We are excited to be starting our third year of the “Take Charge of Your Health” pages. These pages focus on health disparities in the Pittsburgh region. They give important health information, as well as information about research opportunities and community resources. In the past two years, the pages have covered health topics like diabetes, asthma, heart disease and cancer. Those pages can all be accessed online at the New Pittsburgh Courier Web site.

The monthly series is a partnership of the New Pittsburgh Courier, Community PARTners (a core service of the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute—CTSI) and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. This year we are excited to welcome the UPMC Center for Inclusion as a new partner.

Because many children go back to school this month, Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD, chief of adolescent medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, sat down with Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League, to talk about immunizations.

EM: Ms. Bush, it’s so great to be starting these health pages again this year! I know you have a strong interest in the health of children in the Pittsburgh area. What are your thoughts about the topic this month?

EB: I’m thrilled that we are continuing these health pages again. I know I learn a lot each month. Children truly are our future, and as a community we need to do the best we can to protect them. One important way to do this is by vaccinating them against diseases that are harmful to children and their families.

EM: The topic of immunizations has been covered a lot by the media. What are your thoughts about vaccinations?

EB: I strongly believe everyone has a right to voice his or her opinions about vaccines. However, it’s essential that people know the facts about vaccines. As Drs. Zimmerman and Burke point out, a lot of research has been done with regard to vaccine safety. Research shows us that vaccines not only keep individuals free of disease but also those around them. We don’t want to see a rise in deadly diseases in Pittsburgh that can be prevented.

 EM: Thank you so much for your time, Ms. Bush. Is there anything else you would like to add?

EB: We all agree we want a strong, healthy community here in Pittsburgh. I want to encourage people to learn more, ask questions and get involved in their health. Talk to your doctors. Read accurate Web sites. People can call the Community PARTners Core for more information about community resources or participating in research at 412-624-8139.


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