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Health Disparities Collaboratives

Health Disparities Collaboratives

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Reducing disparities in health outcomes for poor, minority, and other underserved people.

Health disparity is a term used to describe an increase in morbidity or mortality in a US subpopulation compared to the overall rate. It reflects a complex interplay of inadequate access to care, insufficiently addressed cultural factors in care, and unresolved adherence issues in care completion. Some of these "health disparities" have been measured in the US population as part of national data gathering on health care. Disparity areas include diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, HIV, cancer, infant mortality, depression, and immunization status. Ethnic and racial minorities experience the highest rates of health disparities compared to the majority US population; migrant farmworkers are a subset of this group.

The Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) strategy to eliminate disparities in health and to succeed in offering full access to care is a process referred to as a Health Disparity Collaborative. The Collaborative experience, now in its fifth year, includes over 300 migrant and community health centers and over 65,000 patients. With a combination of learning sessions, Internet communication, conference calls, and tested improvement models, the Collaboratives promote rapid cycle, sustainable improvement. MCN serves as a national partner to the Collaboratives, and as such participates as faculty for BPHC by teaching, planning, developing, and collaborating with faculty and teams across the nation.

What does MCN have to offer?

Innovation is one of MCN's strengths. Through the Collaboratives, MCN has designed resource packs for patients and providers on the care of diabetes and cardiovascular health. We have developed cultural competency training that is practical, relevant, and adaptable for Collaborative teams. Monographs on pharmaceutical access and mental health needs are available in addition to diabetes resources. MCN links teams with promotora (lay health workers) programs, language resources, and migrant clinics. All of our resource development stems from our history and dedication to the health of America's farmworkers but is applicable to the wider community of underserved, mobile, and immigrant populations. Homeless and migrant patients have a number of shared issues, and MCN is proud to be a partner with the Healthcare for the Homeless Clinicians Network.

The Health Network Program

MCN's unique Health Network tracking programs provide opportunites for provider to enroll their mobile patients and have their medical records automatically transferred to all sites where they receive care, thus improving continuity. Patients also receive case management and resource support in order to enable regular health access.

Reaching the Underserved eNewsletter

Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) Clinicians' Network and Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) are pleased to welcome you to this edition of our joint e-newsletter, Reaching the Underserved: Connecting Mobile & Homeless People to the Health Disparities Collaborative. HCH Clinicians' Network and MCN serve as National Partners to the HRSA Health Disparities Collaboratives. This Spring newsletter focuses on the fresh ideas and opportunities that are part of this season. Now is the time to shake off the gray of winter and plan to spring forward not just with the clocks, but with our programs. We'll highlight ways you can clear the ground to really impact the health of migrating and homeless populations, plant ideas and programs for now and next season, and expect more from your collaborative efforts in reporting and resource development. Find out how you can help expecting moms, too! (And honor your own mom.)

For More Information

For more information on MCN or mobile populations contact Jennie McLaurin.