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Houston Newsmakers for July 28: Maternal Mortality, Komen Breast Cancer Research, Sterling Aviation

Minority Deaths are Much Higher than the Norm

HOUSTON – Why are maternal mortality rates much higher among minority women. That’s the challenge tackled by the Houston Endowment.

Dr. Erica Giwa, is the Assistant Professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine's Center for Children and Women. She is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and says many people assume that socio-economics are at the heart of the problem, but not so.

“When we dig deeper into the issue we see that that’s not really a factor when looking at the African American community,” Giwa said. “Affluent African-American women are dying at the same rate as women that aren’t.”

Elizabeth Love is the Senior Development Director for the Houston Endowment and says many organizations and individuals have come together to look at the problem and come up with possible solutions.

“There’s a group of institutions who have committed to work together to develop a pilot program in two of our highest risk neighborhoods in Houston,” Love said. “Essentially creating a comprehensive and integrated system of care for women.”

The comprehensive report is called “Improving Maternal Health in Harris County: A Community Plan” and can be found at this link.

Susan G. Komen Expands Grant Opportunities, Preparing for 28th Annual Race for the Cure

Susan G. Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research in the United States and $400,000 was granted to MD Anderson Cancer Center to help masters and doctoral candidates get a better understanding of breast cancer.

The Komen Houston organization is gearing up for the annual Race for the Cure on October 6 that helps to raise those much-needed funds. Nearly two women die every day from breast cancer in the seven-county Houston region and nine more are diagnosed daily with some form of breast cancer.

“Black women and white women are equally likely to get breast cancer,” said Lorna McNeill, Ph.D. and chair of the Department of Health Disparities , MD Anderson Cancer Center. “But nationally black women are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer and in the city of Houston 60% more likely to die of breast cancer.”  

Kristen Barley is a 10-year breast cancer survivor and is Senior Development Director at Komen Houston and said, in addition, to grant money for research, Komen Houston now provides direct assistance.

"It started this spring, so if women or a man needs assistance they can call 1-877-Go-Komen,” Barley said. “They get a screening and some questions answered to see if they qualify and they can actually get direct funds.”

Find out much more about the Komen-Houston mission, the Race for the Cure on October 6 and more in this Houston Newsmakers EXTRA:

Aviation workers needed

The aviation industry is aging fast. The average age of an aviation mechanic is 51 which is much older than other industries. That’s why HISD’s Sterling Aviation High School is teaming up with MIAT College of Technology to change the dynamic.

“About 30 percent of the industry now is at retirement age or older and only about two percent of the population every year coming in are new mechanics,” said John Willis, the president of MIAT College of Technology's Houston campus.

Willis is joined by Sterling Aviation High School Administrator John Chilo Sr. and Sterling H.S. student Nicole Ramirez on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall

  • Erica Giwa, M.D., Asst. Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine/Center for Children and Women
    • https://bit.ly/2uVLvUf
    • Phone:832-826-7500
  • Elizabeth Love, Sr. Program Officer, Houston Endowment
    • https://www.houstonendowment.org
    • Phone: 713-238-8100
    • Email: elove@houstonendowment.org
  • Lorna McNeill, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor & Chair, Department of Health Disparities, MD Anderson Cancer Center
    • https://bit.ly/2On8Oyo
    • Phone:866-701-2595
    • Twitter: @MDAndersonNews
  • Kristen Barley, Sr. Development Director, Susan G. Komen Houston
    • www.Komen-Houston.org
    • 713-783-9188
    • Twitter: @komenhouston
  • John Willis, President, MIAT College of Technology Houston
    • https://bit.ly/2OkYG9n
    • Phone: 888-547-7047
    • Twitter: @miatcollege
  • John Chilo Sr., Ross Shaw Sterling Aviation High School
    • www.houstonisd/org/sterling
    • Phone: 713-991-0510
    • Twitter: @HoustonISD

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