U.S. Creating Minority Health App With “Culturally Appropriate Contexts”
AUGUST 27, 2012
The Obama Administration will spend tens of thousands of dollars to develop a special mobile device application “in different languages and in culturally appropriate contexts” to help “underserved and minority women fight and prevent cancer.”
To assure that the app is topnotch, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is offering entrepreneurs money to create it by launching a contest called Reducing Cancer Among Women of Color App Challenge. The winner gets $85,000, second place gets $10,000 and third place $5,000. That means American taxpayers will dole out 100 grand for this project, the latest of many launched by the administration to narrow the gap in health disparities between minorities and whites.
In fact, the Obama HHS claims the app challenge is a first-of-its-kind effort to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. Although the apps will be available to women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, the agency says it’s particularly focused on reaching women of color. That’s because widespread disparities in care for minority and underserved women have led to higher prevalence and mortality rates among those groups, according to the agency.
“This app challenge is an example of our work to reduce health disparities, building on the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities,” according to a top HHS who serves as deputy assistant secretary for minority health. “By providing the right information at the right time, mobile apps can help minority and underserved women make informed decisions about their own health and benefit from the recommended preventive services provided at no cost under the health care law,” the minority health guru added.
This is consistent with the administration’s ongoing—and costly—efforts to single out healthcare inequalities between ethnic minorities and their more affluent and educated white counterparts. In fact, an Obamacare initiative to “reduce racial and ethnic health disparities” established half a dozen federal Offices of Minority Health as well as one for each state. Their mission is to help minorities obtain the same topnotch healthcare the president claims is the norm among whites.
The administration has also dedicated more than $100 million help lower chronic diseases—such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease—“disproportionately seen among poor and minority populations.” Part of that effort includes eliminating “food deserts” in urban areas. The term was coined by First Lady Michelle Obama to describe poor areas she claims don’t have access to affordable healthy fare such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk. American taxpayers are also financing the costly transformation of the inner city diet.
As part of these minority health initiatives the administration has created a variety of programs, including a new federal task force to “reduce racial and ethnic asthma disparities” and a special State Obesity Map that reveals blacks, the poor and uneducated are disproportionately obese compared to more affluent Caucasian. This is critical for minorities because obesity-related conditions can be deadly and include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency that created the map.
To really drive home the point, the administration even created, for the first time ever, a new section on socioeconomic status in the CDC’s annual comprehensive report on Americans’ health. Nearly two dozen pages are dedicated to the special socioeconomic status section, which includes charts and graphs comparing the difference in the healthcare received by whites, Hispanics, blacks and Asians. Practically all ailments are mentioned, including asthma, obesity, mental disorders and dental visits with a breakdown of disparities among ethnic minorities and the uneducated and poverty-stricken.
Everything from depression to edentulism (lack of natural teeth), obesity, cigarette smoking and cancer is more prevalent among the poor, according to the government’s assessment. Even childhood attention deficit disorder hits low-income minorities harder and practically every chronic disease known to man strikes them at much greater rates than educated whites. In short, people with higher education and income levels have lower rates of many chronic diseases compared to those with less education and lower income levels, the feds assert.
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