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Making Breastfeeding The Norm Among Inner City Latinas


Bill Sarno


A culture which prevailed in the mid-20th century America viewed breastfeeding as outside the norm, as “the special way,” became entrenched in Puerto Rico because of its close relationship with the United States.  The prevalence of formula-feeding continues to be reflected today among low-income Puerto Rican women living in Hartford who tend to breastfeed less than other Latinas.

The desire to change this culture, to normalize and increase the use of a practice that most pediatricians and health care advocates endorse as the best way to nourish newborns and infants, inspired a peer counseling program.  Breastfeeding: Heritage and Pride was developed by the Hispanic Health Council and has run in collaboration with Hartford Hospital over the past decade.

Recently, this “one woman helping another” approach, which had primarily centered in the heavily Hispanic neighborhoods near Hartford Hospital, has been able to increase its outreach to other parts …

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New Anti-tobacco Campaign Targets Young Latinos And Blacks


The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is launching “Fresh Empire” a hip-hop themed anti-tobacco campaign targeted at Latinos and Blacks.

“Unfortunately, the health burdens of tobacco use disproportionately affect minority teens – particularly African American and Hispanic youth,” said Jonca Bull, M.D., the FDA’s Assistant Commissioner for Minority Health in a press release. “The ‘Fresh Empire’ campaign will help reach teens at a key point in their lives when experimenting with smoking can lead to addiction.”

The “Fresh Start” campaign will target youth ages 12-17 with interactive content, songs and videos by up and coming hip hop artists.

“We know from our research that remaining in control is an important pillar of hip-hop culture. But smoking represents a loss of control, so tobacco use is actually in conflict with that priority,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

According to figures by the FDA close to 90

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State Residents Not Using Free Preventive Care, Worried About Costs, Survey Finds


chit graphic sept 2015


Kathy Navaroli, 50, of Windsor, hadn’t seen a primary care doctor in years when she decided to go for a physical this summer.

She didn’t ask about preventive care screenings, such as a mammogram or Pap test, in part because she worried they might involve an insurance co-pay or deductible. Her household income is below $30,000 a year.

“I got a physical, they did some blood work, and that was it,” she said.

Kerrishian McCants, 31, of Hartford, a mother of four, has a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure, but has not discussed those possible risks with her doctor. She hasn’t asked about preventive care or screenings, she says, because she doesn’t want to pay extra on her limited income.

The two women are not unusual, according to a health-care utilization survey of 444 state residents conducted by the Conn. Health I-Team.

While 88.4 …

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