Dear Friends!

As a physician I know first hand the dangers of hypertension (high blood pressure), and unfortunately, the prevalence of hypertension is greater in the African American community. April is National Minority Health Month and I’d like to take this opportunity to talk with you about preventive care.

Hypertension means that your blood pressure is elevated above what is considered normal for your age and weight. It is an insidious disease because a person can have it and not know it until the damage is done. It is believed that 30 percent of the people who have the condition do not know it. Researchers claim nearly 40 percent of African Americans are affected by hypertension.

They do not know exactly why African Americans are at greater risks of developing hypertension than other ethnic groups. Hypertension increases the risk of heart disease by putting extra stress on the heart and blood vessels. However, if it is not diagnosed and treated, the “silent killer” can cause stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, eye problems and even death.

Fight Back

Harvard Health Publications noted that “adopting a healthy lifestyle — which means cutting back on salt, losing excess weight, and maintaining a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products — is the cornerstone for preventing and treating hypertension.”  The report stated if you have yet to suffer any major symptoms from hypertension, then these lifestyle changes alone may be all the preventive care you will need.

However, if you have developed symptoms from hypertension, then you should see your doctor immediately.  Your doctor will map a strategy for you to lower your blood pressure and to protect your major organs. You should have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.  If you smoke – quit.  If you drink, do it in moderation.  Adopting a healthy lifestyle will make you less dependent upon medication and will make the medication you are prescribed more effective.

Although the problem of hypertension is greater in the African American community, I believe the opportunity to treat and control it is also great. Eating right, exercising, checking your blood pressure, regular appointments with your doctor and taking your medication as directed is a powerful combination that tilts the odds in your favor.

This disease is a stealth disease. You cannot begin to treat it when you “feel” like it. For your loved ones, your friends and for yourself, schedule an appointment with your primary physician this April.  And that’s doctor’s orders.

Ernie Fletcher


Governor Fletcher rightly points out what researchers claim will help African Americans treat their high blood pressure and live. But too often our senior citizens will not take their medicine or follow a proper diet until they feel “dizzy or light headed or have terrible headaches.” These are all symptoms of high blood pressure and can indicate that the damage has been done.

All of us know someone who was “taken from us too soon” because of a stroke or other complications from high blood pressure. This is a common occurrence in the minority community, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. I know there are traditional foods we enjoy that contain a lot of salt or fat or both. I also know we have our traditional drinks which are a part of our cultural celebrations. But bad habits and tradition are not the same thing.

Now we know better. We have the benefit of research and technology and an abundance of fresh foods that allow us to change our “traditional” ways.  We can still enjoy the same dishes, but perhaps with alternative ingredients that contain less salt and fat content. And we can still toast with those traditional drinks, but with moderation. As for cigarettes – quit. There is no way around it. It is simply not worth it.

As we get older, it is more difficult to change the ways we have known our entire life; the ways of our parents and grandparents and their parents before them. However, we want to be around for our children and grandchildren and pass down the good things about our cultures to each of them. No one else can pass along our culture for us – but we have to be here to be able to do it.

High blood pressure is serious business. It plagues our community more so than any other. But we can beat this. Remember, diet, exercise, regular checkups, taking your medicine as prescribed, moderate drinking and no smoking.  If not for yourself, do it for those who love you.


Tierra Kavanaugh Turner
Executive Director of Minority Empowerment
Office of the Governor



Governor Ernie Fletcher's 2nd Annual Empowerment Conference on
August 25, 2006
Lexington Convention Center       Lexington, KY





  Bill Watch
April 10-11, 2006
A free legislative tracking service in partnership with the Kentucky Legislature and The Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky.gov has created Bill Watch. This free service enables Kentucky.gov registered users unlimited tracking of legislation during the Kentucky Legislative Session. Specifically, Kentucky.gov registered users can:
  • Create their own profiles that organizes bills by subject or topical area by using search parameters (keywords, sponsors, committees, subject or bill number) that return a list from which you may select bills to add to your profiles.
  • Receive email notification to their registered email and mobile email account when new bills are offered or changed (from Agenda to Committee to Interim actions) based on the criteria you set up.
  • Bill Tracking is provided online and changes initiate email alert notifications.
  • Search and view online each bill's common title sponsor(s), committee assignment, and most recent action via search, profile.
  • View online bill summary, amendments, history and full text details, committee assignment, and most recent action.

Register for Bill Watch at: https://secure.kentucky.gov/portal/registration.aspx

Kentucky Legislature Toll-Free Phone Numbers – 2006 Regular Session:
Bill Status Line: 1-877-257-5541
Legislative Message Line: 1-800-372-7181
Calendar (meetings) Line: 1-800-633-9650
TTY Message Line: 1-800-896-0305
En Espaņol: 1-877-287-3134

Warriors in the Shadows: Women of the Underground Railroad
April 1 - 15, 2006
An Educational and Social History Photographic Exhibit to be held at the W.T. Young Library, University of Kentucky. Research and compilation by Professor Doris Wilkinson, Exhibit Curator. The Exhibit is free and open to the public. 

Homeownership Education Workshop
The Governor's Office of Minority Empowerment along with the Kentucky Housing Corporation announces the Come Home to Your Home, Yes You Can...Own a Home, Homeownership Education Workshops. The workshops are held around the state throughout the year.

If you need answers to your credit questions (no credit, credit problems, etc.), help with a down payment or closing costs, details about the home buying process, loan prequalification information, or home maintenance guidance and information, this workshop is for you. We can help! Register to attend our workshop when it's in your area by calling the Governor's Office of Minority Empowerment, 502-564-2611 ext. 370 or send an e-mail to kyome@ky.gov.

Don't pass up this opportunity to learn how to become a successful homeowner.

The Come Home to Your Home workshops are currently scheduled for:

May 20, 2006: 
9-11 am: First Baptist Church, 100 Clinton St., Frankfort, KY (This will be a Budget/Credit Class only)
12:30- 2:30 pm: New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 704 Washington St., Shelbyville, KY (This will be a Budget/Credit Class only)
July 22, 2006, 9 am - 2 pm: Christian County area
August 19, 2006, 9 am - 2 pm: McCracken County area
September 23, 2006, 9 am - 2 pm: Hardin County area
November 18, 2006, 9 am - 2 pm: Jefferson County area

11th Annual Fair Housing Luncheon                                                                 April 12, 2006 – 11:30 am – 1 pm                                                                        The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission will be celebrating Fair Housing Month with their 11th Annual Fair Housing Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington.  For more information please contact William D. Wharton at 859.252.4931 ext. 222 or email wwharton@lfuchrc.org

Coffee & Chat Entrepreneurial League Meeting
April 15, 2006 - 10 AM - 12 Noon

The second coffee & chat networking session for small business entrepreneurs will be held at 120 West High St, Lexington, KY (old Department of Employment Services building at the corner of High and Upper Streets). Come share ideas, identify needed resources, share lessons learned, and make friends with others facing similar challenges. Special Guest: Dee Dee Harbut, Director of Special Programs, Kentucky Small Business Development Center, will discuss:

1.  Where do I get money?
2.  What is the process for starting a business?
3.  What is the difference between sole proprietorship and LLC, etc? (Business Models) ...and various other topics of interest to the group.

The Entrepreneurial League is sponsored by the BWA Entrepreneur Project.  Questions?  Call Louise Stone at 859-608-5787 or e-mail:

National Association of Women Judges
April 22, 2006 - 2:00 –  5:00 pm
The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) have secured the cooperation and partnership of the University Of Kentucky College of Law and will host a Color of Justice Program on the UK Campus. Several Lexington attorneys, UK law students, and Judge Pamela Goodwine have agreed to participate.  The NAWJ are now in the process of recruiting high school student participants (juniors and seniors preferred).  Interested participants are asked to please contact Kentucky Commission on Human Rights at 1-800-292-5566.

The purpose of the Color of Justice program is to encourage minority students in 8th through 12th grades to consider the law and judgeships as career goals.  The program focuses on career preparation, panel discussions with judges and lawyers, and law students sharing personal and professional insights, and small group discussions during a lunch (which will be provided).  The one day program provides an environment where discussion and debate among participants can flourish.

“Ms. Fix It Day”
April 29, 2006 - 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
The National Association of Women in Construction Chapter #367 has teamed up with Bluegrass Community & Technical College to offer an interactive “Ms. Fix It Day”. The day is designed to give women and girls an opportunity for hands on training, advice from the experts, and demonstrations by professionals.   A few of the demonstrations and hands on activities will include installing a dimmer switch, replacing an old light fixture, drywall repair and finishing, the tricks of molding and trim, deadbolt and door handle installation, replacement windows and landscaping with perennials. The Lexington Police and Fire Departments will be on hand to discuss home security and fire prevention.   The “Ms. Fix It Day” will be held in the Academic Technical Building Lobby of the Bluegrass Community and Technical College, 470 Cooper Drive, Lexington.  Tickets for the “Ms. Fix It Day” are on sale now for $10.00 each.  For further information or to purchase tickets contact Laura Lynch (859) 246-6583 or Anna Wientjes (859) 252-0836 or visit the NAWIC website at www.bgnawic.org.

Summer Artist-In-Residence Program
Application Deadline: Must be postmarked by May 5, 2006
The Kentucky Foundation for Women invites women artists who are residents of the state to apply for summer artist-in-residence opportunities at Hopscotch House, the Foundation’s artist retreat and residency center. A maximum of 10 artists will be selected to participate in a one or two week residency during June 26-July 9, 2006.

The purpose of the residencies is to encourage a more diverse applicant pool and increase the length of artist stays, as well as demonstrate the benefits of an artist residency to the artists. Selected residents will be offered a stipend of up to $400 per week on an as-needed basis for meals, transportation, childcare, replacement of lost wages, and artist supplies. KFW will provide housing and studio space free of charge as well as some beverages, snacks and an orientation dinner at the beginning of each week. 
Artists do not have to be a KFW grant recipient to apply, but must show a commitment to feminist art and social change. Applications will be accepted in the following artistic disciplines: performing, visual, literary, and media. Applications must be postmarked by May 5, 2006. All applicants will be notified by May 31, 2006.  To download guidelines and attachments visit: www.kfw.org  or for more information contact Sherry Hurley, Hopscotch House Manager, at 502-228-4875 or

Annual HIV/AIDS Conference to be in Lexington in May  
May 10 – 12, 2006
The 2006 Kentucky HIV/AIDS Conference will be May 10-12 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lexington. The conference, hosted by the Kentucky Department for Public Health and Heartland CARES, Inc., of Paducah, is for health care and social service professionals who plan or provide prevention education or direct delivery of services to people living with HIV/AIDS in Kentucky.

African American Workshop                                                                             May 13, 2006                                                                                                          If you are interested in saving, preserving or learning more about African American resources in Kentucky this workshop is for you!  The Rural Heritage Development Initiative Kentucky Heritage Council and the Preservation Kentucky Springfield Main Street Program will be hosting an African American Workshop in Springfield, Kentucky.  For more information call (502) 564-7005 or email Nicole.Wallace@ky.gov  

Kentucky Foundation for Women Grantee Seeking Female Mechanics
Sarah Lyon, artist and motorcycle enthusiast, is searching for women mechanics from around the country to be photographed in their shop environments. The portraits will be featured in an exhibition and calendar, different from typical tool-girl, pin-up calendars. If you know any mechanics who would like to participate in a project that breaks down stereotypical images of women, please contact Sarah at studio@sarahlyon.com  or 502.558.3230 or for more information about the project, visit www.sarahlyon.com/calendar .  

2006 KSU Youth Entrepreneurship Camp
July 9 - 15, 2006

This summer KSU will be offering its 3rd summer youth entrepreneurship camp.  This is an on-campus experience to teach students entering grades 10, 11, and 12 (in Fall 2006) the basics of starting a business, working in teams, and identifying a money-making project they can implement after participating in the camp.  Students who are not the most academically gifted or students that need a different experience to keep them from dropping out of school are encouraged to apply.  

Sessions will include:  what it takes to be an entrepreneur; how to build a business plan; marketing & advertising your business; how to talk to a banker; one-to-one interviews with entrepreneurs; team building activities; field trips; and student presentations.  There will be prizes and awards given on the final day.

For registration and more information please
click here.
Kentucky Conservation Camps
Summer Camp
Click here for more information.

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Kentucky's Historical African American Parks

African-American Family History Resources

African-American Trail Map Lexington

Paris-Bourbon County Tour of African American Sites

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Ripple Effect Scholarship Program                                                        Application Deadline:  Postmarked no later than April 28, 2006                 Kentucky American Water announces its 2006 scholarship program for high school seniors in its service area.  For more information and/or an application please click on one of the following:
      *   Eligibility
      *   Application
Education at Work Scholarship Applications Being Accepted
Application Deadline:  Must be Postmarked by April 28, 2006
The Kentucky Education Cabinet is accepting applications for its annual scholarship program. The scholarships are for non-traditional students who have used employment and training programs and other cabinet services. To be eligible, applicants must be a client of at least one of the services in the following agencies in the Education Cabinet: Kentucky Adult Education, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Office of Employment and Training, Office of Career and Technical Education and Office for the Blind.  Examples of services in these agencies include Workforce Investment Act services and training, unemployment insurance, vocational rehabilitation, dislocated workers program, secondary Kentucky Tech schools and adult learning centers, among others. Applicants must also be Kentucky residents and enroll in a Kentucky postsecondary educational institution for the fall 2006 semester.  Applicants will be required to write an essay on Kentucky’s brand “Unbridled Spirit” and how the theme relates to their educational and career goals.  Applications and complete eligibility guidelines are available through adult learning centers; local Office for the Blind, Office of Employment and Training and Office of Vocational Rehabilitation; Kentucky Tech area technology centers; and Workforce Investment Act service providers. Applications and guidelines may also be accessed at the Education Cabinet web page at http://www.educationcabinet.ky.gov    The $1,000 scholarships may be used for tuition, books, lab and technology fees.  For more information or questions about the scholarship, contact Wynee Hecker at (502) 564-6606 ext. 128.
Academically Proficient African American High School Jr/Sr Conference   June 16 - 17, 2006
Interest Form Deadline:  April 28, 2006
The 19th Annual Academically Proficient African American High School Junior and Senior Conference will be held at Eastern Kentucky University, June 16-17, 2006.   To be eligible to attend, a student must have at least a 2.75 GPA and be a junior and senior as of fall 2006 (students should currently be sophomores and juniors). There is no charge to participate in the conference.   For more information, view the introduction letter.  Complete Interest Form here and mail to:  Mary Marshall, Kentucky Department of Education- Division of Equity, 500 Mero Street, 8th Floor-CPT, Frankfort, KY 40601, or call (502) 564-3791 for more information.

View Scholarship Opportunities available in Kentucky.

Harvard Expands Its Financial Aid Program for Low-Income Students
Last week The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (JBHE) reported that the University of Pennsylvania was eliminating financial aid loans for all students whose families had incomes of less than $50,000 per year. These students will now have all their financial aid needs met by scholarship grants.

Harvard University had a similar plan for students from families with incomes below $40,000. Now Harvard has upped the ante. Beginning this coming fall, students from families with income below $60,000 will not be expected to contribute to the cost of their child’s education. These students will receive scholarship grants to cover the cost of their Harvard education.

In addition, students from families with incomes between $60,000 and $80,000 will see a reduction in the expected family contribution.

The new program will cost Harvard an additional $2.4 million annually. This is equivalent to what Harvard earns in income from its endowment every 10 hours.


• 75.8% Percentage of non-Hispanic white adults in 2005 who owned the residence in which they lived.

• 48.2% Percentage of African-American adults in 2005 who owned the residence in which they lived. (Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census)

Below is a list of Free ESL classes offered to immigrants:


ESL Classes offered by Operation Read, (859) 254-9664

Consolidated Baptist Church: All levels. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Consolidated Baptist Church: Farm employees learning beginning horse farm terms and basic English (Presented by the Blue Grass Farms Chaplaincy), Mondays and Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Carnegie Center: Intermediate level. Thursdays, 9:30 - 11:30 am
Carnegie Center: Beginning and Intermediate. Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30 -11:30 am
Immanuel Baptist Church: Advance level. Fridays, 9:30 -11:30 am
Village Branch Library: Beginning level. Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
La Roca Church: Beginning and Intermediate level. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Hunter Presbyterian Church: Beginning and Advance level. Mondays and Thursdays, 6:30 -8:00 pm

Bluegrass Literacy ESL Classes (859) 299-5982 or (859) 608-9390

Cowan Center, 1364 Devonport Drive: All levels. Mondays, 6:00 -7:30 pm
Goodwill Industries Suite 110 New Circle Rd: All levels. Tuesdays, 6:00 -7:30 pm
Russell Cave Library: GED, Mathematics, Group study. Thursdays, 4:00 pm
Clays Mill Rd Area: Spanish for English Speakers. Call (859) 299-5982
Living Arts Science Ctr. Campsie Place 4a: Math & Literacy. Thursdays, 5:30 pm

Catholic Center Buen Pastor, 1812 Versailles Road, (859) 254-5507

GED Classes: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Driving Manual Classes: Call for schedule.

Ahreans Learning Center. (502) 485-3400
Americana Education and Recreation Campus, (502) 485-3400
Bethlehem Baptist Church, (502) 485-3400
Buechel Presbyterian Church
Casa Latina, (502) 439-9459
Catholic Charities, (502) 485-3400
Centro Comunitario de Arcadia, (502) 375-1819
Cresent Hill Baptist Church, (502) 485-3400
Jefferson High School, (502) 485-3400
Iglesia Metodista un Rayo de Esperanza, (502) 485-3400
Seneca High School MCA, (502) 485-3400
Westport TAPP, (502) 485-3400
First Gethsemane CFD, (502) 485-3400
Canaan Community Development Corporation, (502) 485-3400
Shelby County Adult Learning Center at Jefferson Community and Technical College, (502) 633-5524
Simpsonville Community Center, (502) 722-1444
Thorn Hill Learning Center, (502) 223-3110
Community Action of Southern Indiana. (812) 288-6451
Reisz Adult Learning Center, (812) 949-4253
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The mission of the Commonwealth’s Personnel Cabinet is to take care of state government employees, as well as, those seeking employment with the state. Thus, we invite you to peruse their websiteWe are confident you will find the information beneficial.

Kentucky State Police
Applications are now being accepted.  Find out how you can become a Kentucky State Trooper.

Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources:
* Communications Dispatcher I
* Conservation Education Program Leader I
* Fisheries Biologist I
* Conservation Officer

To learn more about these jobs and how to apply, please click KDFWR to view their website.

Kentucky Department of Corrections
The Kentucky Department of Corrections is seeking applicants for the following positions:

CORRECTIONAL OFFICER – Beginning Salary: $22,027.20. DUTIES: Stands watch in corridors of buildings, towers, and other security posts. Takes required action during emergencies to prevent escapes and suppress disorders. Oversees inmates/patients inside and outside the institution. Takes periodic counts of inmates/patients. Searches inmates/patient’s person, mail and quarters for contraband. Makes written reports on violations on institutional rules. Takes proper use of weapons. Transports inmates/patients. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: High school graduate or GED. Must be twenty-one years of age.

PROBATION & PAROLE OFFICER - Beginning Salary: $27,483.36. DUTIES: Supervises and counsels all assigned probationers, parolees and other designated clientele. Interviews client to gather information. Maintains dialogue with client. Investigates and verifies information. Advises client of legal rights. Formulates, develops and monitors plan of supervision for client. Acts as liaison between client and legal and enforcement authorities. Makes contacts, referrals and arrangements for client’s housing, employment, education, etc. Prepares and maintains detailed client records and reports. Provides testimony and evidence in hearings or trials concerning violation of terms of probation or parole. When necessary, arrests and/or transports violators to proper authority. Prepares all necessary documentation requested by courts, central office, or Parole Board for hearings or legal purposes. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: Bachelor’s degree. Must be twenty-one years of age.

Hiring for these two positions are on an on-going basis. For more information on these positions, please contact Teresa Harris, Recruitment Branch Manager, P.O. Box 2400, Frankfort, Ky. 40602. Telephone: 502-564-4636; Fax 502-564-3571; Email at teresa.harris@ky.gov

The Department of Corrections is actively involved in the recruitment and promotion of minorities and is committed to building a more diversified work force that will best represent all people, regardless of race or gender. The Department has worked diligently to promote job fairs throughout the state with emphasis on minority hiring. As a result of this endeavor, over 300 new employees were hired in 2005, with the majority being African-American. These series of job fairs proved to be a true testament that carefully planned recruitment efforts can be successful. For the first time in history, the Department achieved a record of 11% African-American female workforce, with total minority hiring averaging 16.6% in 2005.

For more information on these positions please click here

Kentucky Educational Television (KET)
Please click here to see KET Internships available.

Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center Inc.
The Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center has operated an Employment & Training program since 1976. The Kentucky office was opened in 1989. The program is funded through the Department of Labor under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title IV, Section 401.

Program participants must be American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian. Participants must also have been unemployed at least seven days, employed less than full time, or are a member of a low-income family.

Services Provided

• Education and Employment Counseling
• Job Search Assistance Grant (One time only $100 and an additional $50 once    employed)
• Financial Assistance for Training includes tuition assistance
• Limited to a 2-year training program at a state supported school. (Associate Degree to Technical Training and must be accepted by local WIA Program for funding assistance)
• Job Counseling & Placement Services
• Referral for other appropriate Services
• Referral to Dress for Success (Complimentary Interview Suit for women)

Please call or write to: Kentucky Indian Manpower Program, NIA Center, 2900 West Broadway, Ste. 100, Louisville, KY 40211, (502) 774-9976 or (800) 595-8721.


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Interested in doing business with the Commonwealth? One must be registered to do so. All potential vendors seeking a contract with the Commonwealth and/or wanting to be notified of opportunities to do business with the Commonwealth should be registered. Registration allows vendors the opportunity to identify products and services they wish to offer to the Commonwealth. In addition, vendor registration makes it easier for agencies to find your company. Vendors may register and review current bid opportunities on the eProcurement website: https://eprocurement.ky.gov/. A vendor registering for the first time may go to the New Vendor Registration section on the eProcurement page and provide the requested information.

ATTENTION NEW CONTRACTORS! If you are interested in viewing the Transportation Cabinets' "Notice to Contractors," please visit their web page at: http://transportation.ky.gov/contract/. This is a listing of all upcoming projects to be bid upon during the upcoming letting. If you have any questions, please contact the Transportation Cabinet at 502-564-3500

2006 KSU Roundtable on Entrepreneurship Schedule & Topics

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Under-18s Can Vote in Upcoming Primary
If your 18th birthday will occur on or before Tuesday, November 6, 2006 (this year’s general election date), you are eligible to vote in the upcoming May primary election (Tuesday, May 16, 2006).  A person must register to vote by April 17, 2006, which is the cutoff date for voter registration for the May primary.  Those wishing to register to vote or for further information may call their county Board of Elections office.  The federal law that allows some 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections is also contained in Kentucky’s state law, KRS 116.055, which has been in effect since 1998.



Daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helps launch Power to End Stroke
Contact: Ron Alsup, State Health Alliances Director, American Heart Association, Ron.Alsup@heart.org 

It happened to Coretta Scott King, Luther Vandross and Robert Guillaume and it could happen to you ----- a stroke.

That’s why Yolanda King, daughter of Coretta Scott King and the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., teamed with the American Stroke Association to launch Power to End Stroke ------ an ambitious education and awareness initiative to reach African Americans. “Since my mother has suffered a stroke, I know that it is doubly important for my family and me to pay special attention to the risk factors that we can control or eliminate,” King said. “That’s why we are getting serious about reducing our stroke risks for ourselves and our legacy.”

The launch of Power to End Stroke highlights alarming realities ------ that blacks are almost twice as likely to have a stroke as whites, and about 100,000 African Americans will have one this year. A recent American Stroke Association survey revealed that among African Americans:

 • Only 45 percent know that family history impacts their risk for diseases.
 • About 47 percent don’t know that race/ethnicity influences their risk levels.
 • 70 percent think they are knowledgeable about stroke but only 30 percent correctly define stroke.
 • Only 49 percent know stroke symptoms.
 • 51 percent do not think that they will ever have a stroke.

In Kentucky black males have the greatest burden for stroke with over one-quarter of all stroke deaths occurring among those younger than 65, about 60 percent greater than the rate for white men. About 18% of black women die prematurely from stroke, more than twice the figure for white women. The American Heart Association and the Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment are partnering to educate and significantly heighten awareness around the risk of stroke in African Americans. This partnership is an aggressive education and awareness campaign that embraces and celebrates the culture, energy, creativity and lifestyles of African Americans. “A substantial number of African Americans aren’t making the connection that their ethnicity and family’s history increases their stroke risk,” said Bruce Ovbiagele, M.D., a neurologist. “In most cases, stroke is not inevitable. Taking simple steps now against even one risk factor can help reduce your risk of stroke.”

During the launch of Power to End Stroke King urged African Americans to take the association’s stroke pledge.  “It’s a promise for people to sign. They commit to not just survive, but thrive by doing their part to make the right health choices for themselves, their families and their communities to prevent and overcome stroke,” she said. Visit www.StrokeAssociation.org/power  to take the stroke pledge and join the movement to fight stroke. The pledge may be shared with relatives and friends, and includes a reply card for people to request and receive stroke related information and incentives throughout the year.

For more information about the American Stroke Association call 1-888-4-STROKE or visit www.StrokeAssociation.org/power.

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Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Submitted by:  Kentucky Department for Public Health
Contact:  Elizabeth Fiehler, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition Consultant, CHFS

April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month.  Frequent abdominal pain accompanied with constipation or diarrhea, bloating, and/or discomfort.   For many Americans, the symptoms are all too familiar: They are the signs of Irritable Syndrome, a common digestive problem that affects the large intestine. In fact, IBS will affect up to 15 percent of adults during their lifetimes and is more common in women than men.   While IBS is not life-threatening, it can dramatically alter one’s quality of life. People who suffer from IBS experience great discomfort very frequently and often find themselves making lifestyle changes such as altering their schedule or avoiding certain activities altogether.

Those who suffer from IBS do not have any physical abnormalities. Specifically, the intestines are physically normal, but do not work properly. Physicians and health care providers do not yet fully understand the cause of this condition, but know that those who suffer from IBS experience a disruption of movement of the digestive tract brought on by abnormal muscle contractions in the intestines. While IBS can be painful, it does not cause damage to the bowel and does not increase one’s chances of developing colon cancer.

IBS symptoms include bloating and gas, especially after eating; abdominal cramping; constipation; diarrhea; urgency to have a bowel movement; abnormal stool form; and mucus in stool.  If you have any of these symptoms please contact your doctor. You will want to rule out other causes of these symptoms.  It’s also important to understand certain factors that can make IBS symptoms worse such as stress; eating large meals or high fat meals; menstrual periods; and certain foods that increase IBS symptoms (these can vary from person to person).  To decrease the symptoms of IBS try to reduce stress levels; eat smaller meals and possibly consider adding light snacks to your diet; eat low-fat, high fiber foods; drink plenty of fluids, but limit caffeine and alcohol intake; and avoid foods that trigger your symptoms (it may be necessary to keep a food diary to help determine the foods that increase symptoms).

IBS can be managed, and those who suffer from the condition should work with their health care provider to better control their IBS. In some instances, medication is prescribed and patients are frequently advised to alter diet and exercise routines.  If symptoms worsen or change to include extreme fatigue; unexplained weight loss; decreased appetite; persistent abdominal pain; or blood in your stool, talk to your health care provider.

 Minority Health Disparities:  Learn more about what the Cabinet for Health & Family Services is doing. 

View the Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CFHS) Wellness Website.                   

CHFS Focus on Wellness monthly newsletter

National Women's Health Indicators Database                                          National, regional, state and county data are available by gender, race, ethnicity and age at the National Women's Health Indicators Database.  The website allows users to customize tables, graphs and maps.

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Robert C. Asseo
Field Service Manager

Robert Asseo is the first Hispanic citizen to be appointed to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Robert has lived in Florence, Kentucky, for more than 20 years. Robert is also a member of the Florence Fire and EMS City Tax District Board, Florence Citizens Corps Executive Council member and he also is a school board member representing Boone County High School. Robert is active in politics and community affairs and is very well respected in his community. He represents the 6th Supreme Court District on the commission. He is also a Field Service Manager with Delta Air Lines.

As a very caring and involved individual who brings a wealth of experience to the community, Robert is enthusiastic, self motivated, a good listener, and he has a very approachable and positive "can do" attitude. He is specific and fair, gives clear messages, and has a proven record as a strong leader.

In accordance with his goal of building positive relationships and assuring the best service, Robert is clear in his commitment, “A Commonwealth united against discrimination, a Commonwealth united for equality". Robert also told supporters, "It doesn't matter were you come from, the car you drive, or the size of the house you live, the bottom line is we all live in America and working together we can make a difference.”

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is composed of eleven members who are appointed by the governor. The commission encourages fair treatment for all people regardless of race or national ancestry.
Robert is married to Millie and they have three sons.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_C._Asseo)

Guadalupe Arciniega
1936 -

Sister Lupe, she is lovingly called, joined the Sisters of Loretto 50 years ago. She left for a while to help farm workers and immigrants in South America before going to California to work with Cesar Chavez to improve conditions for the United Farmworkers but then returned to Kentucky in 1988 to work. Most recently Sister Lupe has helped Hispanics in the Elizabethtown and Hodgensville areas to obtain fair wages, health care, housing and child care.

Nearly 20 years after she came to Kentucky to help migrant workers — a new phenomenon at the time — Sister Lupe Arciniega became the first Hispanic member of the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Sister Lupe, who lives in Nerinx in Marion County, said her induction should be seen as an accomplishment for all Hispanics, who she said have gained acceptance in the state over the past two decades. "I keep getting up each day with the hope that immigrants, migrants and refugees will be accepted," said Arciniega, who was born in El Paso, Texas.
(Sources: http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050730/NEWS01/50730003/1008/NEWS01 and http://www.state.ky.us/agencies2/kchr/crhfinduc2005_new.htm)
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