Center for Minority Health Services
Prepared by National Association of State
Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH)
Doris Turner, Chief
Center for Minority Health Services
Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street, 5th Floor
Springfield, IL 62761
Phone: (217) 785-4311
Fax: (217) 558-7181
Website: http:// www.basuah.org
The Center for Minority Health Services was created by law (H.B. 1216) in September 1991. Its chief reports directly to the director of public health. As of January 1996, the State Refugee and Immigrant Health Screening Program were transferred to the Center for Minority Health Services. In the late 1980s, the director of public health requested a report on the status of minority health in Illinois. As a result, in April 1990, the state published its Minority Health Report. The report was provided to the legislature which supported the establishment of the Center for Minority Health Services. The establishment of the Center for Minority Health Services (CMHS) through legislation gave it a sense of permanency. Having direct access to the director of public health also gives the center the status and authority to fulfill its mission.
The Center for Minority Health Services was created as a vehicle for implementing change, and designed to assess the health concerns of minority populations in Illinois and to assist in the creation and maintenance of culturally and linguistically appropriate programs. To achieve this goal, the CMHS works within the Department of Public Health and coordinates with other relevant federal, state, and local entities to heighten the awareness of minority health issues and to increase culturally and linguistically competent services and programs throughout the state.
Minority Health Advisory Panel
The Minority Health Advisory Panel was established in June 1994 to advise the Department of Public Health on issues of concern to minority residents. Members, appointed by the director of Public Health, consist of health professionals, healthcare providers, educators, and community members, and represent all minority groups statewide. The committee is charged with: a) expanding access to health care providers; b) organizing relationships between units within the department and minority groups; and c) developing multicultural, collaborative and innovative approaches to assist the department in addressing minority health issues.
The Minority Health Advisory Panel and the Center for Minority Health Services have co-produced two reports on the health status of minorities in Illinois, completed intensive reviews of Department of Public Health Programs that significantly impact the state’s minority populations, and worked collaboratively with appropriate stakeholders to enhance the department’s programs, initiatives, and the health status of Illinois’ communities of color.
HIV/AIDS Communities of Color Initiative
The Illinois HIV/AIDS Communities of Color Initiative was developed to address the disproportional HIV/AIDS rates among African Americans and Hispanic populations within Illinois. HIV/AIDS case rates among communities of color are the highest among all racial/ethnic groups in Illinois, and the current, and continuing, higher rates among these groups indicate that they are disproportionately affected by HIV disease. Programs within Illinois HIV/AIDS Communities of Color Initiative include:
▪ HIV/AIDS Outreach, Education, and Testing Projects - Developed to address the need for HIV prevention, education, testing, and care programs targeting communities of color, the Center for Minority Health Services partners with community and faith-based organizations that have the capacity to reach the target population by developing and implementing programs that are science-based yet culturally innovative and unique. The goal of this project is to increase the number of high-risk individuals from the target population who test for HIV and return for their HIV test results and increase the number of HIV positive individuals from the target population who are linked into HIV/AIDS care and treatment services within forty-eight hours of their HIV diagnosis.
▪ Illinois HIV Reintegration Program – In collaboration with the Illinois Department of Corrections the Illinois HIV Reintegration program provides HIV prevention and case management linkages to HIV positive individuals returning to Illinois communities from Illinois Department of Correction facilities and other appropriate Illinois correctional facilities. The program also provides related services to the partners of clients.
▪ Business and Labor Responds to AIDS – A private-public project in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and the business community that provides HIV/AIDS prevention messages to customers in a variety of non-intrusive ways.
· Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS (BASUAH) - BASUAH is a comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness campaign targeting the African-American community to address the health disparity this population experiences with regard to HIV/AIDS. The awareness campaign focuses on prevention programs, awareness, education, and testing. The Center for Minority Health Services partners with community based, faith based and educational organizations to provide HIV/AIDS educational materials, screening and referral services in both a non-traditional and innovative manner.
· AIDS Drugs Assistance Program - Minority AIDS Program - The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) provides free medications for the treatment of HIV/AIDS and opportunistic infections. The drugs provided through ADAP can help people with HIV/AIDS to live longer and treat the symptoms of HIV infection. The Center for Minority Health Services utilizes all of its current outreach methods to educate individuals regarding the program and provide opportunities for application assistance.
Breast and Cervical Cancer Communities of Color Initiative (Stand Against Cancer)
The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Communities of Color Initiative was developed to address the high incidence of breast and cervical cancer deaths among African American and Hispanic/Latino women in Illinois. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women throughout communities of color. We do not know what causes breast cancer but we do know that awareness and early screenings through mammography aid in identifying this cancer at an early stage, when it is most treatable. The mortality rate for women throughout communities of color afflicted with cervical cancer is nearly double that of white women. Through education, awareness and early screenings, cervical cancer is preventable.
The Stand Against Cancer Initiative (SAC) is a collaboration between Illinois churches, faith-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, community organizations and the American Cancer Society with the mission of reducing racial and economic disparities in access to breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment. SAC performs outreach to uninsured or underinsured African-American and Hispanic women throughout Illinois communities through religious and community organizations and refers them to partnering hospitals and clinics for medical care. If an abnormality is found women are referred to the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) for follow-up treatment and case management services at no cost.
Prostate Cancer Communities of Color Initiative
The age adjusted incidence and mortality rate for Black males is higher than for white males for all cancers, but especially higher in colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers that represent 60% of all cancer cases. Studies show that Black men are being diagnosed at later stages of cancer disease than their white counterparts resulting in higher death rates. Black men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world; their incidence rate is 60% higher than in white males and the mortality rate for African American men with prostate cancer is 133% higher than white men. Education, awareness, screening, and early detection of cancer/cancerous cells increases survival rates.
In collaboration with community based and faith based organizations the Prostate Cancer Communities of Color Initiative provides prostate cancer outreach, education, and screening services to African American and Hispanic/Latino men forty and over through innovative and unique methods in both group and individual settings.
American Indian Health Service HIV Outreach
In collaboration with local faith based and community based organizations the American Indian Health Service HIV Outreach Program provided culturally specific and developmentally appropriate HIV/AIDS outreach, education, testing services targeting American Indians residing throughout the greater Chicago and Chicago suburban area.
Wellness on Wheels Initiative
The Wellness on Wheels Initiative was developed to address the lack of access to preventative health care for medically underserved communities of color. The Wellness on Wheels program is a statewide program with five fully operational mobile units. The mobiles, headquartered in Champaign-Urbana, in the eastern region of Illinois; O’Fallon, in the southern region of Illinois; Springfield, in the central region of Illinois; Grand Chain, in the far southeastern region of Illinois; and Joliet, in the northern region of Illinois, provide a variety of services. The Wellness on Wheels program offers HIV prevention, counseling, testing, referral, and partner counseling referral services, urine screening for gonorrhea and Chlamydia, a blood test for syphilis, blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screening, a blood test to screen for prostate cancer, and referrals to the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). These services are provided through collaborative partnerships with local health departments, hospitals, clinics, community based organizations, and other organizations that are certified and licensed to provide clinical services.
Refugee and Immigrant Health Screening Program
The Refugee and Immigrant Health Screening Program coordinates the provision of health screenings to Illinois refugees and Orderly Departure Program immigrants through the identification, treatment and follow-up of observed health problems. Funds provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement and the Illinois Department of Human Services are used to coordinate and manage the state program which includes the participation of four local health departments and three
health care centers and provides for interpreters and language appropriate printed materials to refugees that resettled throughout Illinois.
Bilingual Nurse Consortium
The Center for Minority Health Services is one of the founding members of the Bilingual Nurse Consortium that assists foreign trained nurses, currently in the U.S., into the workforce by facilitating their licensure, as well as providing various support services to expedite their (re) entry into the workforce. This program was established to assist foreign nurses meet licensure requirements after it was discovered that a substantial number of them living in Illinois were unsuccessful in obtaining licensure. In the first year, the pilot program graduated 22 nursing candidates who completed a twelve- month intense licensure preparation course. The consortium has successfully removed many barriers to licensure by either legislative or regulatory action.
Asian Health Coalition in Illinois (ACHI)
Comprising more than twenty Asian organizations, the mission of the ACHI is to improve the health and well being of Asians in Illinois through the development of an Asian health agenda. A catalyst for the creation of the first Asian Health Coalition in Illinois (AHCI), the Center for Minority Health Services is a co-sponsor of “Working Together for Healthier Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities: Capacity-Building in the Midwest” conference.
Annual Special Projects
· Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
· Black Church Week of Prayer
· Minority Health Month
· Dia Del Nino
· HIV Counseling and Testing Day
· Take a Loved One for a Check-up Day
· National Latino Awareness Day
· Breast Cancer Awareness Month
· World AIDS Day
Year Federal State
The Center for Minority Health Services is staffed by a Chief, a Special Assistant for Hispanic Affairs, Refugee Health Screening Program Administrator, Public Service Administrator, and an Administrative Assistant.