A Newsletter for the HHQI Underserved Populations (UP) Network            
October 2013 


UP Network Announcements  


There will be two UP Network Webinars in the month of October. Below is the listing of events for October. Registration is now open for both the October 9 and October 23 webinars - click here or on the date of each session.



Challenges and Opportunities in Advancing Health Equity:  Awareness of the Economic Case for Health Disparity Reduction 

  • Look at the national economic burden of health inequalities affecting health care, including segregation, poverty tracts, life expectancy, etc., and an overview of system changes needed to eliminate the inequalities.

Speakers:  Dr. Brian Smedley, Vice President and Director, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and Dr. Shanta WhitakerSenior Medicare Disparities Analyst, Delmarva Foundation  


Registration is now open!


Webinar:  10/23/13 @3 - 4  pm (ET)


Reducing Health Disparities through Organizational Cultural Competence 
  • Explore cultural competency and what it means to be a culturally competent organization - both legal (e.g., Joint Commission, CLAS Standards, Title IV) and social implications (e.g., improving patient experience).  Review key culturally competent areas of an organization to improve patient outcomes and staff relations. 
Speaker:  Marcos Pesquera, Executive Director at the Centers on Disparities - Adventist HealthCare, Inc.

Registration is now open! 


You can also listen to archived UP Events here. 

UP News & Highlights

 October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Eight women born today in the U.S. will get breast cancer at some point in their life. Breast cancer is the #2 type of cancer for women following skin cancer.
Black Women Die 40% More Often from Breast Cancer than White Women
Even though more white women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, black women have the highest death rates of all racial and ethnic groups. Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Key reasons for the differences are having more aggressive types of cancer and fewer social and economic resources. To improve this disparity, black women need more timely follow-up and improved access to high-quality treatment.
Mammogram rates are now even, but follow-up and treatment are where the inequalities remain. After cancer is found, treatment should start as soon as possible.  
  • Only 69% of black women start treatment within 30 days (compared with 83% of white women).
  • Fewer black women receive the surgery, radiation, and hormone treatments they need compared to white women.
  • Black women have 9 more deaths per 100 breast cancers diagnosed compared to white women.
Read more on this underserved issue in the CDC's Vitalsigns (November 2012)
USPSTF Recommends New Guidelines on Chemoprevention for Breast Cancer
The U.S. Prevention Services Task Force (USPSTF) published the final recommendations in September (2013) supporting the use of chemoprevention for women who are at-risk for breast cancer. The research supports evidence at a grade B level - "high certainty that the net benefit is moderate or there is moderate certainty that the next benefit is moderate to substantial." This recommendation is also supported by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and National Institute of Clinical Excellence (England).
The recommendation is to offer the option of preventative medications such as tamoxifen or raloxifene in women who are at-risk and never had breast cancer. Serious side effects of the medications need to be discussed before selecting the chemoprevention option.  Click here to read more.
UP Opportunity
The Visiting Nurses Association of America (VNAA) launches VNAA Blueprint for Excellence:  Pathway to Best Practice. This is a free online resource for quality improvement and workforce training and development. It includes research and practice-based tools and training, as well as measurement and evaluation resources to guide home health care practices. Currently there are four modules--Care Initiation, Clinical Conditions, Patient Engagement and Patient Safety that cover 10 topics.
This web-based tool is easy to use, easy to access, and available any time. The tool can be accessed at www.vnaablueprint.org.

Tools/Resources of the Month


Breast Cancer Awareness e-Tools


Quality Insights of Pennsylvania highlights some electronic Breast Cancer Awareness tools that you can use for your staff (include office staff). Keeping your staff healthy is just as important as the health of your patients.  Use any of these tools to get the word out about mammograms (including recommends of age and frequency). Included in the toolkit are:

  • E-cards (send an email to all your female staff) 
  • Twibbons (adding a ribbon to your twitter account)
  • Tweets (samples provided)
  • Web badge (place on your agency website)
  • Sample newsletter article (agency newsletter, listserv, or press release to local paper)
CDC Resources


For more information or to suggest future UP topics or speakers, please contact us at hhqi@wvmi.org.
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Click here for more information about the HHQI National Campaign.