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American College of Physicians Announces Efforts to Improve Minority Health in the United States

Philadelphia -- (July 23, 2003) The American College of Physicians (ACP), the nation's largest medical specialty organization, has launched a patient education initiative to help improve the health of U.S. minorities.

The organization produced two patient education videos and guidebooks (from unrestricted educational grants provided by Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and Aventis Pharmaceuticals) to help educate Hispanic-Americans about diabetes and blacks about breast, lung and prostate cancer.

According to the American Diabetes Association twenty-five percent of Hispanic-Americans over age 45 have diabetes, and cancer is the leading cause of death among blacks, second only to heart disease, according to the National Institute of Health. The videos feature prominent Hispanic-Americans and blacks such as Congressman Joe Baca and actors Edward James Olmos and Liz Torres, and motivational speaker Les Brown, author Nikki Giovanni, and Karen Jackson, head of the Sisters Network. Within the videos they relate their personal or family experiences with diabetes, and with prostate, breast and lung cancers, describe the risk factors and symptoms of the diseases, and provide pointers on following a healthy lifestyle to help prevent or moderate the diseases.

"America has a growing health crisis. It's a fact that minority Americans do not fare as well as whites in our health care system and disparities do exist," said ACP President Munsey Wheby, MD, FACP. "It is our hope that these educational programs help educate minority Americans of African and Hispanic-American origin about diseases that affect them."

ACP is providing the diabetes and cancer videos and guidebooks to its 115,000 internist members for free as part of its national efforts to raise awareness about these diseases among minority populations. ACP is also working with community groups and the National Association of Black Churches to distribute the materials directly to patients.

Internists are primary care physicians specializing in adult healthcare who treat the majority of adults in the U.S. ACP is encouraging patients to request the videos from their internists. The guidebooks are also available and can be downloaded at www.doctorsforadults.com. ACP also has plans to produce videos about diabetes and depression for blacks later this year.

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults, reflected in the organization's trademarked phrase Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults. ACP publishes Annals of Internal Medicine, the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world.

Contact:
Leigh Fazzina, 215-351-2514 or 800-523-1546, ext. 2514

Page posted: 08/04/2003

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