Author: shellypollard

Healthy Mind Initiative Addresses Mental Health of Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth

By Victoria Chau, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

By Lieutenant Commander Kelly Leong
United States Public Health Service

By David J. Robles, B.A.
Graduate Intern, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

                              
From left to right: Dr. Victoria Chau, SAMHSA,  LCDR Kelly Leong , United States Public Health Service  and Mr. David J. Robles, SAMHSA

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness (NMMHA) Month—a practical time to highlight the importance of mental health for everyone. In a recent NIMHD Insights blog post, Dr. Xinzhi Zhang raised serious concerns about mental health awareness among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth and families. Suicide deaths have catapulted to the top as the leading cause of death for AAPI adolescents 12-19 years old in 2016.1 AAPI youth are the only racial/ethnic group for whom suicide is the leading cause of death, yet this is rarely discussed. The challenge of raising mental health awareness among AAPI communities is multifaceted but includes two key barriers: language issues and lack of culturally sensitive educators.

Continue reading “Healthy Mind Initiative Addresses Mental Health of Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth”

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Asthma, A Common But Controllable Illness

By Roselyn Hicks, M.D.
Visiting Scholar, Division of Scientific Programs                                                                                    National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities                           

Tree Pollen

Everything is abloomspring has finally arrived. Pollen is everywhere, and for many of us, so is allergen-induced  asthma.

Asthma, one of the most common childhood illnesses and a leading cause of work and school absences, continues to cause symptoms for nearly 25 million Americans. As a board-certified allergist and immunologist, my most frequent patients were individuals with this adult and pediatric inflammatory, chronic lung disease of the airways. This inflammation causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. The prevalence of asthma, with marked disparities between various populations, continues to increase within the United States. The greatest rising trend is in adult women, non-Hispanic Black children, and those individuals living in poverty—especially boys.2,5 Medical management has improved in recent years, but asthma is still related to more than 3,000 deaths per year.2 What can we learn from the extensive information available about asthma? Continue reading “Asthma, A Common But Controllable Illness”

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The Journey to Healthy Minds for Healthy Youth

Image of NIMHD Program Officer Dr. Xinzhi Zhang

Dr. Xinzhi Zhang

By Xinzhi Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.
Program Director, Division of Scientific Programs
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Too many stories point to the troubled minds and mental struggles of our youth with the tragic event in Parkland, Florida being one of the latest. Even more saddening, these children’s cries for help are often misunderstood or ignored.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10–24 years old, accounting for 17.6% of deaths in this age group 1 The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated their guidelines to include universal screening for adolescent depression (youth 12 years of age and older).2 According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, one in eight youth ages 12–17 years old has had a  major depressive episode in the past year, with 70% of them having severe impairment.3,4 Continue reading “The Journey to Healthy Minds for Healthy Youth”

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Partnerships, An Important Factor in Advancing Health Equity

By Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D.
Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Director, NIMHDEach year in April, the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leads our sister HHS agencies in commemorating National Minority Health Month. This year’s theme, “Partnering for Health Equity,” is a sustainable message which we not only recognize this month but also put into practice all year long through our research, training, and outreach programs and activities.

Over the last two and a half years, I have been leading this Institute in research to improve minority health and reduce health disparities in the U.S., as well as help guide other NIH Institutes and Centers on these issues. Our country is often described as a melting pot—representing people from all over the world. However, our research does not reflect the culture. We are continually trying to raise the bar.

Continue reading “Partnerships, An Important Factor in Advancing Health Equity”

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Guest Blog Post: Improving Diversity in Basic Biomedical Research

By Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D.
Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

This is the first in a series of guest NIMHD Insights blog posts where NIH Institute and Center (IC) Directors highlight initiatives, resources and funding opportunities relevant to minority health and health disparities research and training at their Institutes. The goal of this guest blog series is to link NIMHD stakeholders to minority health and health disparities-related information and opportunities across NIH.

The inaugural post is from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). With a $2.6 billion budget, NIGMS supports basic research that increases understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.  

Improving Diversity in Basic Biomedical Research

Photo of Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D. Director, NIGMS

Fostering a diverse and inclusive future workforce has long been a key priority for NIGMS. The Institute strongly believes that incorporating a full range of perspectives, skills, and experiences will benefit the biomedical research enterprise—and our society as a whole. This standpoint is one of the factors that attracted me to the NIGMS Director’s position.

During my tenure at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, one of my proudest achievements was launching a summer research program for Baltimore-area high school students. Many of the students came from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. Most had never been exposed to a career in science. Continue reading “Guest Blog Post: Improving Diversity in Basic Biomedical Research”

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“Insights” on Simulation Modeling and Systems Science, New Research Funding Opportunity

By Xinzhi Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.
Program Director, Division of Scientific Programs
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

There are many contributing factors to health, such as race, ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. To help close health gaps, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) spearheads scientific research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve minority health and reduce health disparities.

NIMHD is leading a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): Simulation Modeling and Systems Science (SMSS) to Address Health Disparities. To learn more about SMSS and this new funding opportunity, NIMHD Program Officer Dr. Xinzhi Zhang addresses a few questions for the Insights blog. Continue reading ““Insights” on Simulation Modeling and Systems Science, New Research Funding Opportunity”

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NIMHD Loan Repayment Programs

By Dorothy M. Castille, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator, Division of Scientific Programs
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities,

Photo of Dr. Dorothy Castille, Health Scientist Administrator, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Division of Scientific Programs

Dr. Dorothy M. Castille

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites qualified health professionals who contractually agree to engage in NIH mission–relevant research to apply for the 2018 extramural NIMHD Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) for an average of at least 20 hours per week for at least two years. Descriptions of the NIMHD LRP follow:

Continue reading “NIMHD Loan Repayment Programs”

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