Showing posts with label health care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health care. Show all posts

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Alabama Nurses Association elects 1st African American president

The Alabama Nurses Association elected its first African American president in its 107 year history.

The organization named Dr. Lindsey Harris as its president.

The organization will induct Dr. Harris in a ceremony on the afternoon of Friday, September 25th.

According to a news release, Dr. Harris earned her bachelor of science nursing degree from Samford University, her master of science in nursing as a family nurse practitioner and her doctor of nursing practice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. Dr. Harris is a past president of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association, Inc. (BBNA) and a member of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA).


Sunday, August 02, 2020

Kamala Harris Introduces Legislation to Support Uterine Fibroids Research and Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Thursday introduced the Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act, legislation to initiate crucial research and education in relation to uterine fibroids and ensure women get the information and care they need. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-11) introduced this legislation in the House of Representatives.
“Millions of women across the country are affected by uterine fibroids, which can present serious health complications,” said Senator Harris. “Complications from uterine fibroids can lead to maternal mortality and morbidity, an ongoing crisis especially for Black women. We have an opportunity to change that with the Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act. I’m proud to work with Congresswoman Clarke to ensure that women get the care, support, and knowledge they need.”
“This bill is an important first step towards making women’s healthcare a priority by addressing uterine fibroids. Many women who suffer from uterine fibroids have their condition go undiagnosed as a result of a lack of education about the disease. Each year, approximately 7 million women in the U.S. suffer the symptoms of fibroids and an estimated 330,000 symptomatic women reside in New York. This disease has ravaged the lives of women across the country, and increasing funding for research and public education related to fibroids is critical to reversing that trend. If we are serious about fixing inequities in our healthcare system, then we must treat uterine fibroids with the funding and attention it deserves,” said Congresswoman Clarke.
Uterine fibroids affect an estimated 26 million women between the ages of 15 and 50, across all racial backgrounds and socioeconomic levels in the United States. While this issue affects women across all racial backgrounds, Black women develop uterine fibroids earlier, have larger and a greater number of fibroids, and are three times more likely than white women to be hospitalized for uterine fibroids. Also, more than 80% of Black women and about 70% of white women develop fibroids by the time they reach menopause. Further, they are the leading cause for hysterectomy: 22% of Black women and 7% of white women with uterine fibroids have hysterectomies as a result of the condition.
Despite being the most common gynecological condition, there is a lack of awareness and prioritization about uterine fibroids as an important health issue. Some women who experience uterine fibroids have no symptoms; however, those that do experience: severe pelvic pain, iron-deficiency, anemia, miscarriages, infertility, and heavy bleeding. Building awareness around uterine fibroids is not only a health equity issue, but an economic imperative. Uterine fibroids cost our health care system an estimated $9.4 billion annually.
The Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act would:
  • Provide $30 million annually for FY21-FY25 to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand research on uterine fibroids.
  • Direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand the Chronic Conditions Warehouse research database to include data on the services provided to women who experience symptoms of uterine fibroids.
  • Create a uterine fibroids public education program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to disseminate information on the incidence and prevalence of uterine fibroids among women—including the elevated risk for women of color—and the available treatment options.
  • Direct the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in consultation with medical societies, to develop and disseminate information regarding uterine fibroids to health care providers, including the elevated risk for women of color to develop uterine fibroids and the available treatment options.
In addition to Harris and Clarke, this legislation is co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Van Hollen (D-MD) and Booker (D-NJ) .
This bill is supported by: Black Women’s Health Imperative, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Sexual Health Association, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, CARE About Fibroids, HealthyWomen, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health, National Black Nurses Association, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, National Organization of Black Elected Women (NOBEL Women), Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, Society for Women’s Health Research, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), The Fibroid Foundation, and The White Dress Project.
“There is a vital need for more research to be done regarding Uterine Fibroids and the burden placed on various racial and ethnic groups. We also need to collect data to develop more effective interventions and evaluate therapies, especially among black women who are disproportionately and more severely impacted by uterine fibroids. That is why the Black Women’s Health Imperative supports the Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act introduced by the Senator Kamala Harris. This legislation will increase NIH funding focused on Uterine Fibroids research and lead to a new evidence base for treatment and cure for women of color,” said Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO of Black Women’s Health Imperative.
“For far too long, we have simply accepted the unknowns about uterine fibroids when in reality, those unknowns represent a gap in research,” said Tanika Gray Valbrun, founder of The White Dress Project. “We’re grateful to Senator Harris for making uterine fibroids research a priority.” 
“One in three women have been silently coping with debilitating, sometimes life-threatening uterine fibroid complications for far too long. This Bill will provide vital research and education to move us closer to ending this suffering, and will provide women with a better quality of life,” said Sateria Venable, Founder & CEO, The Fibroid Foundation.
“NHMA strongly supports the Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act because it will create needed research and education needed for us to better understand uterine fibroids and ensure that minority women can get information and care that they need for this condition,” said Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, FACP, President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association.
Dr. Martha A. Dawson, RN, FACHE, President of the National Black Nurses Association said, “Uterine fibroid can have a significant impact on the quality of life for females suffering from this condition. She noted that both ‘physical and mental pain’ are results of this sometimes debilitating condition that impact women’s ability to work, gain promotion, and perform simple activities of daily family life. This bill is needed to help relieve the burden of women suffering from this disease.”
“Even as millions of American women suffer from debilitating fibroids, public awareness and research funding for this disease remains startlingly low. SWHR applauds Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) on her introduction of the Uterine Fibroids Research and Education Act, which will expand federal research efforts and bring much needed attention to this overlooked disease. Greater public awareness of fibroids will spark essential conversations among women, their families, and their health care providers about menstrual conditions, which are often stigmatized and dismissed by society. Increased funding for fibroids research is crucial to discovering better treatment options for women with this disease. We are hopeful that this bill will help prioritize uterine fibroids as a critical women’s health issue,” said Kathryn Schubert, MPP, President & CEO, Society for Women’s Health Research.
“For the millions of women struggling with symptomatic fibroids, this is an important step toward highlighting a condition that has been in the shadows for far too long. Our mothers, sisters and friends, especially women of color, have suffered in silence from the debilitating impact of this condition that has received too little attention and too few research dollars from the federal government. We are deeply grateful for Sen. Harris’s action to step up and be a champion for women with fibroids,” said Jenny Rosenberg, Executive Director, CARE About Fibroids.
The Uterine Fibroids Research and Education Act can be read HERE.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration Approves Endari, A New Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease

Endari has shown to decrease the number of sickle cell crises and hospitalizations in patients with sickle cell disease. SCD is a rare, debilitating and lifelong hereditary blood disorder that affects approximately 100,000 patients in the U.S. and up to 25 million patients worldwide, the majority of which are of African descent.

Emmaus Life Sciences Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Endari™ (L-glutamine oral powder) to reduce the severe complications of sickle cell disease (SCD) in adult and pediatric patients age 5 and older. Endari reduces oxidant damage to red blood cells by improving the redox potential of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a coenzyme that has been identified as the primary regulator of oxidation.

"The approval of Endari is a significant milestone for the sickle cell patient community who has not had an advancement in treatment for nearly 20 years and which now, for the first time ever, has a treatment option for children," said Yutaka Niihara, MD, MPH, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emmaus Life Sciences. "Endari reinforces our commitment to discovering innovative therapies that help to improve the lives of people with rare diseases. We thank the FDA for its prompt review and look forward to making treatment available to patients as early as this fourth quarter."

SCD is a rare, debilitating and lifelong hereditary blood disorder that affects approximately 100,000 patients in the U.S. and up to 25 million patients worldwide, the majority of which are of African descent as well as Latinos and other minority groups. Approximately one in every 365 African American children is born with SCD and children between the ages of 2 and 7 are 400 times more likely to suffer from stroke.

Caused by a genetic mutation in the beta-chain of hemoglobin that distorts red blood cells into crescent shapes, SCD lowers oxygen levels in the blood and has an extensive impact on morbidity, mortality and quality of life. Patients often suffer from debilitating episodes of sickle cell crises, which occur when the rigid, adhesive and inflexible red blood cells block the blood vessels, resulting in excruciating pain. Sickle cell crises can lead to organ damage, stroke, pulmonary complications, and other adverse outcomes, including acute chest syndrome (ACS), which may be potentially fatal and is the leading cause of death among people with SCD.

"A sickle cell crisis is the most common acute complication for patients and the number one cause of emergency room visits," said Wally Smith, MD, Florence Neal Cooper Smith Professor of Sickle Cell Disease, Division of General Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University. "Endari has clinically shown to reduce sickle cell crises and hospitalizations, representing a significant medical advancement for patients with limited therapeutic options that have many side effects."

FDA approval was supported by efficacy data from a 48-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the effects of Endari, prescription grade L-glutamine, as compared to placebo on 230 adults and children with SCD. The results demonstrated that Endari reduced the frequency of sickle cell crises by 25 percent and hospitalizations by 33 percent. Additional findings showed a decrease in cumulative hospital days by 41 percent and lower incidence of ACS by more than 60 percent.

Safety was based on data from 298 patients treated with L-glutamine and 111 patients treated with placebo in the Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies. Endari's safety profile was similar to placebo and well-tolerated in pediatric and adult patients. The most common adverse reactions occurring in greater than 10 percent of patients treated with Endari were constipation, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, cough, pain in extremity, back pain, and chest pain (non-cardiac).

About Emmaus Life Sciences

Emmaus Life Sciences is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments and therapies for rare diseases. The company's research on sickle cell disease was initiated by Yutaka Niihara, MD, MPH, Chairman and CEO of Emmaus, at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding the research, development and potential commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. Additional risks and uncertainties are described in reports filed by Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Emmaus is providing this information as of the date of this press release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Emmaus Life Sciences Inc.

Related Links:

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Black members of congress respond to Republican healthcare bill

Today Republicans passed a healthcare bill in the House of Representatives with many not having even read it, and it not being scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Not many House Democrats were happy about it and black members of the House such as John Lewis and Bonnie Watson Coleman took to Twitter to vent about it. Read those post below.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Al Sharpton to lead We Shall Not Be Moved March in Washington DC

Rev. Al Sharpton & National Action Network (NAN) along with other major civil rights group to hold a We Shall Not Be Moved march in Washington DC just six days before Donald Trump's inauguration. The march is part of a series of other marches and rallies that are meant to remind Trump that voting rights, civil rights, and healthcare are important issues to many people of color. Learn more here:

On January 14, thousands will converge in Washington, D.C. as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday begins — just six days before Donald Trump’s inauguration. We will rally and put him (and the nation) on notice that there are some things that will not be changed no matter who is president and what party dominates the House and Senate. Protecting the civil rights of citizens and the voting rights of people that have been excluded, providing health care for all Americans and equal opportunity should supersede any of the beltway partisan fights that we are inevitably headed into. Some have given their lives and others dedicated their lives to try to make Dr. King’s dream a reality, and now they have added to that mission by preserving the legacy of President Obama. Groups come and go, elections come and go, but some things must remain constant and non-negotiable.

March Route

· Assemble at 9am at the National Sylvan Theater

(Sylvan Theater, Independence Avenue Southwest & 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20024) Light Rally will take place.

· March from National Sylvan Theater to West Potomac Park via Independence Ave SW beginning at 11am

· Rally at West Potomac Park beginning at 12pm

(West Potomac Park, Washington, DC 20418)

Directly across from Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Sunday, December 20, 2015

President Obama weekly address: Top 10 Things that Happened in 2015

In this week's address, the President celebrated the end of the year tradition of list-making with a year-in-review list of his own. The President offered his roundup of the top 10 things that happened in 2015, all of which should make us optimistic about the prospects for 2016.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Decline in Black Male Physicians Could Impact African American Health

his op-ed post was written by Patricia A. Maryland, Ph.D.

A recent study by the Association of American Medical Colleges shows that the number of African American men applying to medical school is in steady decline. As the nation’s population becomes more ethnically diverse, this issue is not just about diversity for diversity’s sake. This decline in black male physicians could have a negative impact on health and wellness in underserved communities as well as on general access to care.

As the chief operating officer of Ascension Health—the healthcare subsidiary of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system—I am very focused on our organization’s delivering personalized and compassionate care, particularly in low- to moderate-income communities where healthcare challenges are greatest. Physicians of color, who can knowledgeably treat patients based on a shared heritage and cultural awareness, are at a premium.

To be clear, the issue here is not race as much as it is personal affinity that provides a sense of understanding for a patient. In fact, whether the commonality is culture, race, language, or gender, research shows that patients respond to physicians with whom they feel a kinship.

This notion of affinity or kinship is important as studies show that black doctors are usually more willing to return to underserved communities of color to offer care. This not only provides them with a sense of mission and higher purpose, it also contributes to the overall well-being of the patients they serve. These patients are more comfortable with the doctor because they believe that the person caring for them shares a cultural bond. This allows for ease in building trust and, hopefully, greater candor in discussing ailments which may allow the doctor to better assess and treat a patient.

Read more; Decline in Black Male Physicians Could Impact African American Health

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Push to Recruit Black, Latino Nurses

Arihanna Venable enjoys talking with her patients as she performs physical exams, takes their blood pressure and, sometimes administers medicine to help soothe wounds or illnesses.

However, when Venable looks at so many other registered nurses, she finds a glaring and often troubling trend.

“Not many of them look like me,” said Venable, 33, of Southeast. “We just don’t have a lot of black registered nurses and I think if we can somehow change that, a lot of our patients will feel more at ease and they’ll be more likely to come in and see a doctor before they encounter serious health problems.”

Venable counts among the 5.4 percent of African-American nurses in the nation. A small minority, considering there’s an estimated 2.5 million registered nurses in the United States. Latinos also are in the minority as just 3.6 percent hold those positions.

Read more: Push to Recruit Black, Latino Nurses

Monday, April 07, 2014

Obamacare 'accomplishing goal,' U.S. uninsured drops to six-year low

I guess the republicans/conservatives who promised doom and gloom will have to now explain why there was no apocalypse and the world did not explode because of the Affordable Care Act...LOL. George Cook

The percentage of Americans without health insurance dipped to its lowest in nearly six years due in part to U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, commonly known as Obamacare, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday.

Some 15.6 percent of Americans lacked health insurance in the first three months of 2014, down from a high of 18 percent in late 2013, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey.

'Obamacare' appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage," the report said.

Black and low-income Americans saw some of the most pronounced drops in the uninsured rate, with declines of more than 3 percentage points.

Read more here: Obamacare 'accomplishing goal,' U.S. uninsured drops to six-year low: poll