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Closing the GapOnQ and WQED Pittsburgh are proud to be partners with Highmark in a series of reports and studio interviews exploring health disparities in our region.

Health Disparities Overview - OnQ's Michael Bartley kicks off our week-long series focusing on disparities in health care and medical access for various groups based on their race, sexual orientation, gender, economic status, among other categories.

How does an 87-year-old arthritis and diabetes patient living on Dunbar Mountain in rural Fayette County get health care? You won't want to miss this rare success story that's closing the gap.

Related Links:
Center for Minority Health

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities - This segment focuses on a program that is helping in Pittsburgh's East End neighborhoods. Rev. Verna Vaughn is a minister who is also an African dance instructor. Through the Center for Minority Health, Rev. Vaughn teaches classes for the CMH's Healthy Black Family Project at the Kingsley Center's newly-renovated exercise studios. Class participants talk with OnQ's Chris Moore about getting a handle on health, as well as spiritual issues.

Additional Information on Healthy Black Family Project:
Kingsley Association (East Liberty)
6435 Frankstown Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Hosanna House, Inc. (Wilkinsburg)
807 Wallace Avenue
Wilkinsburg, PA 15221

Dr. Christopher Allen - Dr. Allen, president of Gateway Medical Society, is a practicing cardiologist with a special interest in health care disparities and access.

Gender Disparities - Why is health care not always equal when it comes to men and women? Heart disease, for example, is the number one killer of women, but it's most often associated with men, in part because of media coverage and societial attitudes. OnQ's Tonia Caruso reports on why gender disparities occur, and what's being done to change things.

Related Link:
Go Red For Women - American Heart Association

Male Breast Cancer - It's considered a woman's disease, but men get breast cancer. In this segment, a man from North Versailles talks about battling the disease. Although modern medicine doesn't completely understand the causes of breast cancer in men, researchers have found several factors that may increase the risk. OnQ's Chris Moore looks at those factors and finds out why male breast cancer research lags so far behind.

Dr. Jeannette South-Paul - Dr. South-Paul is the medical director of the Community Health Services Division of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She also is chair of the department of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Catholic Charities - Right now, within a ten mile radius of downtown Pittsburgh, there are 70,000 working people who do not have health insurance. Catholic Charities recently opened a free health center to provide immediate relief to people from all backgrounds. OnQ contributor Mike Clark shows how this center is changing lives, by offering much-needed help and returning people to good health.

If you need help and don't know which program to contact:
Call Catholic Charities CAREline at
412-456-6976 or
1-800-321-CARE (2273)
Be sure to include your name and telephone number.

Rural Dental Care - Scholarship programs at West Virginia University are putting qualified dentists in the communities that need them. In this segment, OnQ contributor Lori Savitch reports on a young dental student who's making the most of the program, and is determined to set up practice in her rural hometown.

Related Link:
WVU Dental Scholarship Opportunities

Dr. Andrea Fox - Dr. Fox, medical director at the Squirrel Hill Health Center, is an active member of the Pittsburgh medical community and well known in the field of geriatric medicine.

Health Literacy - Medical information is complicated enough, but some patients must also deal with language barriers or disabilities. In this report, OnQ explores how hospitals, providers and other organizations are addressing this health care disparities problem. Featured in this segment: the Squirrel Hill Health Center, which provides translators and a doctor who knows sign language.

Unnatural Causes - OnQ previews this four-hour PBS documentary series that explores America's racial and socioeconomic inequities in health. Unnatural Causes premieres on WQED-TV on March 27, 2008.

Dr. Stephen Thomas - Dr. Thomas is the director of the Center for Minority Health and one of the nation’s leading advocates to eliminate health disparities based on race.

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WQED is proud to partner with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to cover important health topics. "Living With Mental Illness" explores diagnosis, treatment and ending the stigma associated with behavioral health issues. The "Men & Cancer" and "Women & Cancer" series reports on early detection and the latest treatment of cancers most commonly associated with men and women.


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