Washington, DC

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

As the Presidential Campaign Season progresses, NHMA encourages all to register to vote and to take part in the voting process and pay attention to the support of the Affordable Care Act which has increased access to prevention services, healthcare and mental healthcare, and more coordinated patient-centered care ---

 

Jan. 31 is the end of Open Enrollment for eligible persons to apply for health insurance through the State or CMS Marketplace – see HealthCare.gov to sign-up and for more information. According to a new report released this month, more than 8 in 10 people (83 percent) who selected or were automatically enrolled in a 2016 plan through the Marketplace qualify for a tax credit with an average value of $294 per month, or about 72 percent of the pre-tax credit premium.

 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans have been updated.  NHMA supports the new focus on more variety of healthy foods and beverages and encourages you to educate your patients and networks in Hispanic communities across the nation.

 

Importantly, the guidelines suggest Americans should consume:

·                     A variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other vegetables

·                     Fruits, especially whole fruits

·                     Grains, at least half of which are whole grains

·                     Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages

·                     A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds

·                     Oils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils also are naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados

Further, Americans should be encouraged to consume:

·                     Less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars. ChooseMyPlate.gov provides more information about added sugars, which are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those consumed as part of milk and fruits

·                     Less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats. The Nutrition Facts label can be used to check for saturated fats. Foods that are high in saturated fat include butter, whole milk, meats that are not labeled as lean, and tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil

·                     Less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium for people over the age of 14 years and less for those younger. The Nutrition Facts label is a helpful tool to check for sodium, especially in processed foods like pizza, pasta dishes, sauces, and soups

 

H.R.2927 - To authorize Hispanic-serving institutions receiving grants under part A of title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to use such grant amounts to assist students in entering medical schools, and for other purposes – through mentoring, counseling with national associations and accrediting bodies that would encourage use of STEM funds for premedical student pathways from community colleges to 4 yr institutions of higher education to medical schools.  NHMA encourages you to send letters of support to NHMA and to the Sponsors of the Bill:

Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV)

132 Cannon HOB

Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-3252
Fax: (202) 225-2185

 

Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-CA)

1319 Longworth HOB

Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-5330
Fax: (202) 225-1238

 

Governments, educators, agribusiness and food marketers must take action to reduce childhood obesity, according to an independent panel on obesity commissioned by the World Health Organization. Data show childhood obesity rates are increasing, with 41 million children younger than 5 considered obese or overweight worldwide, up from 31 million in 1990.

The U.S. Supreme Court in late November agreed to hear Puerto Rico's bid to reinstate a law that would allow restructuring of the debt-burdened U.S. territory's public agencies.

 

In a major boon for a U.S. commonwealth facing some $72 billion in debt, Puerto Rico will get a chance to argue before the top U.S. court that its proposed restructuring law, invalidated by courts earlier this year, is its best chance to pull itself out of a nearly decade-long recession.

 

The Supreme Court will decide whether a 2014 law known as the Recovery Act conflicts with U.S. federal bankruptcy law. The court also took up a companion case filed by representatives of the publicly owned Government Development Bank (GDB) for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's creditors have argued that a bankruptcy mechanism would give the Caribbean island an unfair legal authority to impose deep repayment cuts.

 

The case goes to the heart of Puerto Rico's efforts to restructure the $72 billion in total debt, which Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has called "unpayable," calling for concessions from creditors.

As a U.S. territory, the island is excluded from statutes that allow U.S. states to put cities, towns and agencies into bankruptcy. Puerto Rico passed the Recovery Act seeking similar authority to put into bankruptcy agencies holding a combined $20 billion of the island's debt.  A U.S. federal court in Puerto Rico nixed the law in February, and a U.S. appeals court affirmed the decision in July. If the Supreme Court reverses and rules for Puerto Rico, the territory could place into bankruptcy agencies like the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which faces more than $8 billion of debt, and the Puerto Rico Highways & Transportation Authority (PRHTA), with about $4.6 billion of debt.

 

The court will hear oral arguments in the spring, with a ruling due by the end of June.

The territory's U.S. congressional representative has introduced a bill to give the island the same bankruptcy access as other states, while the U.S. Treasury has supported giving Puerto Rico itself the right to file bankruptcy.

 

NHMA PROGRAMS UPDATE

See www.nhmamd.org for more information on programs.  We encourage participation – call (202) 628-5895 or send email to Program Officer: Lizette Rivera at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

NHMA 20th Annual Conference “ Joint Conference on Advancing Hispanic Health: the Next 20 Years”– in collaboration with the Hispanic Dental Association, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC April 21 – 24, 2016. 

Join the NHMA Annual Conference to learn new clinical updates, medical education and faculty development, health services research, and Federal health policy issues that impact the healthcare delivery to Hispanic populations!  CME to be provided. We expect 1000 participants. If interested in being a sponsor – please call Elena Rios, MD (202) 628.5895. For more information go to www.nhmamd.org

NHMA was granted an award to participate in Support and Allignment Network of the new CMS Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI)

The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) is one of the newest programs initiated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uniquely designed to support clinician practices through nationwide, collaborative, and peer-based learning networks that facilitate practice transformation. The TCPI is one part of a strategy advanced by the Affordable Care Act to equip more than 140,000 clinicians with the necessary tools, strengthen the quality of patient care and spend health care dollars more wisely. 

NHMA encourages all physicians (academic, private practice, hospitalists) to join this opportunity today! We have a goal of 5000 physicians among our partners – AAIP, NCAPIP, NMQF and NMA.

What You Will Receive by Signing Up for TCPI

·                  Receive FREE training, customized technical assistance, educational materials and peer coaching on clinical practice transformation

·                     Receive a practice transformation readiness survey

·                     Receive FREE training on the collection and use of data, stratified by race, ethnicity and language

·                     Learn how to effectively engage patients and families with in care planning

·                     Receive performance measurements for diabetes outcomes, when necessary

·                     Receive FREE sensitivity training on cultural and linguistic delivery of care, when requested

Go to http://www.tcpisan.org/

NHMA awarded 5 year Cooperative Agreement from CDC - Proyecto Consciente (Project Aware) to maximize the reach and effectiveness of the Act Against AIDS (AAA campaign) by strategically disseminating HIV prevention messaging and communications within local Hispanic communities through the NHMA channels of communication to our physicians and partners, as well as implementing concurrent national engagement efforts that focus on HIV prevention and treatment awareness. 

NHMA interested in forming an Advisory Committee for the project – let us know by Feb. 5th if you are interested.

NHMA HepC: Hispanic Leadership Summit, Rayburn House Office Bldg, Washington, DC, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm followed by reception.  Feb. 11th

Interested in participating ? Contact Sara Reinoso at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NHHF and NHMA Early Child Obesity Prevention Policies Summit with California Latino Caucus and State Public Health Leaders, Sacramento, CA  --- and Media speakers needed on obesity for TV/Radio Telemundo --- contact Sara Reinoso at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if interested.

 

NHMA MEMBERSHIP UPDATE

Diane Torres-Burgos, MD presented testimony to the NYC Council Health Committee this week on the support for incentives for children health meals at restaurants in NYC.  NHHF testimony is based on the policy report of the NHHF Kellogg Foundation Child Obesity Project.

 

Mark Diaz, MD presented testimony to the California Insurance Commission on the support from NHMA for the Centene Corporation to acquire Health Net of Southern CA – to increase access to health and mental health and dental and vision care coverage for our communities.

 

Eliseo Perez-Stable, MD, new Director, National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities is in high demand – speaking across the nation on the priorities to advance health disparities research (prevention, population and health services research).  Dr. Perez-Stable has met with NHHF to discuss research activities priorities such as to increase diversity in the health research workforce.

 

Elena Rios, MD met with the Hispanic Employee Organization (HHS HEO) Board to discuss how NHMA can support recruitment of Latino health professionals to HHS positions and include HEO in the NHMA Annual Conference.

 

NHMA Executive Director – Teresa Chapa, PhD, MPA left DC, NHMA and her home base of the HHS Office of Minority Health to become Executive Dean of the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, part of the Alliant International University. Congratulations !

 

NHHF Class of 2014 and 2015 Scholarship students were provided Mentoring at the Los Angeles and NYC Scholarship events and the United Health Foundation Scholars were matched with mentors for 2 years – NHHF and NHMA are collaborating on the increase of mentoring to develop our network and leaders for the health system.

 

Ilan Shapiro, MD is seeking young physicians to be on the leadership of the NHMA Council of Young Physicians nationally and in the NHMA Six Regions; Victor Cueto, MD is seeking residents and fellows to be on the leadership of the NHMA Council of Residents  --- contact Sara Reinoso at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to serve to be our ambassadors and network with your colleagues.

 

Hector Balcazar, MD, appointed Dean of the Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine School of Medicine – recently was at the University of Texas at El Paso.

 

Abner Murray – LMSA President gains approval of his Board to respond to the medical student demands for increasing the awareness of NHMA physician faculty to be informal/formal advisors and mentors in the medical schools of the country. Student clubs have advisors assigned from volunteer faculty who may not be Latino or with knowledge of Latino medical student career needs.  LMSA and NHMA Board members met at 2015 NHMA Conference that resulted in this recommendation.  We need volunteer faculty ---- contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if interested.

 

ACTION ALERT: This is a call for you to join NHMA as a Premier Members and have many opportunities to develop leadership  -- Join at www.nhmamd.org. The National Hispanic Medical Association is excited to kick off our annual membership drive and we look forward to welcoming you as a new Premier member to our organization.  For all those who are NHMA Leadership Fellows or past members, we urge you to rejoin and participate as speakers, nominees to boards and advisory committees and to serve as spokespersons for the NHMA media project.   

 Apply online at http://nhmamd.org/index.php/membership-31/membership-options/individual-memberships.  For more information contact Sara Reinoso at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 202-628-5895.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Office of Population Affairs (OPA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OPA), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is beginning the process for the first revision of the Recommendations for Providing Quality Family Planning Services (QFP).  As part of the process, they are seeking representatives for the Expert Work Group to provide individual feedback throughout the process.  We would like to invite the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) to designate a representative for this Expert Work Group. 

 

In identifying a representative from NHMA, we are specifically seeking a clinical expert in the area of service delivery related to services aimed at both preventing unintended pregnancies and achieving pregnancies, i.e., areas related to contraceptive services, infertility services, and services aimed at helping individuals and couples to achieve pregnancy, preconception health services, including sexually transmitted disease services.  Additionally, the representative should be able to speak for the interests of NHMA.

 

The Office of Population Affairs (OPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Reproductive Health are convening an Expert Working Group meeting on February 25 – 26, 2016, with key stakeholders to discuss and plan the revision of Providing Quality Family Planning Services Recommendations (QFP).

 

 

Any NHMA Premier Member interested???? RSVP to NHMA Office – Kessia Cruz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Feb 4th so that we can send your name in By February 5, the deadline to let the committee know you will attend this 1.5-day meeting on Thursday, February 25, and Friday, February 26, 2016.  Travel assistance is available for those who need it (not including federal staff). If you would be interested in a pre-meeting webinar to review QFP (including background, overview, purpose, etc.) please include this request in your RSVP.  Please respond to all on the ‘cc’ line regarding your availability for the February 25-26 meeting, as well as your interest in a “pre-meeting webinar.”

Meeting Location: The meeting will be held in Washington, DC, at Atlas Research (805 15th Street NW, Suite 910, Washington, DC 20005). Additional meeting information, including agenda and read-ahead materials, is forthcoming.

 

CDC ZIKA VIRUS ALERT : The CDC has expanded to 22 the number of countries and territories pregnant women should not visit because of the risk of contracting Zika virus, a mosquito-transmitted disease that may be causing microcephaly in infants born to infected mothers. Although initial concern has focused on Brazil, where 3,893 suspected cases of microcephaly have been reported with a major uptick since 2010, the World Health Organization said Monday that the virus will likely reach all of the Americas except Chile and Canada

Zika virus infection should be considered in patients with acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia or conjunctivitis, who traveled to areas with ongoing transmission in the two weeks prior to illness onset. Clinical disease usually is mild. However, during the current outbreak, Zika virus infections have been confirmed in several infants with microcephaly and in fetal losses in women infected during pregnancy.

Healthcare providers are encouraged to report suspected Zika virus disease cases to their state health department to facilitate diagnosis and to mitigate the risk of local transmission. State health departments are requested to report laboratory-confirmed cases to CDC. CDC is working with states to expand Zika virus laboratory testing capacity, using existing RT-PCR protocols.

Clinical Disease
About one in five people infected with Zika virus become symptomatic. Characteristic clinical findings include acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis. Clinical illness usually is mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and fatalities are rare.

Prevention
No vaccine or preventive drug is available. The best way to prevent Zika virus infection is to:

·                     Avoid mosquito bites.

·                     Use air conditioning or window and door screens when indoors.

·                     Wear long sleeves and pants, and use insect repellents when outdoors. Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children older than two months. Pregnant and lactating women can use all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.  Zika virus information for clinicians: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/hc-providers/index.html


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Phone: 202-628-5895
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Email: nhma@nhmamd.org