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African-American mothers urged to breastfeed


HealthyStart Wisconsin’s Largest Black Newspaper

April 2013

Healthy Start is the publication of the Milwaukee Community Journal dedicated to Health and Wellness


T op Health and Wellbeing tips to get you refreshed for


April is National Donate Life Month Memorial: A Champion of Organ Donation Ray Harmon P7

Caution! That salt may be killing you. Link between salt and Hypertension confirmed P2


HealthyStart 2013

April 2013

Caution, that salt may be killing you Link between salt and hypertension confirmed


n the time it takes you to read this magazine, an African American will die from a hypertensionrelated illness.

particularly sensitive to salt. The source of salt intake is generally evenly weighed between diets consisting of various processed goods (canned vegetables, TV dinners and other foods rich in sodium)/ traditional African American soul food diets, which are also generally high in salt content, and ‘extra’ salt oftentimes generously added to meals from the salt shaker.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading contributor to Black health disparities, and is directly linked to various aliments from kidney disease to heart attacks and strokes.

Salt intake alone doesn’t fully explain why African Americans are more likely to have high blood pressure, Dr. Kotchen said. Genetics, obesity and stress are also factors, although their respective weights may be different based on the individual and his or her environment.

American Heart Association data reveals that one in three Americans have high blood pressure; 81% are aware of it; but 47.5% don’t have it controlled. Forty two percent of Black men and 47% of Black women have high blood pressure. Alarmingly, those latter figures are expected to increase by seven percent by 2030. Which means by that time, there will also be an increase in the percentage of African Americans who die from the malady. In 2009, 61,762 deaths were directly related to high blood pressure. And that figure is dwarfed by deaths indirectly linked to hypertension, including heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. According to various research, 69% of heart attack victims and 77% of stroke deaths can be linked to high blood pressure. Despite medical advances and extensive research, the debate continues over the reasons for the disproportionate impact of

hypertension in African Americans (Africans and Black Caribbeans are less likely to have high blood pressure). Genetics, obesity, diet, environment and stress are factors, but do not offer a clearly defined path to predictions. There is, however, consensus about one contributing factor that seemingly separates African Americans from all other ethnic groups: most Black Americans are sensitive to salt intake, and sodium puts them at risk of high blood pressure. Medical College of Wisconsin hypertension expert Dr. Theodore Kotchen recently

authored an article for the New England Journal of Medicine that removes all doubt about the correlation between salt intake and hypertension. Dr. Kotchen, who is considered an expert on hypertension in African Americans, has written more than 200 scholarly medical articles. His latest, on salt as an undeniable contributing factor in high blood pressure, supports the causation between lowering salt intake and decreasing blood pressure. An associate dean for clinical research and professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Kotchen said in a recent interview that African Americans are

And exactly why African Americans, unlike people of African descent living elsewhere, are so sensitive to salt is also not fully explained. “We’re not sure why (African Americans are sensitive to salt),” he admitted. “There are many theories. But we do know how to lower the risk associated with (the disease), and lowering salt intake is a major component.” Changing our diets, exercise and medication are important factors in lowering blood pressure, Kotchen said. “Pay attention to your weight, stay physically active. And take prescribed medicines.”

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Should begin to SUBMIT PHOTOS Now!


Y APRIL 30, 2013, we hope to introduce some of the participants in the MCJ newspaper and the HealthyStart edition and web-site.

Since there are only five winners....we want to keep the group small enough so each participant inspires the other participants; and at the same time, the group is small enough that the prospects of winning are enhanced. Now, that's a big incentive. So let's get started! Send us your BEFORE SHOT...signed with date, when the photo was taken, with your name, address, email and contact phone number to the MCJ offices, listed below.

Milwaukee Community Journal

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3612 North Martin Luther King Drive Milwaukee WI. 53212 Patricia O'Flynn Pattillo Publisher Mikel Holt, Editor and Co-ordinator HealthyStartt (MCJ) April, 2013

and Marketing Sales Administration Telephone (414)-265-5300 Advertising Telephone 414-265-5300 Advertising Email: Editorial Telephone (414) 265-6647 Editorial Email:

Bright Boateng Designer / Producer

Include a brief story ( 500 words maximum) about why you want to participate in the MCJ MISSION MAKEOVER for "HEALTHY START: YOU HAVE THE POWER, 2013." YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR Before Shots and the stories of why you want to participate beginning NOW. UPDATE SHOTS are encouraged, they show your progress. NOTE ( photos, journals, recipes, exercise tips, etc....will not be returned...they MAY be used in future articles as the year-long focus continues in the MCJ, and its related Health Start products.**) FINAL DEADLINE: Final submission of ALL : BEFORE AND AFTER SHOTS ARE DUE BY: MONDAY, JULY 1. 2013, WITH...your journals of recipes, exercise, special training, if applicable. REMEMBER: FINAL SUBMISSIONS FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST ARRIVE AT THE MCJ OFFICE BY JULY 1, 2013. NO EXCEPTIONS: JULY 1, 2013...IS THE FINAL DEADLINE FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS TO SUBMIT : ( 1). BEFORE, SHOTS, ( 2.) UPDATE PHOTOS AND ( 3.) JOURNALS, AND ( 4.) THEIR AFTER SHOT.... MISSION MAKEOVER Winners will be identified by July 20, 2013... ***THE COMMITTEE, including MCJ Staff, Event supporters, and the Event Planner, will select on the basis of: (1) best physical change from Before and After photos, (2) the best story about why the loss and makeover is important , (3) the best journal of recipes, exercise tips and progress reports that led to successful completion of their journey to better health and improved quality of life. Winners will be applauded and celebrated at the MCJ Anniversary Gala Brunch on Sunday, August 4, 2013. The five winners will have their

families and friends present to cheer them and acknowledge their successes. We applaud each entrant and thank those who called..... WE DO HAVE THE POWER.... note: " Each participant must consult their doctor or health professional about dieting and weight loss. The Milwaukee Community Journal assumes no responsibility or any liability for personal decisions made about ones health or personal choices". This date affords time to work on apparel on the final day, make-up...for the winners. Remember five (5) will be selected...with $ 500 isolated for each winner for clothes and accessories. The joy is in the journey and the finished product is the incentive to KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. Your story inspires the rest of us to continue to work on HEALTHY STARTS: WE HAVE THE POWER. Patricia O'Flynn Pattillo Publisher The Milwaukee Community Journal 3612 No. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Milwaukee, WI 53212

April is National Donate Life Month

A Second Chance at Life


hen his daily activities as the pastor of Living Waters Church of God in Christ became too exhausting to perform, Richard Rogers knew something was wrong. Doctors soon diagnosed him with con-

of the happiest moments of his life. "You get to a place where you don't know which way to turn," he said. "And then the phone rang. It was one of the nurses from St. Luke's and she said 'Richard, Richard, we got you a heart!'" Today Pastor Rogers says he is com-

As an advocate for organ donation, Pastor Rogers has partnered with BloodCenter of Wisconsin to raise awareness in his congregation and in the Milwaukee community. As home to the Wisconsin Donor Network and Wisconsin Tissue Bank, BloodCenter of Wisconsin is recognizing April as National Donate Life Month, a time to spread the message about the ongoing need for organ, tissue, eye, marrow and blood donation. The need is great, particularly in the African-American community. According to BloodCenter’s Jay Campbell, vice president, organ and


time to honor donors and donor families who have made the choice to give life-saving gifts – as well as to raise awareness for the ongoing need for organ, tissue and eye donation.

As home to the Wisconsin Donor Network and Wisconsin Tissue Bank, BloodCenter of Wisconsin is asking community residents to make a lifesaving difference by: 4Registering to become an organ, tissue and eye donor 4Joining the marrow donation registry 4Donating blood 4Honoring donors and donor families who have saved lives and improved the quality of life for patients

by Mikel Holt tissue donation, “More than 2,200 people in Wisconsin are awaiting organ transplants, including nearly 500 African-Americans. The AfricanAmerican community is the largest group of minorities in need of an organ transplant. This is related to high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, which increase the risk of organ failure and the need for transplants.”

“I believed God was going to make it alright,” he said. “Maybe because I am in the ministry, I just believed. And I prayed, my wife prayed, the congregation prayed — we just believed God was going to find a way to get me a heart.” In June 2011, Pastor Rogers’ prayers were answered when he learned a heart was available. He says it was one

mitted to educating people about the importance of organ donation. "According to my doctor, I probably would have been gone, but somebody gave me that gift of life," he said. "It is so important to become an organ donor." "If someone is willing to say 'here is my loved one; I am going to donate their organs, or their eyes, or tissue’ it has to be the love of God exemplified through others." He added, "I think about those people that are waiting and I pray that they get that gift of life as well."

Pastor Rogers shares this message whenever he can. He says, “I'm just so grateful to be a spokesman. I'd tell it around the world if I could. It's about giving somebody a second chance at life. That's what happened to me.” For more information, please visit

Top health and wellbeing tips to get you refreshed for




et your head in the game and start changing your lifestyle in time for summer...

After spending the winter stuck inside, stocking up on comfort food and severely neglecting the gym, spring is the perfect time to reinvigorate your national health.

“I am here because of organ donation,” said Pastor Rogers. “I’m a living testament, and others tell me that they now give blood and have signed the registry because of my experience.” African-Americans are the largest group of minorities in need of an organ transplant. AfricanAmericans have high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, increasing the risk of organ failure and the need for transplants. African-Americans are encouraged to become donors to help other African-Americans in need of transplants. Successful transplantation is often enhanced by matching of organs between members of the same racial and ethnic group. More than 2,200 people in Wisconsin and more than 117,000 people in the U.S. are awaiting organ transplants, including nearly 35,000 African-Americans. Every year, at least 10,000 patients who need marrow transplants and blood cell transplants search the registry, hoping to find a match. And BloodCenter of Wisconsin needs 800 blood donors each day to maintain the supply to the hospitals we serve. Becoming a donor allows individuals to give the highly personal and unique gifts of organ, tissue, eye, marrow and blood. For many people, your donation will give them their only chance for recovery or survival.

To set us on the path to success we asked expert nutritionist and Centrum multivitamin brand ambassador, Fiona Hunter, to give us her top tips on eating well, skin care and exercise. Spring clean your kitchen cupboards Spring is always a good time to have a clear out, so why not start in the kitchen? Get of rid of anything high in fat, salt or sugar and restock your cupboards, fridge and freezer with fresh, healthy and in-season produce. Having the following top five products always in your fridge, freezer and kitchen cupboards can help towards fulfilling some of your nutritional needs...

When African-Americans Donate, African-Americans Live Pastor Richard Rogers was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2008 and placed on the organ transplant list. He received the gift of life in 2011 – a new heart.

and peas are a great freezer standby. Top 5 foods for women 1. Vegetables: Vitamin C is important for helping to support the immune system. Studies have shown frozen vegetables often contain higher levels of Vitamin C than fresh vegetables. Frozen sweetcorn

2. Canned beans: All varieties of canned beans are a fantastic source of iron, important during a woman's monthly cycle. Beans also provide good amounts

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gestive heart failure and told him he needed a new heart. Pastor Rogers was devastated to learn he would have just eight months to live without a transplant.

To join the registry, or for more information, visit

HealthyStartt (MCJ) April, 2013

Pastor Richard Rogers, received a heart transplant

African-Americans are encouraged to become donors to help other AfricanAmericans in need of transplants. Successful transplantation is often enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same racial and ethnic group. According to Campbell “This is why BloodCenter of Wisconsin asks the community to remember, ‘When African-Americans donate, African-Americans live.’”

National News


Health care providers want faster changes in payments

ealth care providers are pushing the federal government to scrap the payment plan for medical services, preferring instead one payment for a patient's entire care instead of separate fees for each item.

must prevent other problems, such as infections, and minimize further treatments after a patient leaves the hospital. • Accountable Care Organizations: A group of providers receives payment for the whole health of a consumer. This encourages preventive and wellness care to avoid chronic disease costs in the future, evidence-based medicine proven to work, and catching duplicate services, errors and unnecessary referrals. There are about 250 such organizations working with Medicare.

Instead of fee-for-service medicine, in which a provider receives a payment for every test, procedure and visit, providers want the government — or states or private payers — to pay for treatment as a whole. In theory, physicians would provide treatments that have been proven to work but are also costeffective.

• Medical homes: A doctor, usually primary care, leads a team of providers. Again, the team uses preventive, evidence-based techniques to keep costs down. The doctor coordinates every aspect of the patient's care.

"We need a national voluntary bundled payment system today," said Susan DeVore, president of Premier healthcare alliance at a recent health policy breakfast. "I think we need global payment." "I think we all recognize that fee-for-service is not going to be successful for us in the long term," said Dennis Weaver, executive vice president for Southwinds, the Advisory Board's consulting arm. "The system for the last 40 years has been that way, and change is hard." The Advisory Board announced Thursday it would work with Rhode Island on a Centers for Medicare Services innovation grant to build new quality care and pay-

All of the payment systems involve using data to avoid errors, watch for trends and provide uniform care.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies about the fiscal 2014 budget Friday on Capitol Hill. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP) ment models. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the government is leading health care reform in those areas, including

Why Your Employer May Drop Your Health-Care Plan No one can predict how many employers will drop health-care coverage in 2014, when the bulk of the Affordable Care Act takes effect. If workers can get affordable health plans on their own next year, though, many more companies may feel it’s safe to stop offering company health benefits in the years that follow.

HealthyStartt (MCJ) April, 2013

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Companies see 2014 as an experiment to watch. “What we’re hearing is larger businesses are going to stand back,” says Robert Hurley, senior vice president for sales and operations at online health insurance marketplace eHealth (EHTH). “Even the small businesses will wait and see.” Fear of backlash from workers keeps many employers from dropping coverage, as Bloomberg reported in December. Tax deductions for health spending also encourage businesses to keep offering benefits. Still, while few admit it publicly, many American companies would love get out of the health insurance business. For employers, providing health insurance is expensive and the cost increases are unpredictable. Their competitors in most other wealthy nations don’t have to bear the same costs: That’s usually the government’s job. Prognosticators have long predicted that Obamacare would drive companies from the group health-care market en masse. The argument never made sense on its face. Companies aren’t required to offer health care now. Many do anyway to attract workers. Why would they drop it precisely as penalties for not offering coverage kick in? One reason is that even companies that provide health benefits can face fines under the law if their plans cost workers too much or don’t provide sufficient coverage. Employers in that situation might drop out rather than buy more expensive policies that meet the law’s standards. A Deloitte study last year suggested 10 per-

with new Medicare payment plans aimed at rewarding cost-effective care. She called the current system "ineffective" and highlighted parts of the 2010 health care law that test new payment models that private industry has adopted. "Medicare was always a kind of drag on the system," she told reporters recently. "Medicare has now become sort of the face of innovation." Nevertheless, industry officials at a meeting of the Partnership for Sustainable Health Care last week said change can happen more quickly. Instead of waiting for Congress to act, the group hopes the forces involved can work on the state level to change payment plans, said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a health care advocacy group. "Our focus is not merely on the federal government," Pollack said. "Our recommendations apply to the private sector, as well as the public sector." Some programs, in both the private and public sectors, are already in place:

cent of employers would stop offering group health plans. A widely criticized McKinsey report from 2011 put the number as high as one-third. The Congressional Budget Office’s latest projections suggest 8 million fewer people will be covered by employer plans five years from now under the ACA than without it. Many of them will get policies through health insurance exchanges instead. (On balance, CBO projects that the law will expand coverage to 27 million of the 58 million people who don’t have health insurance today.) Companies that drop coverage and let workers fend for themselves risk alienating staff. Small businesses in particular, eHealth’s Hurley says, often feel a moral obligation to provide health care. That equation might shift, though, if the ACA’s reforms help individuals find affordable policies on their own. (That’s a big if.) Employers could turn what they pay for health premiums now into cash compensation instead—a predictable cost they would be able to control. (Companies that pair high-deductible health plans with contributions to workers’ health savings accounts have already taken a step in this direction.) Don’t expect too many businesses to make that move in 2014. But if the ones that do aren’t seen as sending workers into the wilderness, more will surely follow. --By Tozz, Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

• Bundled payments: Providers are paid a flat fee per episode, so if a person has heart surgery, the provider earns more money by providing only necessary services, but providers

Pollack's group has suggested that Medicare also consider paying more for cost-effective, evidence-based services than it does for those that data shows cost more for the same results or for weaker outcomes. While Sebelius has said pilot programs that work can be implemented immediately, some in the private sector have asked for faster change, such as payment systems that better incorporate preventive care and wellness programs that include diabetes prevention. Others have asked for better documentation of what works. "There are hundreds of ACOs and we're surveying them for information, but it's not a systematic effort supported by the government to learn as rapidly as we can what works and what doesn't," said Elliott Fisher, director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice. "We need real support from the government." Other experts say parts of the country can't support big changes to the system. "It takes a while, and people need to get used to new product design and new ideas," Michael McCallister said at the National Press Club recently. McCallister is the chairman of Humana health insurance. "There are many parts of this country that are not ready for integrated health care." DeVore said she worries that providers could move to slowly to solve the burgeoning health care cost problem. She said about 80 health systems, or 400 hospitals, are working on ACO programs. --USAToday

Wisconsin lags in sharing mental health records for gun background checks


isconsin has made substantial gains in the number of mental health records it submits to a national database used for background checks on gun purchases. But the Badger State still lags far behind the top-performing states in sharing those records with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), according to a study by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The push to prevent mentally ill people from buying handguns followed the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Wisconsin is hardly alone in being short on its record submissions. Through December 2012, Wisconsin had submitted 10,871 mental health records to the NICS, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. To be on par with the best-performing states, the mayors group has determined Wisconsin would have to submit more than three times as many more records. As the U.S. Senate considers gun control legislation in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre, a major focus centers on that gap between the number of people who have been adjudicated as mentally ill and the corroborating records that have been reported to the national database. Federal law prohibits gun possession among people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, found to be a danger to themselves or others or are mentally unable to manage their own affairs. But the federal government can’t require states to submit mental health records to the NICS. There is wide variation among states in submitting mental health records to the national database, highlighted in a November 2011 report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun-control advocacy group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The records gap came into sharp focus when it was learned a Virginia judge had declared Seung Hui Cho mentally ill two years before he walked onto the Virginia

Tech campus in April 2007 and fatally shot 32 people and wounded 17 others. The court record on Cho had never been entered into the national database, enabling him to pass background checks to buy the guns he used in the deadliest shooting incident by a lone gunman in U.S. history. The case sparked Virginia to close loopholes in its law, and it led to the passage of a federal law to strengthen the mental health record reporting system. Also, 18 states, including Wisconsin, amended their laws to require the submission of mental health records to the NCIS. By October 2011, Virginia ranked highest among states in submissions per 100,000 population with 2,016. The state ranked third in total number of submissions with 161,334. Wisconsin ranked 15th in total submissions with 5,943 as of Oct. 31, 2011, and 17th in submissions per 100,000 residents with 104. Still, four years after the Virginia Tech shooting, four states had submitted no records, 17 had submitted fewer than 10 and 24 had submitted fewer than 100 records to the NICS, according to the Mayors Against Illegal Guns report. A 2012 update found there has been some improvement. “It’s clear that some states are doing better because they’re doing things that matter,” said Mark Glaze, executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “Delaware passed laws, and its performance improved overnight. The state of Pennsylvania clarified what their obligations are. As states focus on problems, you’ll see some of the states that have done an exceptionally poor job at this” start to improve.

The bill would “achieve precisely the opposite of what it claims,” Glaze said. “In fact, it would put more guns in the hands of people who are mentally ill.” The emphasis on the mentally ill population in connection with gun violence raises concern among mental health experts, civil rights advocates and anti-violence activists. They contend there has been a “misguided” focus that further stigmatizes people who are mentally unstable. While the NRA has vigorously opposed virtually all forms of gun control, its chief executive director Wayne LaPierre has called for entering mental health records into the national database.

Marshfield Mayor Chris Meyer, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, supports that argument. Meyer said as a military veteran and gun owner, he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. But he said he also believes universal background checks are overdue. “Background checks have to be expanded to gun shows and even to private transactions,” Meyer said. “I think there can be an exception for Dads giving a gun to a son.” — greenbaypressgazette

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, one of the lead sponsors, called it a “common-sense” approach that would “help keep our communities safe while protecting our Second Amendment rights.” But Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which has more than 900 members, including 20 Wisconsin mayors, opposes the legislation. Glaze said the bill would weaken current law on record submission and lead to the NCIS containing fewer records.

Top health and wellbeing tips to get you refreshed for Spring (continued from page 3) invest in new cookery book or buy a foodie magazine to inspire you?

lower in saturated fat. Skimmed milk also contains just as much calcium as whole milk, which is good for healthy bones. Keep a bottle of water on your desk at work

Look after your skin

Swap coffee with regular milk for skimmed Making small changes can make a real difference. If you like to start the day with a shot of caffeine, swap a regular grande latte for a skinny version using skimmed milk which is

When the weather starts to warm up you need to drink more water so keep a bottle of water on your desk to remind you to drink. Check out the credentials of your lunch Shop bought sandwiches and salads can be high in salt so if you buy a sandwich or salad for lunch look at the nutrition information on pack or see if they provide nutritional information online to see how much salt it contains. Make breakfast count Starting the day with a cereal rich in soluble fibre like porridge or muesli can help control blood cholesterol levels – adding a handful of summer berries will add extra vitamins and help you reach your 5 a day target.


Central heating, comfort eating and winter weather can take its toll on your skin. Prepare it for the summer months by feeding it from within. Studies show that eating highly coloured fruit and vegetables like carrot, plum, apricots butternut squash, can improve the colour and tone of your skin3. Including a multivitamin such as Centrum Women which contains biotin and zinc to support the healthy appearance of your hair and skin as well as selenium which is needed for healthy nails, can also help towards making sure you look your best for summer.

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hile many medical researchers and social theorists have most often focused on the plight of underclass black women, three notable researchers have turned their attention to the impact of racial and gender stressors on African-American expectant mothers who present the image of the "American dream" by virtue of their educational, professional and economic attainment.

network devoted to a social determinants approach to eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes. Dr. Jackson currently serves as a senior fellow at the National Center for Health Behavioral Change, Urban Medial Institute, Morgan State University. Her most recent affiliations also include professorships at the Rollins School of Public Health and the Women's Studies Program, Emory University.

The results of this pioneering, three-year study, "Contextualized Stress, Global Stress, and Depression in Well-Educated, Pregnant, AfricanAmerican Women," published by Fleda Mask Jackson, Ph.D., Diane L. Rowley, M.D., M.P.H., and Tracy Curry Owens, Ph.D., reveal that the shroud of blackness and the mantle of gender are no less impactful on the psyche of middleand upper-class African-American women, despite the prestige and security associated with university degrees, corner offices and money in the bank. The findings suggest that well-educated, pregnant, African-American women are as disproportionately at risk for adverse birth outcomes as their less fortunate "sisters," and that the depression linked to their stress has been established as a significant contributor to poor birth outcomes. The research was supported by generous funding from the Ford Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The 101 women who collaborated in the study were recruited from private practice ob-gyn offices and categorized on the basis of the demographic variables of relationship status, the presence of other children and annual household income. Age was divided into two categories: 20 to 29 and 30 years and older. Education categories included non-college educated (having no college degree) and college-educated (having graduated from a 4-year college). Relationship variables were separated by partner status: married, partnered and nonpartnered. Participants also indicated if they had other children under 18 years of age, or no children. Employment variables were divided into currently employed (full- or parttime job), or unemployed. Lastly, annual household income was divided into three categories: $10,000 to $30,000, $31,000 to $50,000, and above $51,000. The majority of the subjects were college educated, employed, and married or partnered. A cross-sectional study was then conducted utilizing the Jackson, Hogue, Phillips Contextualized Stress Measure (JHP), a measurement of racial and gendered stress, and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), an assessment of global stress, to detect their associations and predictions for depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). The results indicated that 35% of the women had high levels of contextualized stress, 40% reported high levels of global stress, and 23% were deemed to be depressed. Race and gender matter in the lives of African-American women. Their significance provides the context for how these

women experience stress in the places where they live, work, and go about their daily lives. This study further demonstrates the level to which these experiences are inextricably linked to race, gender, and class inequities. While expectant mothers of all persuasions are driven to contemplate the role of parenting, pregnant African-American women also bear the additional and horrendous burden of considering the world into which their children will be born - a world that offers little black and brown babies fewer opportunities for growth and development and greater opportunities to confront the evils of prejudice, bigotry, discrimination and racial profiling. The evidence appears to be indisputable – that AfricanAmerican women from all socioeconomic backgrounds experience higher rates of poor pregnancy outcomes, preterm births, small-for-gestational- age babies, and infant mortality than women from other racial and ethnic groups who are less educated, unemployed, and uninsured. The link between the stress experienced by African American women and depression has implications for postpartum depression and depression across the life course. What is most important about this newest research is that its findings issue a clarion call to health care professionals and local communities about the importance of being responsive to the unique individual and environmental-level stressors that jeopardize the health of an entire community - the expectant mothers, unborn babies, and families of all African-American women, regardless of their educational, professional, social or economic standing. About FLEDA MASK JACKSON, Ph. D., Principal Investigator Scholar, educator and activist, Fleda Mask Jackson, Ph.D., is president and CEO of the national research firm and think tank MAJAICA, LLC, and the leader and creator of Save 100 Babies, a cross-sector

Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure leading cause of Black health disparities (continued on page 2)

(Healthy Start didn’t get an opportunity to question Dr. Kotchen about Dr. Saunders’ position, but the two noted experts did agree in their support for the DASH diet as a factor in lowering high blood pressure. DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Dr. Kotchen explained that the diet is high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber.

HealthyStartt (MCJ) April, 2013

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That latter point is extremely important, says noted cardiologist Elijah Saunders, who is advocating for a more aggressive medical standard for controlling hypertension in African Americans.

The hypertension expert said he didn’t want to mislead anyone into thinking human beings should not consume any salt. Some salt is essential for life.’ But for African Americans, salt intake should be limited. “And they should get their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.” If the reading is over 140/90 mm Hg., consult a doctor immediately. For individuals without health insurance, there are numerous opportunities to obtain a free blood pressure reading from certified nurses and medical facilities, including walk-ins. People can also find free blood pressure machines at Walgreen’s and Hayat Pharmacies.

Dr. Kotchen said it would not hurt to ask the pharmacist of clerk at either or those businesses when the machine had been most recently calibrated to insure they provide an accurate reading. Doctors Kotchen and Saunders also agree that diuretics can play an important role in lowering blood pressure in African Americans. “Diuretics (water pills) are inexpensive but effective,” Dr. Kotchen acknowledged, and “could play a significant role in lowering blood pressure in African Americans with sensitivities to salt. “ The noted physicians would not recommend diuretics as a stand alone medication as some physicians have suggested for individuals without insurance or the means to purchase other high blood pressure medication. But he did say it could play a role in combination with other drugs. “Blood pressure medication as prescribed by physicians is extremely important; the diuretic is generally added on because it helps wash out salt from the system. But by itself it isn’t a cure-all. Just like any medication, it has potential consequences. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor. They will develop a comprehensive program. “You can control blood pressure. Maybe we don’t know all the reasons why African Americans are (more predisposed) to have it, but we do know how to keep it under control.”

A highly regarded lecturer and guest speaker, Dr. Jackson is an alumna of Spelman College with an M.S. in human development and family ecology from the University of Illinois, where she published her thesis on "Socialization Practices Related to Racial Identity Among Black Middle-Class Mothers," and her doctoral dissertation, "The Role of The Black Church in the Socialization and Education of Black Children." With academic preparation in education, psychology, and anthropology, Dr. Jackson has been working with public health departments, private physicians and social agencies across the country to bring attention to the importance of addressing stress and depression in the ways they are experienced by African-American women and toward developing remedies for closing the racial gap in birth outcomes. Dr. Jackson has served as a consultant and advisor for a wide range of organizations that include the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; Center for Excellence in Women's Health, Harvard University Medical School; Ford Foundation (SisterSong); Rhea and Lawton Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, University of South Florida; and Children's Defense Fund. Dr. Jackson currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Health Disparities for the director of the Centers for Disease Control, and recently has been approved by the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. --BlackNews, Atlanta, GA

Two E. coli Cases Linked in Wisconsin; No Known Source

Health officials have detected two cases of the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, and are conducting an investigation to determine the source of the bacteria. “We have two cases of E. coli that have the same fingerprint,” Amy Wergin, public health nurse manager for the Manitowoc County Health Department, told the Herald Times Reporter. “We are trying to discern what the link is between the two,” Wergin said. “Right now, these are the only two in the nation with this fingerprint.” The two illnesses occurred in March, and there have been no other reported infections with this strain of E. coli in the country since then, according to Wergin. The same strain cropped up in four cases about a year ago in May of 2012. Two cases were

in Manitowoc, one was in Brown County, WI and one was in Colorado.

The county health department is conducting the investigation in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, according to the Herald Times Reporter. Symptoms of E. coli infection usually appear 3 to 4 hours after exposure to the bacteria, and include nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, which can turn bloody within about 24 hours of symptoms appearing. If you think you may have contracted an E. coli infection, contact your healthcare provider. © Food Safety News

Last Words for Ray Harmon

A Big Two-Hearted Man


ay called me from the hospital a few months ago. "I'm here at the hospital with my son Dominique," he said, "He's just been transplanted, Jay. He has a new heart, just like me." But I already knew. And I thought back to 2006, to another phone call from Ray, from another hospital. "I'm here at the hospital," he said. "I've just been transplanted, Jay - I have my new heart." Back then, I already knew that, too, because heart transplant is what I do. Hearts, and other organs. So you see, I know something about hearts.

in truth, it was Ray's work that made that happen, because with Ray's help, Milwaukee went from one of the hardest places in the United States to wait for a transplant to one of the best, and in a very short time. And that was Ray, using his big new heart to its fullest. In the middle of that work Rays mother, Mary, passed. And Ray called me that night and said he knew Mary wanted to save lives, and he wanted her to be an organ donor. Ray asked us to help make that happen, and we did, and three lives were saved. And again, that was Ray, using his big new heart to its fullest.

In 2006, when I first came to Milwaukee, I met Ray Harmon at Saint Luke's hospital. He was hooked to an artificial heart as big as a Volkswagen. It was louder than one, too. And for six months Ray pushed his big Volkswagen heart around that hospital floor. Day after day, week after week, and month after month, Ray Harmon pushed that big mechanical heart around the hospital floor while we waited for his new heart. For more than half a year Ray lived at the hospital, hooked to that big mechanical heart by surgical tubes and wires, listening to the engine pump his blood out of his body and back in, while we waited for a donor. And I wondered why God was taking so long to find Ray a new heart. But after I got to know him, I understood. Because to find a heart big enough, and strong enough, and good enough, to keep up with Ray Harmon took quite some time. Even for God. But God always comes through. Ray finally got his big new heart, a real heart, and he walked out of that hospital with a new purpose in life. Ray promised to do good with his second chance at life, and he did. He loved his children, and his mother Mary, and his family and his new wife Pam even more, and even harder. And he thanked the Lord for

The Late Ray Harmon the new life he had been given. But Ray wanted to do one more thing. Ray wanted to help other people give and receive the gift of life - organ donation - just as he had. So he called me again, and said "put me to work." And I did, and he went at it with a stubborn, single-minded determination. Ray traveled, and spoke, and wrote, and created videos and even school programs here in Milwaukee at MPS, always talking about what his new heart meant to him, and why he decided to use his big new heart to work for the gift of life - organ donation. Back then, I had been brought to Milwaukee to make things better for folks waiting for an organ transplant. And things did get better, and many new lives were saved. But

Just before he passed, six years after his own transplant, Ray was able to see his son Dominique receive a second chance at life because Dominique, like Ray, needed a heart transplant to live. Just a few weeks ago, Ray's son Dominique got his own big new heart, a gift of life from the hard work of his father to make organ donation a new reality here in Milwaukee. When Ray called me from Dominique's hospital room, he was proud, and happy, and satisfied. In some ways, I think he felt his work was done. So we should not be sad at Ray Harmon's passing from this world. Ray got a second chance, and a second life. He got his big new heart, and just as he promised, he rolled up his sleeves and he used that heart hard. Over the last six years, Ray Harmon worked so hard, and loved so much, that he used every bit of goodness and love there was in that big new heart, until it just wore out. And last week, having used every beat that big new heart had to give. Ray Harmon finally went home to rest. Tonight, I am here to announce that the organ donor program at Blood Center of Wisconsin is creating a scholarship at MATC to honor Ray Harmon. This scholarship will be another gift from Ray Harmon to the community, an enduring testament to the power of a good man. This scholarship will be a reminder that Ray Harmon was a man who lived a life so full, and had so much to do, that he needed two hearts to get it done.

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BloodCenter of Wisconsin VP, Organ Donor Program (Remarks delivered March 4, 2013 Ray Harmon’s Memorial)

HealthyStartt (MCJ) April, 2013

by Jay Campbell, JD

Church members view health ministry as more desirable source of health information


frican Americans who believe their church is responsible for promoting health in their members and the community are also more willing to attend church-based health fairs, according to a new study in Health Promotion Practice. Medical and faith communities can collaborate with health ministry programs as a way to get health messages out to the broader community and reduce health disparities, say the researchers. "We were surprised at the overwhelming majority of study participants who felt specifically that the church has a responsibility for health promotion— that's a strong statement," said lead study author Adebowale A. Odulana, M.D., an internist and pediatrician at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Ola Akinboboye, Associate Professor of Cardiology at Cornell Weill Medical Center and head of the Association of Black Cardiologists, in his Rosedale, Queens office.

"Many of us who've grown up in the church understand its historical context, and know that churches function beyond spiritual guidance and social support," he said.

Odulana acknowledged that many churches conduct health missions on their own via health ministry, without the presence of an institution or researchers as partners. Health min-

istry was defined as "the group within the church that focuses on the promotion of health and healing as part of the mission and ministry of the larger faith group and the wider community."

ever, if appropriate technical support can be developed for church health ministries, this could be a valuable new resource for reaching African Americans with accurate and authoritative health information," said LaVeist.

The researchers surveyed more than 1,200 members of 11 African American churches in North Carolina about their church attendance, diet, physical activity, beliefs regarding the church's role in health promotion and interest in Bible-based health living. Of the 1,204 congregants who responded to the survey, 72 percent were female, 57 percent were 50 years or older, 84 percent had a high school education or more, and 77 percent had a chronic health condition. The majority of people surveyed said they were more interested in learning about healthy living through interactive workshops led by health ministry programs than from sermons. "I have often been critical of health promotion efforts which seek to reach the black community through churches because while churches are important part of black culture, public health researchers often overestimate the role of the pastor as the mechanism for crafting and presenting health information," said Thomas A. LaVeist, Ph.D., director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study by Odulana and colleagues makes a valuable contribution because it shows that church members view the health ministry as the more desirable source of health information, LaVeist added.

Calling the findings a "potentially powerful motivator," the study authors suggest that a stronger partnership between church leadership and health researchers could potentially reduce the impact of health disparities for African Americans.

"Presumably health ministry members are more knowledgeable than most pastors when it comes to health messages. I imagine this would vary from one church to the next. How-

--SOURCE Health Promotion Practice

Top health and wellbeing tips to get you refreshed for


(continued from page 3)

of protein and minerals such as Zinc which contributes towards healthy, radiant hair and skin. 3. Salsa: Spread a couple of tablespoons over a wholemeal pitta and top with grated cheese before grilling to create a quick, healthy pizza.

HealthyStartt (MCJ) April, 2013

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4. Vacuum packed smoked mackerel: Rich in healthy omega-3 fats, great in a salad or remove the skin and whizz in a blender with a little fromage frais for a quick, healthy pate.

HealthyStart Advertising Telephone


A Healthy Life For a Healthy Community

highly coloured fruit and vegetables like carrot, plum, apricots butternut squash, can improve the colour and tone of your skin3. Including a multivitamin such as Centrum Women which contains biotin and zinc to support the healthy appearance of your hair and skin as well as selenium which is needed for healthy nails, can also help towards making sure you look your best for summer. Swap coffee with regular milk for skimmed

5. Pots of ready-made fruit compote: Stir into plain yoghurt for a quick dessert, blend with some fruit juice to make a smoothie or use as a sauce for frozen yoghurt.

Making small changes can make a real difference. If you like to start the day with a shot of caffeine, swap a regular grande latte for a skinny version using skimmed milk which is lower in saturated fat. Skimmed milk also contains just as much calcium as whole milk, which is good for healthy bones.

Stay active

Keep a bottle of water on your desk at work

No matter what your gender, make the most of the better weather to get out and about. Weight bearing exercising like walking or tennis will help to keep your bones healthy, which is extremely important for women.

When the weather starts to warm up you need to drink more water so keep a bottle of water on your desk to remind you to drink.

Refresh your recipe repertoire

Shop bought sandwiches and salads can be high in salt so if you buy a sandwich or salad for lunch look at the nutrition information on pack or see if they provide nutritional information online to see how much salt it contains.

It's easy to get stuck in a food rut cooking the same few recipes week in week out. Make the most of seasonal produce like asparagus, kale, rhubarb, broccoli, summer berries and soft fruits. Why not invest in new cookery book or buy a foodie magazine to inspire you? Look after your skin Central heating, comfort eating and winter weather can take its toll on your skin. Prepare it for the summer months by feeding it from within. Studies show that eating

Check out the credentials of your lunch

Make breakfast count Starting the day with a cereal rich in soluble fibre like porridge or muesli can help control blood cholesterol levels – adding a handful of summer berries will add extra vitamins and help you reach your 5 a day target.

Skin & Beauty Anti-aging skin treatments:

Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Myth #4: Rich eye creams are the solution for wrinkles

The cosmetic industry has flourished in recent times, with several advertisements and commercials, in a variety of media, constantly focusing on the importance of having beautiful and younger-looking skin. If you're among the ones who desire attractive looks and wish to appear younger than your real age, you must ensure that you are using the right products and following the right regimen. Here, we will discuss some of the most common myths and the truth behind them. Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Myth #1: Sunscreen isn't necessary during winters or cloudy days Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Truth: This is among the most popular myths and a large number of women actually fall for it. Regardless of whether it is sunny or cloudy outside, it is essential to remember that the UV rays emitted by the sun reach the surface of the earth even through thick clouds. Your skin is constantly exposed to risks when you are outdoors during the day, and even on cloudy days, the UV rays still have the potential to inflict unnecessary consequences such as wrinkles and age spots. Constant exposure to the sun's harmful rays can also cause skin cancer, so put on the sunblock every time you leave home and head outdoors.

Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Truth: Most people are of the belief that the price of a product determines its quality. While that is probably true when it comes to some of the latest technological gadgets, it may not really apply to cosmetics. The price is not a factor to consider when purchasing beauty products. Instead, you must check the ingredients used in making a particular product along with their quality, in order to ensure that it's compatible with your skin. Many products are priced slightly lower than others are, and yet deliver good results, even if they are not as expensive as the highend items. Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Myth #3: Washing your face with water and soap will keep your skin healthy Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Truth: As it is often said, "Too much of a thing is never good!" The statement is especially true in the case of skin care treatments. Constantly cleansing the skin on your face, particularly with water and soap, will damage the skin more than nourishing it. The skin requires oils, and washing your face ever so often will simply reduce the level of elasticity and make the skin appear old over time.

f you think even a couple sleepless nights won’t hurt you, think again. Researchers have found as little as two consecutive nights of sleep deprivation can put unhealthy stress on your heart. The findings, reported by medical scientists from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, are based on a study of partial sleep deprivation on eight healthy individuals. The results, presented at an Experimental Biology scientific meeting in Boston this week, showed that just two back-to-back nights of sleep deprivation lead to less healthy function of blood vessels and impaired breathing control.

Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Truth: Eye creams have been made to minimise and prevent wrinkles from appearing around your eyes. However, you shouldn't just choose an eye cream because it is stuffed with expensive ingredients. Several products use harsh chemicals, and expose you to the risk of potentially clogging your pores, irritating the skin, and damaging it.o Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Myth #5: Skin dryness can be eliminated using moisturising soaps Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Truth: Soap, regardless of its manufacturer or ingredients, is still soap. Although some types of soap contain plenty of moisturisers, they still have components that lead to dryness of the skin, after a few hours of use. So, soaps must be used carefully and less frequently. Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Myth #6: Irritation is the stepping-stone to healthy skin

Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Myth #2: Expensive products are excellent antiaging and skin care treatments


Can Hurt Your Heart: Study

Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Truth: Many women who use skin care and anti-aging products believe that the initial irritation experienced by the skin when using a product, ensures positive results in the long run. However, they must remember that there are several effective products with ingredients, which work well on your skin without causing any irritation, peeling or dryness. In fact, effective anti-aging ingredients such as glycolic acid can be used to minimise irritation and maximise results. Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Myth #7: A product for one, is a product for all Anti-Aging Skin Treatments Truth: Skin types vary between all individuals. A product that may work well for one could prove less effective for another. Consulting a dermatologist ensures that a proper regimen is developed, the progress is monitored, and that some changes are made depending on the results you experience. According to a survey carried out by the University of California, around 64 per cent of the female respondents said that they would opt for an anti-aging regimen that followed the guidelines of a physician. Common myths exist in all walks of life, but those without scientific backing must be disregarded, especially when it comes to skin care and anti-aging treatments. Consulting with a skin care specialist is the best option, as it will help you get that perfect, younger-looking skin that every woman desires. Sandy Lee Ronalds is practice manager for Envisage Clinic, a cosmetic clinic located on the Queensland Gold Coast. Sandy is a qualified Paramedical Aesthetician.

The findings may help explain why sleep deprivation is associated with cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and obesity. "If acute sleep loss occurs repetitively over a long period of time, then vascular health could be compromised further and eventually mediate the development of cardiovascular disease," noted lead researcher Keith Pugh.

For the study, the researchers tracked eight healthy adult volunteers, aged 20 to 35 years, whose sleep was restricted to only four hours on each of three consecutive nights. The volunteers underwent tests to see how well their blood vessels accommodated an increase in blood flow — a test of healthy vascular function. Following the first two nights of restricted sleep, the researchers found a significant reduction in vascular function compared to nights of normal sleep. In other tests, the researchers exposed subjects to moderate levels of carbon dioxide, which normally increases the depth and rate of breathing. The results showed breathing control was substantially reduced after the volunteers lost sleep. The researchers later had the study participants sleep 10 hours a night for five nights and found their vascular function and breathing control had improved. Pugh said the findings suggest some people who tend to report sleeping shorter periods, , such as seniors, could be at a higher risk of these negative health effects.

A New Solution That Stops Snoring and Lets You Sleep If you’re like most Americans you probably don’t get eight hours sleep each night. But, if you also constantly feel exhausted, experience headaches for no obvious reason or have high blood pressure, you could have a more serious problem. That’s because these can all be the result of snoring—which is, in turn, the most common symptom of a potentially serious health problem—obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). While most people think of snoring as a minor annoyance, research shows it can be hazardous to your health. That’s because for over 18 million Americans it’s related to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). People who suffer from OSA repeatedly and unknowingly stop breathing during the night due to a complete or partial obstruction of their airway. It occurs when the jaw, throat, and tongue muscles relax, blocking the airway used to breathe. The resulting lack of oxygen can last for a minute or longer, and occur hundreds of times each night. Thankfully, most people wake when a complete or partial obstruction occurs, but it can leave you feeling completely exhausted. OSA has also been linked to a host of health problems including:

4Acid reflux 4Frequent nighttime urination 4Memory loss 4Stroke 4Depression 4Diabetes 4Heart attack People over 35 are at higher risk.

OSA can be expensive to diagnosis and treat, and is not always covered by insurance. A sleep clinic will require an overnight visit (up to $5,000). Doctors then analyze the data and prescribe one of several treatments. These may require you to wear uncomfortable CPAP devices that force air through your nose and mouth while you sleep to keep your airways open, and may even include painful surgery. Fortunately, there is now a far less costly, uncomfortable, and invasive treatment option available. A recent case study published by Eastern Virginia Medical School's Division of Sleep Medicine in the

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eauty may lie in the eye of the beholder, but every woman needs the perfect skin care to radiate her beauty and youth.

Two Bad Nights of Sleep

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine concludes that wearing a simple chinstrap while you sleep can be an effective treatment for OSA. The chin strap, which is now available from a company called MySnoringSolution, works by supporting the lower jaw and tongue, preventing obstruction of the airway. It’s a made from a high-tech, lightweight, and super-comfortable material. Thousands of people have used the MySnoringSolution chinstrap to help relieve their snoring symptoms, and they report better sleeping, and better health overall because of it. --How Life Works

HealthyStartt (MCJ) April, 2013

Skin Care Myths and Truths

African-American mothers urged to breastfeed National initiative boosts awareness of many benefits


eAndra Taylor had to miss breastfeeding classes and the last of Lamaze instruction; little Jourdyn beat his due date by a week and a half.

Now, breastfeeding is hands-on training as Taylor continues a family tradition that her mother practiced with seven daughters and her sisters have done, too. Even with that background, she had been a bit iffy on the topic.

key ingredient for comfort in new moms, Lloyd noted. Not all new moms come armed with that; some even face family barriers to breastfeeding. A new national public education campaign aims to provide more backup and boost awareness among African American women of breastfeeding’s importance and associated benefits. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched “It’s Only Natural” this week. While breastfeeding rates among African American women have improved in recent decades — up to almost 55 percent from 35 percent in the 1970s, HHS says — they remain lower than rates among other ethnicities in the U.S., particularly in the South. Tips, practical information, emotional support from peers and education on breastfeeding’s’ benefits and how it fits into daily life are all part of the campaign, relayed in video testimonials, myth-busting education, radio spots, fact sheets and more.

DeAndra Taylor of Jackson strokes her newborn, Jourdyn, 1 day, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. / Rick Guy/The Clarion-Ledger Her own research and her doctor’s insight “made me say, well, it’s the best for my baby so that’s what I should do,” Taylor said as Jourdyn snoozed bedside in her room at University of Mississippi Medical Center’s (UMC) Weiser Hospital for Women and Infants. She reported progress so far and some soreness. “I’m used to it kind of now. I’ve done it a couple of times. And he’s better at it.” “It takes a little bit of time. It’s a process,” high-risk neonatal registered nurse and lactation specialist Cheryl Lloyd reassured her. “Breastfeeding doesn’t always just happen overnight,” with habits to learn, growth spurt changes and other things expected down the line.

HealthyStartt (MCJ) April, 2013

Page 10

A cultural background in breastfeeding is a

Support from all sectors — health care providers and hospitals, family and friends, workplace and community — is needed, and benefits are a huge return on that investment with healthier babies and ultimately healthier adults, supporters say.

“You’re not just giving the infant a good start. You are giving this baby benefits for a lifetime,” said Lloyd, who is also president of the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition. It’s not a guarantee, but research shows in comparison with formula-fed babies, breastfed babies have fewer doctor visits, hospitalizations, less upper respiratory problems and more, she added.

Gene May Help Identify Risk of Alzheimer’s In African Americans


esearchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida participated in a nationwide study that found minor differences between genes that contribute to lateonset Alzheimer’s disease in African-Americans and in Caucasians. The study, published April 10 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, was the first to look at the genetics of a large number of African-Americans diagnosed with this common form of Alzheimer’s disease (1,968 patients) compared to 3,928 normal elderly AfricanAmerican control participants. The Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium conducted the study, which included Mayo Clinic in Florida investigators Neill R. Graff-Radford, M.D., and Nilufer Ertekin-Taner, M.D., Ph.D. They provided genetic samples and data from their Alzheimer’s disease databank. The study found that the most common risk factor in these African-American patients was the APOE gene, which is also true for Caucasians with the disorder. In addition, another gene, ABCA7, which was discovered to be a risk locus for Caucasians, was also a significant risk factor in African-American patients.

For Carolyn Cox of Bude, it’s the one thing she can do at this point for her premature twin girls in intensive care. Lloyd showed her how the breast pump worked, so she can provide milk that can be fed to the babies, even as little as a fraction of a teaspoon at a time for babies that tiny — not even 2 pounds at birth.

The study concluded that association with variants at the ABCA7 gene increased the risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease approximately 1.8-fold in these AfricanAmerican patients compared to 1.1-fold to 1.2-fold in individuals of European ancestry, although the biologic implications of this difference remains to be established.

The new mother hadn’t planned on breast-

Still, these differences may not fully explain the genetic basis for development of Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers say.

(continued on page 12)

The disorder is believed to arise from a number of different genes along with environmental influences. “While they require replication in an independent African-American cohort, these findings imply that at least some of the genetic factors that lead to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease are shared between the two ethnic groups,” says Dr. ErtekinTaner. But the researchers also acknowledge that the seemingly greater influence of ABCA7 gene in African-Americans might contribute in some important, and as yet unknown, way to the disease, and it may have implications for developing targets for genetic testing, prevention, and treatment. “These are early days in our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease in this group, and in others,” says Dr. Neill Graff-Radford. Dr. Ertekin-Taner adds: “It should be noted that these genetic association studies cannot identify the actual variant within the ABCA7 gene that causes the actual biologic change which ultimately confers risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, further studies are needed to determine whether the same functional variants or different ones are operating in these two ethnic groups. This knowledge may be critical in drug and biomarker development efforts.” “The importance of this study is that it is proof-of-principle study in this understudied population and may pave the wave for future larger studies in African-Americans, as well as encourage similar studies in other non-Caucasian ethnic groups,” says Dr. Ertekin-Taner. --Mayo Clinic, The Journal of the American Medical Association


To reach One Million Persons


his year the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) has an ambitious goal to reach one million people for its annual Father's Day Rally. PHEN is strategically partnering with Black churches nationwide to increase participation. Milwaukee is one of our target cities. Now – June 16, 2013 Prostate Cancer Rally to Reach One Million Persons on Father’s Day

The Largest Effort Ever to Focus on Black America Nationwide – The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) is launching its "Fifth Annual Father's Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer" with an ambitious goal of reaching one million persons. Milwaukee is one of he city’s being targeted for this historic event. This will be the largest and most visible prostate cancer education and awareness effort ever undertaken with a focus on Black America. The Rally will be held on Sunday, June 16, in partnership with churches nationwide during their regular church services. Prostate cancer survivors within each congregation along with family members of those who have lost loved ones to the disease will be recognized and join hands in prayer for healing. In 2012, the Rally reached approximately 200,000 persons based on the total membership of the churches that participated. This year, PHEN will augment the Rally with prostate cancer educational symposiums in selected cities on the Saturday before Father's Day (June 15th). The symposiums will be hosted by a church partner within each city serving as a magnet site. PHEN industry partners, members of its national survivor network, and local health providers will play integral roles in these educational activities. "PHEN’s Annual Father’s Day Rally has proven to be an effective education and awareness outreach initiative for African American families who are the ones most impacted by prostate cancer. Because of these urgent needs, it is imperative that we build on our success and increase outreach efforts this year," said PHEN founder and President Thomas A. Farrington. Church partnerships which have been developed and nurtured across all denominations are the key to PHEN’s Father’s Day Rally success. “Congregations within the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church have actively participated in the Father’s Day Rally since its inception,

and we look forward to participating in the Rally’s expansion in size and scope this year,” states Rev. Natalie Mitchem, Executive Director of the AME Connectional Health Commission. The AME Church has a membership of approximately three million persons within the United States and around the world. Black men die at a rate 2.5 times higher than men of all other ethnic and racial groups in the United States. This disparity led the US Senate, in July 2012, to pass a resolution recognizing prostate cancer to be of epidemic proportions among African American men. However, there has been significant confusion among the public caused by the ongoing debate about PSA screening and over-treatment. Simultaneously, a number of new prostate cancer treatments have been approved and there is a flurry of clinical trial activity that will undoubtedly lead to more treatment breakthroughs along with new procedures for detecting and managing prostate cancer. “We recognize the enormous challenge in achieving our Rally’s goal this year, however, Black America must become knowledgeable about new developments and fully engaged in order to eliminate the current epidemic, and not be overlooked and risk a worsening condition. The Rally’s success is a significant opportunity for forward progress.” states Farrington. All churches nationwide are invited to partner with PHEN by participating in the “Fifth Annual Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer.” Church registration is now open. To register and for additional information visit: p. Prostate cancer survivors play a crucial role in the success of the Rally by mobilizing their churches and communities around this effort. PHEN is appealing to all prostate cancer survivors, and their family members, to join in to support and help lead the Rally in meeting its one million person goal. All are invited to join the PHEN Survivor Network. PHEN was founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor and author, with a mission to eliminate the African American prostate cancer disparity. PHEN’s ongoing initiatives include: Monthly support

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare to Host the first Milwaukee Area Health Care Systems Diversity and Health Equity Conference

Fred Hobby, Jr., president and CEO of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, will serve as conference moderator. Hobby is a nationally-known expert on developing tools and resources to enhance diversity in our nation's hospitals, and helping health care organizations with diversity activities. Panel discussions with a variety of representatives from participating health care organizations will share their strategies and best practices in the patient expe-

Get Yourself Tested campaign

MADISON — The fifth annual GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign kicks off in April (National STD Awareness Month) with online and on-the-ground initiatives in Wisconsin and across the country. GYT is a national campaign designed to promote sexual health and address the high rates of STDs among those under 25. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in the United States, especially among young people. There are now about 20 million new infections in the United States each year, half among the under 25 age group — even though they represent only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population. “Getting tested is simply a basic part of staying healthy and taking control of your health. Many STIs cause no symptoms, so the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested,” said Meg Robertson, Director of Clinical Services and Nurse Practitioner. “We know that when not treated, STDs can increase the risk of infertility and cervical cancer — but that virtually all STDs, including HIV, are treatable and many are curable. The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get treated.” During the month of April, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will offer free STD testing at all family planning clinics statewide. In addition, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will mark the month by many outreach activities that serve to raise awareness about being safe, healthy and responsible to avoid STD’s and unintended pregnancy. Planned Parenthood health centers offer low-cost STD testing throughout the year, and their doors are open to everyone. “Getting tested is easier than ever before. For example, rapid HIV tests can provide results in as fast as 20 minutes,” said Meg Robertson. “Once you know your status, you can take action to stay healthy and protect yourself against future STDs. We want everyone — men, women, and young people — to lead the healthiest lives possible.” During last year’s GYT campaign, Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide tested over 332,000 men and women and Planned Parenthood affiliates held nearly 300 events reaching over 14,000 people. In Wisconsin alone, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin performed 1,419 Gonorrhea tests, 2,540 Chlamydia tests, and 1,092 HIV tests in April during GYT. In addition to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s GYT campaign, Planned Parenthood’s Community Education team will be providing answers to sexual health questions via text line. Individuals can text “safersex” to 69866, and receive a prompt to send their questions. “STD testing, education, and prevention together will help Wisconsin be a safer, healthier and stronger state,” said Robertson. “Planned Parenthood works hard every day to ensure women and families have access to the vital health care they need and this just another example of our work.” As part of the effort to create the healthiest generation ever, Planned Parenthood works every day to reduce the high rates of sexually transmitted disease through education, testing, and treatment. Every year, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin provides health care to 70,000 patients.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is hosting the first Milwaukee Area Health Care Systems Diversity and Health Equity Conference on April 18 at the hopsital’s Wauwatosa Campus. The conference is a collaboration of area organizations coming together to strategize to meet the diverse needs of patients and communities in greater Milwaukee. Participants include Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Aurora Health Care, Columbia St. Mary’s Health System, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Health, and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The fifth annual GYT:

rience, strategic diversity management, diversity recruitment, diversity and cultural competence education, language access, and addressing health equity. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is a Catholic, not-for-profit organization with more than 100 health and shelter organizations in Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, and Illinois. Started by the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters more than 130 years ago and formally incorporated in 1983, the system has corporate services offices in Wheaton, Illinois and Glendale, Wisconsin.

The award-winning GYT campaign focuses on getting sexually active Americans under age 25 to embrace STD testing as part of a healthy, productive life. Launched in 2009 by a partnership between MTV, the Kaiser Family Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the CDC, it is supported by a broad range of organizations, state and local health departments, colleges and universities, and other community groups and non-profits. GYT public service messages air throughout the year on MTV channels with cross promotions with health centers and community organizations. Extensive information resources, including a dedicated website (, provide information about common STDs, talking tips, and a zip code locator to find local testing locations.

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African-American mothers urged to breastfeed (continued from page 10) feeding, but made that decision “after my babies were born premature, and I realized that was the best option for them because of their weight,” Cox said, with “more nutrients in the milk for the baby.” Antibodies from the mother’s system in breast milk provide added protection that formula or a bag of antibiotics can’t, Lloyd said. “For the premature baby, it makes a huge difference,” with less necrotizing enterocolitis (in which the gut tissue becomes infected and starts dying off) and, if mom is visiting frequently in ICU, protection against the same germs the baby is exposed to. Arrangements with the WIC program will

allow the new mom to borrow a breast pump for milk that she can freeze and bring to UMC for her babies. UMC’s lactation program recently received an award in a global recognition program. UMC is also among 90 hospitals nationwide participating in the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality and Centers for Disease Control’s Best Fed Beginnings, to improve breastfeeding rates, said Kim Rowzee, manager for the lactation department. “We’ve had some success, with just the few things we’ve done in just in the last six months.” The hospital is pursing a “BabyFriendly” designation, an effort that can take years as a cultural change takes place. Among the steps to successful breastfeeding are such things as having the baby “room-in"

and putting babies bare skin-to-skin with mothers right after birth. “We’re talking birth to chest basically,” Rowzee said. “When you do that, the baby’s natural instinct is to root and try to latch on. So they start doing that and then the women are like, ‘maybe I can breastfeed’ and they’ll try.” “It’s very nurturing,” Taylor said of that experience with her baby. “I think it comforts him more ... I guess because he’s so used to being in the womb. He relaxes more and gets a better feed like that.” A couple of upcoming benefits — a Flapjack Fundraiser at Applebee’s in Madison May 4 and A Night with the Braves May 18 — will raise money in an ongoing campaign to develop the medically-supported and professionally-staffed Mother’s Milk Bank of

Mississippi that will enable mothers to donate breast milk and have it available for premature babies. For more information, visit While breastfeeding is an individual choice, there are many facets that can make that an easier decision for moms to start and continue. “It’s a nationwide issue. When moms don’t get the support they need so that they even see breastfeeding as an option for them, much less continuing to breastfeed after they return to work, we all pay a price for that,” said Kendall Cox (no relation to Carolyn Cox), co-director of the Mississippi-based nonprofit Every Mother Inc. and a lactation consultant. --The Clarionledger

MCJ HealthStart April 2013 Edition  
MCJ HealthStart April 2013 Edition  

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