Barbershop Helps Fight Health Disparities in Black Men

In Madison, Wisconsin the JP Hair Design Barbershop is changing the health of the community. This barbershop also houses a health center. Many men come into the barbershop to get a haircut and come out with not only that but more knowledge about their health. At the barbershop they noticed that men came in talking about their health problems but once they left it seemed those issues were not being resolved. All that changed when Aaron Perry received a grant to open his health center in the barbershop.

The grant was for $300,000 and includes plans to maintain and expand to other barbershops. The familiar environment of the barbershop makes the men more comfortable talking about their health problems and getting treated for them. This is important because in Wisconsin African American makes live seven years shorter than white males in the same state. The other barbershops may not have a whole health center in them, but they will provide educational materials and referrals to health care providers.

Health care is broken. Oscar Health thinks Tech can fix it.

America’s healthcare industry is a mess: from confusing regulations to perverse incentives. Meanwhile, Mario Schlosser, the CEO of Oscar Health, has moved from academia and created a company, called Oscar, with Joshua Kushner (brother of Jared Kushner) to try to solve these problems. “The goal of Oscar is to do to health care what Uber did to the taxi industry: use smart digital technology to make everything faster and easier for customers, and then use the data gathered to build radically new services, which can collect more data that leads to new services.” said Schlosser. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has committed roughly $375 million in investments to this digital relief.


More Health Disparities in the US

2014-children-poverty_0Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute have released the latest edition of County Health Rankings. The heath rankings are based on 29 factors, including smoking, high school graduation rates, housing problems, physical inactivity and access to healthy foods.

The maps generally show wide gaps in health disparities between the North and South.

Read the article here and check out the rankings of your state and county here.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, 

Where’s HIV in the United States?

Screen shot 2014-03-27 at 4.38.00 PM

AIDSVu is an interactive online map illustrating the prevalence of HIV in the United States. The state- and county-level data on AIDSVu come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national HIV surveillance database, which is comprised of HIV surveillance reports from state and local health departments. ZIP code and census tract data come directly from state, county and city health departments, depending on which entity is responsible for HIV surveillance in a particular geographic area.

Uses can search through HIV prevalence data by race/ethnicity, sex and age, and see how HIV prevalence is related to various social determinants of health, such as educational attainment and poverty.

As one can see, HIV prevalence in the United States is concentrated in the South highlighting one of the many health disparities in the North-South divide in the United States.

Check out the map here.

Juhi Mawla, Intern, 

Aetna Foundation to Give $1.2 Million For Digital Health Innovations

Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is giving $1.2 million in grants in part of a larger $4 million, three year digital health commitment to support the use of digital health technology among vulnerable and minority populations. The grants will be awarded to 23 organizations across 13 states, including health care organizations, regional hospitals and grassroots interventions all focused on easy-to-use ways to leverage existing technology to impact health. The deadline for call to paper is March 1, 2014.

Read more about the grant here.

Interested in applying? Why don’t you try a mapping project and use Mappler?

Juhi Mawla, Intern,