Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc. (SHIRE) has a 12- year history of advocacy, partnership-building and community engagement with a remarkable record of achievement. In 2010, We must accelerate and expand our efforts. We are all aware of the persistence of racial and ethnic health disparities, which have been extensively documented since the mid-1980s. Studies continue to confirm that African Americans, as well as other people of color, have higher mortality and morbidity rates when compared with the total population. They are also less likely to be insured, have access to health care or benefit from health information technology (HIT) – prerequisites for improving care quality and closing health gaps.
SHIRE’s goals are to help eliminate these health inequities and aid people of color in attaining optimal health. Since 1997, SHIRE has advocated for, and has implemented, effective strategies to address barriers, promote wellness and expand health care access. At the same time, SHIRE has helped individuals, families and communities take charge of their own health and advocate collectively for policies and programs that will benefit themselves and others.
Here are some of SHIRE’s recent successes.
- SHIRE coordinates the work of a Health Data Task Force, convened by Out of Many, One, a multicultural health advocacy coalition, to focus on the critical importance of race/ethnicity and primary language data to track health disparities.
Childhood Obesity Prevention
- SHIRE was selected by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of nine (9) lead agencies in the nation to create policies to advance Healthy Kids Healthy Communities with an increasing number of D.C. public/private partners.
- SHIRE continues to lead and broaden a broad grassroots D.C. community-based collaborative focused on early childhood obesity, which now has 140 members.
- SHIRE has implemented several highly effective community-based pilot programs to promote wellness and prevent obesity.
Health Information Technology
- SHIRE actively promoted the inclusion of communities of color and other underserved groups with respect to HIT policies with respect to the nation’s economic stimulus program and health care reform.
- SHIRE serves as the Program Management Office for the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved, the only national entity committed to assure that with respect to HIT, no community is left behind.
- SHIRE conducted a “Teach-In” in Atlanta, GA to help empower providers, consumers and vendors in accessing federal and state HIT resources.
Clearly, these efforts must continue. We welcome your support and invite your renewed participation as we work together to make health equity and wellness a reality for all!
Russell J. Davis, DPA, MAPT Ruth T. Perot, MAT
President Executive Director/CEO