September 19, 2013

Bronx Health REACH is one of 44 centers in the nation that focuses on reducing health disparities. REACH stands for Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health and these centers have been successful in making a dent on the persistent disparities in health outcomes and access to care for underserved, ethnically diverse populations. These disparities are costly to the nation to the tune of $1.24 trillion from 2003-2006.

Their funding has come primarily from the CDC–the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But in 2013, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebeius decided to take money from a preventive health fund mandated in the Affordable Care Act to pay for educating the public about the new state and federal health insurance exchanges that will expand access to affordable health insurance coverage. The CDC cut the funding for the REACH programs, including transitional money to  support the programs while they sought other funding.  The Obama administration has gone a step further and zeroed out all monies for the REACH programs in the proposed 2014 budget.

What difference will this make to our city’s and nation’s efforts to reduce health disparities? Tonight on Healthstyles, producer and moderator Diana Mason, RN, PhD, poses this question to guest Charmaine Ruddock, MS, Project Director of BronxHealth REACH.

So tune in tonight at 11:00 to WBAI, 99.5 FM, NYC; or listen anytime by clicking here:

Healthstyles is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.