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Dental Therapy: Filling the gaps in dental disparities

The next time you’re in a dental office, there’s a chance your clinician might say, “Hi, I’m the dental therapist who will be working with you today.” More of these providers are entering the market each year thanks to innovative programs like the one found at the University of Minnesota. As a result, more and more Minnesotans are getting exposed to dental therapists.

But some patients still have questions around what a dental therapist actually is and the type of work they’re licensed to perform. Here’s some quick background.

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: Smoking cessation programs should consider minority populations

Thursday Nov. 21 marks the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, a day active smokers are encouraged to use as a starting point for quitting. True, nationwide initiatives like this can be beneficial for participants, but a University of Minnesota researcher believes more attention is needed for minority populations.

Due to the type of cigarettes heavily favored by certain minority groups, Kola Okuyemi, M.D., director of the Program in Health Disparities Research, says their treatment programs need to be tailored separate from the majority population…

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M, UAB to host innovative new center dedicated to African American men’s health care and research

A $13.5 million grant will create new center at the University of Minnesota, designed to address health disparities in conditions impacting African American men. The center is a joint academic venture between the University of Minnesota and the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

The grant was awarded by the National Institutes for Health’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and will fund the center over 5 years. Selwyn Vickers, M.D., F.A.C.S., chairman of the Department of Surgery, and Badrinath Konety, M.D., M.B.A., chairman of the Department of Urology, will lead the project at the University of Minnesota.

“This award and the development of this center underscore the exceptional academic-community partnerships the University of Minnesota has developed,” said Vickers, the principle investigator on the project. “Along with our strong track record for solid infrastructure and a strong partnership with the University of Alabama-Birmingham, this made Minnesota an exceptional choice for this type of research.”

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patient-care

AHC Gamechanger: Michelle Johnson-Jennings

As a Choctaw tribal member, Michelle Johnson-Jennings, Ph.D., has devoted her career to giving back to the American Indian community. Each day, she looks at the health disparities that plague the population and works fervently to bridge the gaps.

After receiving her doctorate in counseling and training as an integrated primary care psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she put her efforts into full gear by founding and co-directing the College of Pharmacy’s Research for Indigenous Community Health Center on the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus…

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patient-care

AHC Gamechanger: Kola Okuyemi

Understanding the drivers behind health disparities within minority communities is no easy endeavor, so the University of Minnesota looks to experts like Kola Okuyemi, M.D., M.P.H., to identify and dissect the numerous factors that go into creating these divides.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Does psychosocial distress elevate your risk of stroke?

Older Americans dealing with high levels of psychosocial distress are at higher risk for stroke according to new research led by Susan Everson-Rose, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate director of the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, followed more than 4,000 people aged 65 and over who were participants in the Chicago Health and Aging Project.

To arrive at their results, researchers identified 151 deaths from stroke and 452 events that led to first-time hospitalization as a result of a stroke. Researchers found that those with the most psychosocial distress had three times the risk of death from stroke and a 54 percent increased risk of first hospitalization compared to those least distressed.  Furthermore, the risk of distress climbed with age.

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