The NIH’s Center for Scientific Review is issuing a challenge titled ”Strategies to Strengthen Fairness and Impartiality in Peer Review.” The goal of this challenge is to seek ideas for strengthening reviewer training practices to enhance impartiality and fairness in peer review of grant applications.

Child Trends Hispanic Institute

On June 11, 2014, Child Trends will launch the Child Trends Hispanic Institute to provide timely, research-based information and guidance to improve outcomes for Latino children and youth in the U.S. The Institute will serve as a resource to organizations and individuals whose work affects the well-being of Hispanic children and families in the U.S., including policymakers and public administrators, program practitioners, the media, corporate leaders, and private philanthropy.

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2014 – May 8, 2014

Join SAMHSA, 1,100 communities, and 136 national collaborating organizations in celebration of the 2014 National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day: Inspiring Resilience, Creating Hope. Click here for more information.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Statement on National Minority Health Month 

Sebelius discusses the commemoration of April as National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness about health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minorities. This year’s theme is Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity.

U.S. Advocates Want Social Security Cap Lifted, Wealthiest to Pay More 

Social Security advocates delivered a petition to Congress on Thursday urging legislators to remove a tax cap that allows the U.S.’ wealthiest people to cease payments into the system after a certain threshold is met.

Hunger is a ‘silent crisis’ in the USA 

The recession is officially over, but not for millions of working poor who do not always have enough money to buy food for the family, according to a new report by Feeding America, a hunger-relief charity.

Latest Issue of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s (NIAAA) webzine, Spectrum

Spectrum offers accessible and relevant information about NIAAA and the alcohol research field. Each issue includes feature-length stories, news updates from the field, charticles and photo essays, and an interview with an NIAAA staff member, alcohol researcher, or liaison member.

Kaiser Health News – Primary Care Shortage? Not For The Insured, Study Shows

Researchers posing as nonelderly adult patients made nearly 13,000 calls to primary care practices across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and eight other states between fall 2012 and spring of last year; when they said they had insurance, they were able to make an appointment about 85% of the time.

National Public Health Week: April 7-14

The American Public Health Association (APHA) champions the health of all people and communities. We strengthen the profession of public health, foster understanding, engagement and support for key public health issues and directly influence public policy to improve global health. During the first full week of April each year, APHA brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation.

National Minority Health Month: April, 2014

This year’s National Minority Health Month theme, Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity, emphasizes that prevention is key to reducing the health disparities that disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities.

Youth Economic Opportunities Call for Input on Soft Skills, Skills Measurement, Labor Market Analysis, and Job Placement Measurement 

The Workforce Connections project solicits technical input from organizations with interest in contributing to research and tool development in three key thematic areas: soft skills measurement, labor market analysis, and job placement measurement. Respondents should indicate if they (a) have research or tools relevant to these topics that they would like to share, or (b) would like to be informed of public consultations or reporting on these themes.

Statement by HHS Secretary Sebelius: Observing LGBT Health Awareness Week

LGBT Health Awareness Week is an important time to bring attention to the unique health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and to highlight the progress we’ve made in our work to ensure LGBT Americans have the same rights and protections as other Americans, especially through implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Washington Post Article – Latinos Being Left Behind in Health Care Overhaul

Hispanics account for about one-third of the nation’s uninsured, but they seem to be staying on the on the sidelines as the White House races to meet a goal of 6 million sign-ups by March 31.

NPR – With Less Financial Security, Older Workers Stay On The Job

Increasingly, older Americans are staying in the workforce longer. According to census figures, that includes more than 30 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 70.

Center for Advancing Health – Cost of Health Care a Burden for Most U.S. Households 

Since 2001, health care costs have become more burdensome for almost all Americans, at every income level and in every geographic area.

New York Times Article: Income Gap, Meet the Longevity Gap

This article discuses income-related disparities in life expectancy in the US.

Reclaiming Social Welfare: Because All People Matter

During his tenure as NASW president, Whitney M. Young urged all social workers to blaze trails that fostered human and social welfare. Proclaiming that social work was uniquely positioned and equipped to play a major role in improving our nation, he challenged all social workers and social work organizations to take leadership responsibility and professional action in America’s struggle for social justice.

Opportunity for Public Comment: White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Executive Order 13515, signed by the President on October 14, 2009, requires each agency to prepare and submit for approval, a written implementation plan to increase participation and access to federal programs and services for underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

New York Times Article – Little-Known Health Act Fact: Prison Inmates Are Signing Up

In a little-noticed outcome of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, jails and prisons around the country are beginning to sign up inmates for health insurance under the law, taking advantage of the expansion of Medicaid that allows states to extend coverage to single and childless adults – a major part of the prison population.

Social Work Month 2014

March is National Social Work Month! The National Association of Social Workers has chosen the 2014 Social Work Month theme:  “All People Matter.” NASW selected this year’s theme and logo to help raise awareness about the American social work profession’s 116-year commitment to improving social conditions and quality of life opportunities for everyone.  Social workers across the globe believe that all people have dignity and deserve respect.

President Obama Launches My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to Build Ladders of Opportunity For Boys and Young Men of Color

President Obama is taking action to launch My Brother’s Keeper – a new initiative to help every boy and young man of color who is willing to do the hard work to get ahead. For decades, opportunity has lagged behind for boys and young men of color.  But across the country, communities are adopting approaches to help put these boys and young men on the path to success. The President wants to build on that work. We can learn from communities that are partnering with local businesses and foundations to connect these boys and young men to mentoring, support networks, and skills they need to find a good job or go to college and work their way up into the middle class. And the Administration will do its part by helping to identify and promote programs that work.

New York Times Article: States Struggle to Add Latinos to Health Rolls 

So far, enrollment of Latinos has fallen strikingly below the hopes of the law’s proponents, accounting for 20 percent or fewer of those who had signed up on California’s state-run health insurance exchange by the end of December.

HHS: Most Uninsured Latinos Qualify for Discounted Healthcare 

In a new report, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that nearly eight in 10 uninsured Latinos qualify for some kind of government assistance with their healthcare.

$25 Million College Scholarship Fund Created for Undocumented ‘Dreamers’ 

A former owner of the Washington Post, a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, and a former Republican cabinet secretary have launched the nation’s largest college scholarship fund for undocumented students who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

Ron Haskins, Co-Director of the Brookings Center on Children and Families and Budgeting for National Priorities Project Testimony – Poverty and Opportunity: Begin with Facts 

Ron Haskins discusses the War on Poverty on its 50th Anniversary.

Happy Anniversary, CHIPRA! Why it matters, and what’s next 

On the fifth anniversary of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), which extended the authorization for CHIP, Community Catalyst reflects on all the great gains in children’s health coverage that have been made through CHIP and discusses the future of this valuable program.

Marriage Promotion Has Failed to Stem Poverty Among Single Moms 

As the United States marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty this month, a new report suggests that federal marriage promotion activities have been a failure because marriage doesn’t provide the same benefits to poor, single mothers as it does for others.

Wait Times for Substance Abuse Treatment Affected by Race and Other Factors

Due to the often long wait for individuals to get into substance abuse treatment programs, many are likely to drop out before they actually receive treatment. Being black, referred by the criminal justice system, and receiving methadone increases one’s chances of waiting longer than a month to enter treatment.

Veterans Affairs to Extend Grant Program for Homeless Vets

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that a grant program aimed at reducing homelessness among veterans is to be extended. 

Most Uninsured Americans Unaware of Options Under Health Law

A new survey suggests the Obama administration needs to continue informing the public about coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

HHS Press Release: Nearly 2.2 million Americans selected plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace from October through December


The National Academies Press Release: Improved Regulations to Protect Human Research Subjects Would Reduce Burden on IRBs While Better Protecting Study Participants

A new report from the National Research Council says that proposed updates to federal regulations that protect human research subjects need additional clarification when applied to the social and behavioral sciences.

HHS Press Release: HHS strengthens community living options for older Americans and people with disabilities 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule today to ensure that Medicaid’s home and community-based services programs provide full access to the benefits of community living and offer services in the most integrated settings. The rule, as part of the Affordable Care Act, supports the Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Living Initiative. The initiative was launched in 2009 to develop and implement innovative strategies to increase opportunities for Americans with disabilities and older adults to enjoy meaningful community living.

Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health 

Later this month, we will release a new Surgeon General’s Report that will highlight 50 years of progress in tobacco control and prevention, present new data on the health consequences of tobacco use, and detail initiatives that can end the tobacco epidemic in the United States.

Office of Minority Health Press Release: New project aimed at collecting health data for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a new project aimed at improving health data collection for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.  The information will be collected through the National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. As a way to increase the number of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander households included in the survey, the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander National Health Interview Survey uses the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which collects data on approximately 3 million households in the United States annually.

Immigration Status Impacts Health, Especially for the Young 

Age at immigration and citizenship status may have health implications for immigrants, finds a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Senate Subcommittee Hearing – Dying Young: Why Your Social and Economic Status May Be a Death Sentence in America

This link provides a video of this hearing.

HHS announces Affordable Care Act mental health services funding 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it plans to issue a $50 million funding opportunity announcement to help Community Health Centers establish or expand behavioral health services for people living with mental illness, and drug and alcohol problems.

Six out of ten uninsured African Americans may be eligible for Medicaid, CHIP or tax credits in the Health Insurance Marketplace 

According to a new report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services, six out of ten (4.2 million) uninsured African Americans who may be eligible for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace might qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or tax credits to help with the cost of premiums.

ChildTrends Blog Post – Homelessness among LGBT Youth: A National Concern

This post focuses on November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month and discusses homeless among youth, particularly LGBT youth. Click here to read the full post.

New York Times Article – Medicaid Help Without Falling Into Poverty

This article discusses Medicaid eligibility, including changes under the Affordable Care Act, and particularly how these regulations impact older adults. Click here to read the full article.

Final Mental Health Parity Rules Released

The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires parity between mental health or substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits with respect to financial requirements and treatment limitations under group health plans and group and individual health insurance coverage. Click here for more information.

Article in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved Shows Race a Bigger Health Care Barrier Than Insurance Status

Race appears to be a larger factor in disparities in health care use than whether or not a person has health insurance. Click here for more information.

Opportunity for Public Comment

NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) Draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014-2018

The Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) has announced the release of a Request for Information to gather broad public input on the ODP Draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014-2018. The draft plan outlines the priorities that the Office will focus on over the next five years and highlights the ODP’s role in advancing prevention research at the NIH. Interested parties may include, but are not limited to, prevention researchers in academia and industry, healthcare professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific and professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested members of the public. Click here for more information and to submit comments.

HHS awards Affordable Care Act funds to expand access to care

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $150 million in awards under the Affordable Care Act to support 236 new health center sites across the country. These investments will help care for approximately 1.25 million additional patients. Click here for more information.

Children’s Bureau Spotlight on National Adoption Month: Call for Mental Health Professionals Trained in Adoption

Members of the adoption triad-birth parents, adoptive parents, and people who have been adopted-often have difficulties finding mental health care providers who understand the complex issues associated with adoption and how those issues shape their identities, their relationships, and other aspects of their lives. A new report from the Donaldson Adoption Institute presents research findings on mental health issues for individuals touched by adoption, outlines barriers to accessing adoption-competent services, and offers strategies for enhancing the adoption competence of mental health professionals. Click here for more information.

Center for Advancing Health Equity Prepared Patient Blog: This Doctor Treats Poverty Like a Disease

This article describes the work of Canadian physician, Dr. Gary Bloch, who advocates for physician interventions around poverty. Click here for more information.

Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: 2013 National Native American Heritage Month

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has issued a statement related to this year’s National Native American Heritage Month – November. Click here for more information.

Healthier diets possible in low-income, rural communities in America

This article summarizes the results of a two-year randomized, controlled, community- and school-based intervention to prevent unhealthy weight gain among rural school-aged children that was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Click here for more information.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren will speak at the COSSA Colloquium on Social and Behavioral Science and Public Policy

The Consortium of Social Science Associations Colloquium on Social and Behavioral Science and Public Policy will take place on November 4-5, 2013 in Washington, DC. Click here for more information. The theme of the meeting is Societal, Technological, and Scientific Changes. Click here for more information.

Film, Twelve Years a Slave, Is The Story Of A Slave Whose End Is A Mystery

The film tells the story of Solomon Northup, an African-American musician from New York – a free man, until he was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., and sold into slavery. After an unlikely rescue from a Louisiana cotton plantation, he returned home and wrote a memoir, first published 160 years ago. Click here to read and/or listen to the NPR story.

Commentary: Family-Centered Treatment in Hispanic Communities

Click here to read the article from The Partnership at

Film – Short Term 12 – offers glimpse into world of foster children

Destin Daniel Cretton, 34, director and writer of “Short Term 12,” told he decided to do the film to show the public what it is like to be a foster child and to work with foster children. Click here for more information.

Social Work Today article: Substance Abuse in People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities – Breaking Down Treatment Barriers

When individuals with I/DD abuse substances, it’s often a hidden problem compounded by a lack of recognition and inadequate treatment options, but social workers are exploring solutions. Click here to read the full article.

NPR Report: Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S.

study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee looked at that state’s incarceration rates and found they were the highest in the country for black men. Click here to listen to the story and/or read a transcript.

HHS Announces Expansion of Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $69.7 million in grant awards to 13 states to expand Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program activities funded by the Affordable Care Act. Click here for more information.

The Commonwealth Fund: Finding Consensus on Policies to Slow Health Spending Growth

The Commonwealth Fund recently asked researchers at George Washington University to identify major areas of consensus among seven prominent proposals advanced in the past year to contain U.S. health costs and transform the health care delivery system. Click here for more information.

HHS 2014-2018 Strategic Plan: Draft for Public and Congressional Consultation

Deadline: October 15, 2013

Every 4 years, HHS updates its strategic plan, which describes its work to address complex, multifaceted, and ever-evolving health and human service issues. Under the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act, Federal agencies are required to consult with the Congress and to solicit and consider the views of external parties. We welcome your input on the draft HHS Strategic Plan for FY 2014-2018. Click here for more information.

PBS documentary: Latino Americans

LATINO AMERICANS is a landmark three-part, six-hour documentary series that is set to air nationally on PBS in the fall of 2013. It is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States over the last 500-plus years and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. Click here for more information.

Presidential Proclamation – National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, September 2013

In the United States, obesity affects millions of children and teenagers, raising their risk of developing serious health problems, including diabetes, cancer, asthma, heart disease, and high blood pressure. While childhood obesity remains a serious public health issue, we have made significant strides toward stemming the tide. After three decades of dramatic increases in obesity rates among America’s youth, recent studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that rates are holding steady and even decreasing in some areas. Click here to read the full proclamation.

Rutgers University Breaks Ground on New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health

Rutgers University today officially broke ground on the site for the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH). The building project is a result of a $10 million grant awarded to the University by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), as well as an additional $36 million in capital support from the State of New Jersey. The new Institute also received a $10 million endowed research fund from an anonymous donor. The Institute will host six interdisciplinary centers of excellence, bringing together faculty members from Rutgers’ departments of food science, nutrition, public policy, pharmacy, exercise science and sport studies, genetics, agriculture, and health sciences research. The six centers include the Center for Childhood Nutrition & Education, which is dedicated to educating preschool aged children about nutrition, and a specialized Student Health Center, which will provide advanced counseling for eating disorders and incorporate nutrition as a part of health care. Click here for more information.

Quality Matters: Innovations in Health Care Quality Improvement News Briefs

The August/September 2013 issue of Quality Matters (The Commonwealth Fund) looks at how government agencies, health care systems, and private companies are using data drawn from electronic medical records and administrative claims to advance medical knowledge. Click here for the full issue.


International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) “Discovery” of Historical Documents

IFSW started with financial support of the IFSW Friend program, a new exciting project to make the Federation’s archives accessible to social workers around the world. After intensive work in Switzerland historical documents have been located regarding the time of the establishment of the International Permanent Secretariat of Social Work (pre-IFSW 1928 – 1950),  and the relationship with post-second-world-war industrial social work. A significant book telling the history of the foundation in 1956 was found with a tied up bundle of “old books”. This book includes among others the proceedings of the 8th Assembly of the International Conference on Social Work, the foundation documents and minutes with the constitution of the Permanent Committee. Click here for more information.