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Planned Parenthood Marks National Minority Health Month by Urging Community Members to Make Preventive Care a Top Priority

New York, NY—(ENEWSPF)—April 1, 2014. In recognition of National Minority Health Month, Planned Parenthood is encouraging communities of color to make themselves, their health, and their community a top priority this month. National Minority Health Month is an annual nationwide community mobilization campaign in April, which highlights the fact that many in the African-American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities experience severe health disparities. Efforts this month seek to raise awareness of the needs of these communities, and Planned Parenthood is helping to address these needs by providing equal access to health care for all.

“Planned Parenthood health centers provide everyone with the quality, affordable health care everyone deserves – no matter who they are or where they live. We know that when people are truly cared for, they make their lives, their families, and their communities better and healthier,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Planned Parenthood Federation of America vice president of external medical affairs. “We are committed to helping all people get the preventive health care services and information they need to be well and stay healthy.”

Health disparities in communities of color remain a serious issue in this country. Many communities of color face greater obstacles to obtaining and benefiting from health care services than non-Latino whites, with some communities having the greatest need for preventive health care like lifesaving cancer screenings, testing and treatment for STDs, Pap tests, and health education. For example:

• Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, African-American women are most likely to die from the disease.

• American Indian women are more likely to die from cervical cancer than white women.

• Asian-American women are 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than white women.

• Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander’s rate of HIV infection is more than twice that of their white counterparts.

• Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latinas, who are 20 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women.

National Minority Cancer Awareness Week (April 13-19) falls within National Minority Health Month, and is aimed at drawing attention to the disproportionately severe impact cancer has on communities of color. Planned Parenthood health centers provide over 1.1 million cancer screenings and prevention services each year, including:

• nearly 500,000 Pap tests, identifying nearly 75,000 women at risk of developing cervical cancer; and

• 550,000 lifesaving breast exams, helping alert patients to possible cancers

“Planned Parenthood works every day for healthy families, healthy babies, and healthy communities across the country,” Dr. Cullins said. “We’re proud to be part of this important work, especially when it comes to cancer prevention. We are committed to working with communities of color during National Minority Cancer Awareness Week — and every week — to detect cancer early, which helps save lives.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions more Americans have access to health insurance and preventive care. This year, as we have seen an unprecedented level of legislative attacks on health care access in this country, we’ll be fighting for better access to health care for everyone. We’re determined to keep moving our country forward to better health outcomes for every community.”

Planned Parenthood health centers see nearly three million women, men, and young people each year, 15% of whom are African American and 24% of whom are Latino. Every day, across the country, Planned Parenthood provides affordable, quality preventive health care like lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment for STDs, breast health services, Pap tests, and accurate, nonjudgmental sexual health education and information — no matter what.

For more information about Planned Parenthood health services, or to schedule an appointment at the health center nearest you, visit www.plannedparenthood.org.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

Source: plannedparenthood.org

 

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