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Honey Brown Hope Foundation Rakes in National, State and Local Recognition

Honey Brown Hope Foundation Rakes in National, State and Local Recognition

Honey Brown Hope Foundation

Houston, TX — The Honey Brown Hope Foundation, a nationally recognized, award-winning 501(c)3 non-profit that has served youth and their families for over two decades, announced today that it is thankful this holiday season for recently being recognized for its civil rights

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Community Empowerment: Black Chambers of Commerce Where Is My Patronage?

Community Empowerment: Black Chambers of Commerce Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- Back in September I wrote an article entitled, Voter Suppression: Creating Black Wealth.  The impetus for that article was a commentary written by Earl G. Graves, Sr., Publisher of Black Enterprise. 

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Employees of Small, Locally-Owned Businesses Have More Company Loyalty

Employees of Small, Locally-Owned Businesses Have More Company Loyalty

loyalty to employers

Employees who work at small, locally owned businesses have the highest level of loyalty to their employers — and for rural workers, size and ownership of their company figure even more into their commitment than job satisfaction does

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The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters.  

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Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Abuse in the Workplace

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal

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The Decision to Handle Rejection

The Decision to Handle Rejection

Rev. Manson B. Johnson

The Big Idea: Endurance is the key to achieving challenging goals in life.“Man’s rejection can be God’s direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment–where we wouldn’t have thought of going on our own.  

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Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Print Subscription

 Greater Diversity News (GDN) is a statewide publication with national reach and relevance.  We are a chosen news source for underrepresented and underserved communities in North Carolina.  

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Dr. Satcher Warns States to Expand Access to Dental Care for Poor Children

Written by By Dr. David Satcher, America’s Wire Writers Group on 01 October 2012.

ATLANTA - As states wrangle with whether or not to pursue Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, they should look carefully at the serious implications for oral health, especially for poor and minority children if Medicaid services are not expanded as originally envisioned under the ACA.

Twelve years ago, as Surgeon General of the United States, I issued a report calling attention to the profound disparities in oral health care across the country.  I called it a silent epidemic.  Twelve years later, some progress has been made, and it is no longer silent – but for many across the country, it is still a serious epidemic causing pain and harm to millions of poor and minority children.  For instance, data from Georgia exemplifies the challenges that poor and minority children face in getting access to appropriate dental care.

In 2008, 15.9 percent of Georgians did not have health insurance and almost half – 41.5 percent – did not have dental insurance (Georgia Population Survey 2008).  In 2007, visits to Georgia emergency rooms for preventable dental disease cost more than $23 million.  The proportion of children with untreated tooth decay has dropped from 27 percent in 2005 to 19% in 2011, but that still means that close to a fifth of our state’s children suffer unnecessary pain and health risks for something that is truly preventable.  The majority of these children are poor or minority or can’t see a dentist because of financial or geographic reasons.

When I issued my report, tooth decay was the single most common chronic childhood disease – five times more common than asthma.  It still is.  There were striking disparities in dental disease across the country.  There still are.  Thirty-seven percent of African American children and 41 percent of Hispanic children have untreated tooth decay, compared with 25 percent of white children.  More than 50 million Americans live in areas where dentists do not practice and millions more can’t gain access due to cost reasons.

It is time to get serious and pursue the framework for action that I set forth in my 2000 report.  All health care professionals need to understand that good oral health means more than sound teeth.  The mouth is really a window to the whole body.  Oral health affects everything from the ability to speak, eat or smile.  Poor oral health is linked to heart disease, stroke and other long-term illnesses.  We need to engage other health professions in working to prevent oral disease.

As a country, we have made great strides in prevention, particularly with fluoride and sealants.  But many do not have regular access to a dentist or school-based programs that offer some preventive care.  That is why it is critical to expand access by seeking innovation on a number of fronts: in oral health policies, how we train our providers, exploring the creation of new dental providers, and building a cadre of ethnically-diverse, culturally-competent dental practitioners, as well as expanding the reach of the dental team with other health care professionals.

The country has a great opportunity to increase access to dental care under the ACA, which calls for extending oral health benefits to an additional five million children in 2014.  Expansion of coverage, however, won’t translate into access to care if we don’t have enough providers to meet the need. Currently just 20 percent of practicing dentists treat Medicaid patients.  How can we provide services to an additional five million children in 2014?

States need to think about this now.  States should explore all options that could expand access to care, including allowing midlevel dental providers such as dental therapists to practice.  They are trained to provide routine services, freeing up dentists to attend to more complicated procedures.  These practitioners already work in Alaska and Minnesota.  And in just a number of years, they have been able to expand access in Alaska alone to an additional 35,000 people who could not get regular care in their own communities.

It is imperative that everyone have access to the dental care they need.  Different professionals can provide different, yet appropriate, levels of service.  Our concern and approach to a solution ought to focus first on the patient, not the dental profession.  We have an opportunity with the ACA to expand access.  Will the medical and dental communities be ready?

(Dr. David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., is a  public health administrator, who served simultaneously as the 10th Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the 16th Surgeon General of the United States. America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our stories can be republished free of charge by newspapers, websites and other media sources. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com.)