NIHCM Newsletter / June 2019

Ending HIV Requires a Targeted Approach

In 2016, 60% of new HIV infections were in black women even though black women represent 13% of the U.S. female population, and overall HIV infections among black women declined. This new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights how new HIV infections are increasingly concentrated in certain demographic groups, suggesting that targeted outreach will be necessary to end the HIV epidemic.

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Recognizing Health Discrimination & Social Inequities

Discrimination and poor social determinants have a real impact on health, but members of the public may underestimate their prevalence and power. A 2019 poll of Minnesotan residents by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota found that 83% of respondents agree that everyone deserves to live healthy, safe lives, but over 40% did not think that discrimination based on race influences individual health, and did not identify safe neighborhoods, living wage, or affordable housing as health determinants.

Tips for Teens: Understanding the Risks of Drug Use

Between exotic street names and urban legends, it is easy for misinformation about drugs to spread among teenagers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is hoping to demystify myths about drug use through their accessible "Tips for Teens" posters discussing the risks of cigarettes, opioids, cocaine and other drugs, including physiological effects and the potential for addiction and fatal overdose.

NIHCM Webinar - Overcoming Opioids: Paths to Progress

Despite significant efforts to address the opioid crisis, our country continues to struggle due to the highly addictive nature of these drugs and barriers to treatment, including stigma and lack of access.

The final part in our four-part Defying Despair series, this webinar will discuss ongoing efforts to increase access to evidence-based treatment and guide people on a path to recovery.

For more information on the opioid crisis, check out our new Data Insights with the latest CDC data.

More on NIHCM's Defying Despair Series

Americans are looking for answers that will increase their happiness and well-being and prevent deaths of despair related to mental health, opioids and suicide. Our Defying Despair series has delved into the research and explored innovative strategies and evidence-based solutions to lift our society from crisis. Videos of the first three segments are available on our website:

Part 1: The Science of Well-being & Why It Matters

Part 2: Turning the Tide on Mental Health Trends

Part 3: Communities for Change: Preventing Suicide

Nurses as Agents for Positive Change

Nurses fill a critical role in the health care delivery system, and their unique insights from managing cases and helping patients to navigate the system can inform approaches to improving health and health outcomes. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey recently created a Clinical Advisory Council of nurses to meet quarterly to discuss new and impactful trends in patient care.

Honoring Community Health Leaders

Florida Blue Foundation’s Sapphire Award recognizes leaders who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health. This year’s honorees were celebrated for their work in raising money for kidney disease research and treatment; delivering health care to underprivileged and low-income members of the community; using telehealth to expand access to mental health care; and providing stable housing and health services for the homeless.

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