May-20, Chicago – Healthy Chicago 2.0 outlines the City’s four-year plan to improve health and well-being for residents in ten priority areas to health inequities facing some neighborhoods and communities. On Wednesday May-18, officials from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) shared details of the plan to a gathering of about 55 people including residents, stakeholders and community leaders in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood.
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On the Table, a citywide event in which small groups of friends, strangers and everything in between gather over a meal to discuss Chicago’s future, returned on May 10 for the third consecutive year. It’s in most everyone’s nature to give back, help out, and contribute to the community in some way. And that was the overall consensus of University of Chicago students who attended an evening gathering hosted by the Center for Asian Health Equity (CAHE) and Office of Career Advancement.
Led by the Chicago Community Trust, more than 40,000 people have participated in On the Table discussions representing every Chicago ZIP code in previous years. An eclectic group of 20 students gathered at the Ida Noyes Hall to discuss how the health of our neighborhoods is affected by social, economic and environmental factors, and what can be done to make it better. The issues discussed weren’t necessarily new, but the evening’s free-form exchange of ideas was and it also marked the first On the Table event to be held on the University’s campus.
“This event is timely for CAHE and the University as we also celebrate the successes of Asian Americans in May as part of National Asian American Heritage Month. We want to engage our cadre of students and future leaders to think about how we need to go beyond health care and transform the way we approach health, by addressing broader issues in the social and economic environment and the physical environment that all affect our health,“ said Jennifer Oh, CAHE’s Associate Director of Community and Institutional Partnerships. “Inequality and the lack of opportunity of any sort, is harmful to our health. Lack of knowledge is harmful to our health.”
Kyungwon Seo, our Korean community health worker was recently featured in a segment about HepB with WinTV, the only local Korean TV station based in the Chicago metropolitan area.
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Illinois has recorded what almost certainly was an increase over last year in new signups and automatic renewals for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Most recent data from CMS shows that 388,179 Illinois residents enrolled in a plan through the most recent open enrollment 2015-2016 period. This number combined with the most recent release of information from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) indicating that there are now 626,248 Full Benefit ACA Medicaid Recipients across the state brings the total covered to 1,014,427 residents who are receiving life-saving benefits. Another report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) further shows Illinois was also among 8 states with statistically significant coverage gains among 18-64 year old residents. Between 2013 and 2015, the rate of uninsured among 18-64 year old Illinois residents decreased from 17.8% to the current rate of 10.6%. This 7.2% drop is one of the largest in the nation. The others are New York, Michigan, Kentucky, Florida, Colorado, Arizona and California.
Asian Health Coalition and its navigator partner agencies played a key role in helping limited English-speaking communities to sign up for health coverage and lessons learned were among the many highlights shared by partners who met this week to discuss plans for future sustainability. In addition to the In-Person Counselor navigators (IPCs), Natalie Pacheco from Get Covered Illinois was also in attendance to listen to their personal experience in helping their community members. Key quotes from navigators are shared below
“We must understand continued outreach and education is needed to help reduced the rates of uninsured individuals and IPCs have been at the frontline of these efforts”
“This has truly been a rewarding experience. We have seen the population that we serve increasingly understand the importance of health insurance as well as grow more savvy in navigating health insurance plans.”
“As funding for these efforts is reduced by the government there is an increasing burden on CBOs to sustain enrollment and outreach by absorbing the costs and integrating these activities into their core services”
February is American Heart Month and as a leading community-based network committed to improving the health of our nation, the Asian Health Coalition and its community partners are encouraging Asian Americans in Illinois to help prevent heart disease by lowering your blood pressure. Heart disease is the 2nd leading cause of death for Asian Americans. Additionally, 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure with less than half having it under control. High blood pressure is most prevalent in minority communities, and is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms.
To address the prevalence of heart disease, the Asian Health Coalition (AHC) has teamed up with the American Heart Association to distribute culturally tailored posters in Chinese (download here). The posters are part of AHC’s cardiovascular disease self-management program called Your Health is Golden, an evidence-based program adapted from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) program of the same name. Your Health is Golden is currently offered in Chinese and Vietnamese at the Chinese Mutual Aid Association in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and making other behavior changes with the goal of modifying behaviors to reduce their risk for developing heart disease. Trained community health workers leads the program over a beginning with an initial health screening and 6 weekly group sessions, followed by another health screening after 4 months. Increased physical activity and moderate weight loss not only reduce cardiovascular disease risk, but also have an impact on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
We are continually looking for new participants for this program. Support for the AHC’s Your Health is Golden program has been made possible with a generous community grant from the Ravenswood Health Care Foundation. Please contact Katherine at (312)372-7070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today a list of 10 organizations that will receive a share of federal funding to participate in the third year of Get Covered Illinois’ In-Person Counselor (IPC) Program, the state-run outreach and education arm for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Illinois. Asian Health Coalition is leading a consortium of community based organizations and federally qualified health centers serving the Asian and Hispanic immigrant communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. Consortium partners include the Chinese American Service League, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Hanul Family Alliance, Hamdard Health and Human Services, Heartland Health Centers, Indo American Center, Metropolitan Asian Family Services, and Muslim Women Resource Center.
Open enrollment for this year will commence on November 1. For more information please visit https://getcovered.illinois.gov
The full list of lead grantees is below:
Asian Health Coalition
Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center, Inc.
Greater Elgin Family Care Center
Howard Brown Health Center
Lake County Health Department
Pilsen-Little Village Community Mental Health Center
Project of the Quad Cities
Sinai Community Institute
United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Inc.
Winnebago County Health Department
DVH released a new phase of the Know More Hepatitis campaign. New resources including video PSAs, an infographic, and posters are available for you to use in your work to encourage hepatitis C testing among baby boomers. Spread the word about these new materials by sharing the link to the campaign resources. Here are 10 ways you can use the campaign materials to encourage testing for Hepatitis C.