Advance Health Equity Now: Uniting Our Communities to Bring Health Care Coverage to All

Hackley Community Care Center issued the following information, and MPCA is sharing it on the Health Center’s behalf:

April is Minority Health Month, and a time to take positive action as a nation and community, to improve minority health, advance health equity and eliminate health disparities. Our health has great value because it is essential to an individual’s well-being and ability to participate fully in the workforce and our democratic society.

Health disparities are health differences that adversely affect socially disadvantaged groups according to race/ethnicity, skin color, religion, or nationality; socioeconomic resources or position (income, wealth, education, occupation); gender, sexual orientation, gender identity; age, geography, disability, illness, political/other affiliation; or other characteristics associated with discrimination or marginalization. These categories reflect social advantage or disadvantage (where people live, work or play) in determining an individual’s or group’s position in our society.

The public is invited to attend a free information session on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion.

Muskegon County residents: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 5-7 pm at the Louis McMurray MATS Conference Center, 2623 Sixth Street, Muskegon Heights, MI;

Oceana County residents: Thursday, April 25, 2013, 5–7 pm at the Hart High School Cafeteria, 300 Johnson St W, Hart, MI

Why should minority health be of concern? We all know someone that is affected by health inequality. Minorities are less likely to receive preventative care and frequently suffer from serious chronic illnesses; Latinos and Hispanics face language barriers, lack of insurance and are often reluctant to seek preventative care, and Health Literacy, (where patients have problems obtaining, processing, and understanding basic health information) is a concern for all populations.

Governor Rick Snyder is endorsing the expansion of Medicaid for uninsured families, but the bill still needs approval from Congress. These events will also equip residents to advocate for the expansion.

Community initiatives such as 1-in-21(www.1in21.org), the Muskegon Oceana Health Disparity Reduction Coalition (www.equalhealthforall.com ), and the African American Leadership Team are  engaged in activities to advance health equity, and encourage the members of our community to become involved.

The differences or barriers to good health for racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, the uninsured, and residents in rural and underserved communities would improve significantly under the Affordable Care Act and with Medicaid expansion.  Thousands of people will have the opportunity to receive health coverage, services and preventative care.

Now that is health equity!

These upcoming events are a collaboration of Hackley Community Care Center (www.hccc-health.org ), Mercy Health Partners (www.mercyhealth.com ), Muskegon Community Health Project (www.mchp.org), and the MDCH Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section (HDRMHS). Contact Alexis Dye at Hackley Community Care Center with questions at 231.733.6634 or by email at dyea@hccc-health.org. English flyer / Spanish flyer

The Center for Family Health is also promoting a similar type of presentation hosted by Allegiance Health in Jackson on Thursday, April 25, 2013, from 5:30-7 pm ET at the Allegiance Specialty Center (1201 East Michigan Avenue, Jackson, MI). Othelia W. Pryor, PhD, founder of the Michigan Minority Health Coalition, is the guest speaker. Register by calling toll free: 1.888.335.724.

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