Today the New York State Senate unanimously passed a Resolution (J767/K347) requesting that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proclaim May 2011 as Lupus Awareness Month in the State of New York. The Resolution was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Joseph A. Griffo and co-sponsored by Senator José M. Serrano.
Lupus is a chronic disease affecting the immune system, causing it to become hyperactive and attack normal tissue. 90 percent of the thousands of people diagnosed with lupus each year are women, and the illness is most prevalent among African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians.
The Education Fund of Family Planning Advocates Diverse Communities Health Initiative, Senator Serrano and Assemblyman Darryl C. Towns will present this workshop to raise awareness of the challenges that many communities face when it comes to accessing health care. Language barriers, financial obstacles, lack of insurance, immigration status, sexual orientation and cultural differences are among a host of factors that make access to care a daunting process.
This workshop will emphasize the need for cultural competence trainings for health care providers; and participants will learn about the dynamics of cultural differences that hinder access to health care services during encounters with diverse populations.
"Each year, World AIDS Day recognizes the progress that has been made over the years, commemorates those we have lost, and reminds us that there is still a great deal of work to be done in the battle against this devastating illness.“One in five of an estimated 1.1 million Americans living with HIV do not know they have contracted the virus. In New York’s communities of color, the statistics are particularly sobering. According to the Department of Health, from 2008 to 2009 more than 37,000 people lived with HIV, while over 60,000 people were diagnosed with AIDS. In both cases, about 45 percent of those affected were African American and 31 percent were Hispanic.
On October 22, Senator Serrano took part in a free flu-shot event at Julia de Burgos- Taller Boriqua in East Harlem. 150 shots were administered by New York Presbyterian to seniors from the Community.
“It is a pleasure to see local seniors getting the opportunity to receive seasonal influenza vaccines free of cost, and in their own neighborhood,” said Serrano. “Thanks to the hard work of the nurses and New York-Presbyterian staff, there will be 150 less cases of flu in East Harlem this season.”
I applaud the City for its proactive strategies to combat the shortage of healthy and affordable food throughout the five boroughs. Last year, I convened a task force of local stakeholders to address concerns and identify solutions in East Harlem, and my office even mapped out the closures of several local grocery stores. As part of that process, I had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Department of City Planning and the Mayor’s Office, and I was impressed by their expertise and thorough understanding of the problem.