Home / Author Archives: WSS News (page 24)

Author Archives: WSS News

The Affordable Care Act: Closing the Gap When It Comes to Health Care

By Sylvia Mathews Burwell, HHS Secretary

Black History Month is an important time to reflect on the legacy of the African American leaders, thinkers, creators and philosophers who have made this country what it is today. From Harriet Tubman to President Obama, our black heritage is a story of courage, persistence, and indomitable strength.

Yet, despite the incredible progress that the African American community has made toward equality, these accomplishments must also remind us of how far we have to go.

Disparities still linger, and that’s especially true when it comes to health care:

  • African Americans have the lowest life expectancy of any other race in this country.
  • They are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure.
  • African American women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer – even though they are 10 percent less likely to be diagnosed with it.
  • And the statistic that impacts all of that: African-Americans are more likely to be uninsured than white Americans.

These health inequalities impact our nation’s potential – from access to education to the stability of families and communities.

But we now have a chance to close these gaps.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 7.8 million African Americans with private insurance from both inside and outside the Marketplace now have access to expanded preventive services with no cost-sharing. That includes screenings for cancer, pap smears and mammograms, well-child visits, and flu shots.

As of June 2014, 1.7 million African Americans (ages 18-64) gained private or public health insurance coverage during the initial open enrollment period. That’s a 6.8 percentage point drop in the uninsured rate over that time.

These changes are helping people all over this country get the care they need. These changes mean a doctor can find a cancerous lump with enough time to intervene. They mean a mom will learn how to manage her diabetes before it threatens her life. They mean that a dad will be able to afford the prescription that keeps his blood pressure in check. And they are helping families sleep a little easier at night, knowing a sickness or an accident won’t wipe out their life savings.

If you or someone you know needs health insurance, now is the time to act! The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15, and there is less than a week left to sign up.

HealthCare.gov—or the 24/7 call center at 1-800-318-2596—has more choices this year and that means more competition. We’ve worked hard to make the consumer experience simpler, faster, and more intuitive. And financial help is available…in fact the majority of people —87% to be exact – who selected 2015 plans through HealthCare.gov got financial assistance to help lower the cost of their premiums.

During this Open Enrollment, we have the opportunity to help our friends and neighbors get the coverage and care they need. Help us spread the word about affordable, quality coverage at HealthCare.gov.

Child Abduction Unit reunites three children with their father

PHOTO 1

Augustus Scott pictured with his three children, following their return to California.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit (CAU) assisted in the successful reunification of three young children with their father Jan. 30, after their non-custodial, biological mother removed them from their home and fled California.

According to Senior Investigator Karen Cragg, who is assigned to the case, Cari Ann Gleason withheld the three children from their biological father, 57-year-old Augustus Scott, of Victorville, without his consent, since Nov. 2014. After a lengthy investigation, the children were located in the State of Florida.

On January 30, 2015, investigators from the Child Abduction Unit traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida, where by prearrangement, 33-year-old Gleason voluntarily placed the children with the investigators for return to Scott in California. Upon their return to San Bernardino County the next day, the children were immediately reunited with their father.

“No matter how many times we do this, it’s always gratifying to reunite a child, or, as in this case, children, with their legal parent or guardian and ensure that the court’s child custody orders are followed,” Cragg said.

The work of the CAU focuses on protecting the custody rights of parents and legal guardians.  On a routine basis, the CAU partners with courts and law enforcement throughout the United States to recover abducted children who are carried across state lines. In cases of international child abduction, the CAU implements the terms of the Hague Convention, an international treaty signed by more than 60 countries.

For more information regarding the Child Abduction Unit, please visit: http://ow.ly/AS6cr

San Bernardino County Museum brings artifacts onto the Google Cultural Institute

Google Cultural Institute-132224The San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands, California today announced it is adding high resolution images to the Google Cultural Institute allowing people across the United States to explore its collections online. The images will go online on February 10.

Native American baskets and pottery from the museum’s ethnology collections were selected to become part of the Google Cultural Institute. The resolution of these images, combined with a custom built zoom viewer, allows everyone from art-lovers anthropologists to discover details of objects they may never have seen up close before.

“We are delighted to join the Google Cultural Institute to make some of our collections accessible to a wider public,” said Leonard Hernandez, the museum’s interim director. “The artifacts that will be available for study and enjoyment through this project will expand many viewers’ perceptions of ‘art.’ These Native American baskets will be joined by examples of other aspects of the museum collections, including some beautiful mineral specimens that could be seen as Nature’s works of art.”

Visitors to the Google Cultural Institute can browse works by the artist’s name, the artwork, the type of art, the museum, the country, collections and the time period. Google+ and video hangouts are integrated on the site, allowing viewers to invite their friends to view and discuss their favorite works in a video chat or follow a guided tour from an expert.

The ‘My Gallery’ feature allows users to save specific views of any of artworks or artifacts and build their own personalized gallery. Comments can be added to each object and the whole gallery can then be shared with friends and family. It’s an ideal tool for students or groups to work on collaborative projects or collections. In addition, a feature called ‘Compare’ allows you to examine two pieces side-by-side to look at how styles evolved over time, connect trends across cultures, or delve deeply into two parts of the same work.

The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community to bring their art, archives, heritage sites and other material online. The aim is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world that is available for people to explore online and in doing so, democratize access to it and preserve it for future generations.