October 12, 2017
Tackling Domestic Violence. October is National Violence Awareness Month and our agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has just released a strategy for collaboration at federal, state, and local levels to address Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Widely regarded as a private issue, IPV has an enormous impact on the broader public: raising incidence of chronic disease, reducing worker productivity and driving up health care costs – more than $8 billion in clinical, physical and mental health care services. While rates of reported violence in rural areas is on par with the national average, victims in rural communities face significant barriers, including social isolation and stigma, limited access to health and community services, and too few referrals and protocols for providers. FORHP’s role in the HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence will be to make the IPV Health Partners Toolkit relevant to rural providers and communities, increase the number of evidence-based programs in the Rural Community Health Gateway, and encourage rural-specific research and programs through funding opportunities.
CDC: New Facts on Obesity and Cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new fact sheet in their Vital Signs series showing that overweight and obesity are associated with 13 types of cancer. More than half of Americans don’t know that overweight can increase their risk for cancer, and rural areas experience higher rates of obesity and overweight than the nation as a whole. The guide outlines interventions taken at the federal, state and local levels and steps individuals can take to reach and maintain a healthy weight. See the Funding Opportunities section below for a federal program addressing obesity at the community level.
What to Know about Alcohol Treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has created an online tool to help patients understand options for treatment, what questions to ask to ensure quality, and a zip code-based directory of facilities. Rates of substance abuse in rural areas is comparable to urban/suburban areas, but it’s more difficult to combat in rural communities because of limited resources for prevention, treatment and recovery.