Nov 6, 2007    #148
Contact: Angela Turner

Underserved Hispanic population to benefit from annual health promotion week

Alianzas, a program of the University of Missouri Extension and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Institute for Human Development, will host its 2007 Bi-National Health Week Oct. 13-21. All events are free and open to the public. Bilingual information is available.

The Bi-National Health Week is an annual weeklong series of health-promotion and health-education activities geared toward the vulnerable and difficult-to-reach populations of Mexican and Central American descent. However, it benefits underserved Hispanics/Latinos regardless of community of origin.

According to a National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention study of immigrant populations, assimilation to U.S. norms can lead to the adoption of a more sedentary lifestyle and, as a result, to excess weight and obesity. The CDC showed that poor diet and physical inactivity, both modifiable behaviors, are substantial contributors to deaths associated with being overweight. Activities during Bi-National Health Week include screenings, immunizations, and mobile dental vans; health service and insurance referrals; health fairs, distribution of education materials; and workshops. Missouri events will take place in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Columbia, Sedalia and Wentzville.

The Bi-National Health Week in Missouri is an initiative of Alianzas; the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City; the Institute for Mexicans Abroad; and the Bi-National Health Week Planning Committee, a network of local health professionals, service providers and community leaders. Bi-National Health Week has steadily expanded since its inception in seven Mexican states and seven California counties in 2001. In 2006, an estimated 300,000 people participated in 1,014 activities and received 49,349 health screenings throughout the U.S. and Canada. An additional 386,000 people were reached and 235,000 health screenings were provided through activities in 23 federal entities and 294 municipalities in Mexico.

A list of events is included with this news release. For more information, contact Katy Fields at 816-235-5840 or; Christina Case at 816-235-1768 or; or go to

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences and urban engagement.


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