By now you’ve heard all about the new fall 2007 television season, the new fall movie season and the new fall fashion season. But at Minority Nurse, fall is the season where we present our annual roundup of free or low-cost resources available to help nurses provide culturally competent care to diverse patient populations and develop interventions to address the crisis of health disparities in communities of color. And remember: unlike those seasonal outfits, those new TV shows that get canceled by February and those movies that disappear from the theaters before you even get a chance to see them, you can keep using these health promotion tools all year long!

Native American communities have some of the nation’s highest rates of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). As part of its FASD Native Initiative prevention campaign, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed The American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Resource Kit, a toolkit for teaching Native communities about FASD risks, prevention and treatment. The kit includes strategies for FASD education, posters, brochures, a slide presentation and more. Free copies are available from: SAMHSA’s Health Information Network, (877) 726-4727 (request inventory number SMA07-4264).

Created by an African American woman, Linda Lewis, the Breast Chek KitTM is an innovative tool for teaching women how to perform monthly breast self-exams (BSEs). It includes a patented, one-size-fits-all, pink spandex T-shirt decorated with a pattern that guides women through the process of examining their breasts. If the woman finds a lump or something else that raises concern, she can use the kit’s fabric marker to note the exact location right on the shirt, then wear it when she sees her doctor. The kit also contains educational materials stressing the importance of early detection and obtaining regular mammograms. For more information: www.thebreastchekkit.com.

Does It Run in the Family? is a multicultural toolkit designed to educate African American and Hispanic families about minority health disparities, the relationship between genetics and health risks, and the importance of knowing their family health histories. Resources in the kit include an educational booklet, Understanding Genetics and Disease, and an easy-to-use guidebook to help families collect, organize and understand their health histories. Free copies are available from: www.geneticalliance.org.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), nearly 80% of African American women are overweight or obese. NIDDK’s Sisters Together: Move More, Eat Better campaign is a multifaceted national initiative to encourage black women to become more physically active and eat healthier foods. The campaign offers many resources to help nurses start a Sisters Together program in their community, including a planning kit, brochures and technical assistance. For more information and free materials: www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/sisterstogether.htm.

What better allies could you enlist in the fight against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) disparities in minority communities than grandparents? Safe Sleep for My Grandbaby is a multicultural brochure developed especially for grandparents by the national “Back to Sleep” SIDS prevention campaign. It includes 10 practical tips for reducing the risk of SIDS and helpful illustrations showing safe sleeping positions for grandbaby. Available free of charge from: www.nichd.nih.gov/SIDS (click on “Materials and Publications”) or (800) 505-CRIB.

Pathways to Freedom: Winning the Fight Against Tobacco is a culturally competent smoking cessation guidebook created by the CDC for use in African American communities. Produced in partnership with black churches, tenant groups and other community stakeholders, Pathways to Freedom addresses issues specific to African Americans–such as racially targeted tobacco marketing–and offers step-by-step, proven strategies to help smokers free themselves from their nicotine addiction. Free copies are available: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/pathways/index.htm.

Looking for an easily accessible, centralized online source for information and resources relating to the health needs of Asian Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives? Then check out these free information portals from the National Library of Medicine (NLM): Asian American Health (http://asianamericanhealth.nlm.nih.gov), American Indian Health (http://americanindianhealth.nlm.nih.gov) and Arctic Health, www.arctichealth.org. Each site is packed with useful information, databases and links covering topics ranging from new research developments to traditional medicine and environmental health.

Isabel’s Story/La historia de Isabel is a bilingual booklet designed to educate Hispanic women and their families about osteoporosis prevention and bone health. Available from the National Institutes of Health’s Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center, the booklet presents the facts about “osteoporosis, the silent disease” in an easy-to-read fotonovela (comic book) format. Free copies are available from: www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/Isabel_story.asp.

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