Campus: CSU Chico -- October 25, 2002
Worldwide Health Inequities Explored on CD-ROM
from CSU Chico
A new CD-ROM that gathers thousands of pages of information about inequities
in health among different groups in the United States and worldwide
has just been released by California State University, Chico.
Mark Tomita, professor in the Department of Health and Community Services
at CSU, Chico, headed the creation of the Global Health Disparities
CD-ROM. It is being distributed for free to health educators who are
members of the National Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)
and other health educators working in California.
Tomita said health educators in Butte County and other areas have already
commented about the usefulness of the CD-ROM. “People are overwhelmed
by what’s on it and how much information is there,” Tomita
The term "health disparities" is often used by health educators
to describe the unequal and unfair differences in health status that
are the consequences of political, social and environmental pressures.
CSU, Chico, with the cooperation of SOPHE, created the CD-ROM to raise
awareness of the global nature of health disparities and build the capacity
of the nation’s public health education workforce to meet the
challenges of eliminating those disparities where they exist.
More than 700 primary sources on health disparities were collected from
many countries and are included in the CD-ROM. “Even though all
of this material is available to the public, it would take someone a
very long time to find all of it on their own,” Tomita said. “Having
it one place is very helpful to professionals in the field.”
The Global Health Disparities CD-ROM includes reports, government documents,
professional journal articles and newsletters and other important information.
The materials are categorized both by population groups most affected
and by the methods that can be used to reduce the disparities.
While some health inequities may be fairly well known – such as
higher infant mortality and diabetes rates among Native Americans than
the general population – other health issues are not well known
to professionals and educators, Tomita said. “Many public health
educators have not received a lot of training, and also may not have
the opportunity to keep track of new information,” he said.
Tomita, in his first year on the CSU, Chico faculty, is the Global Health
Disparities CD-ROM project coordinator, and is co-chair of the SOPHE
International and Cross-Cultural Health Special Interest Group. The
project team from CSU, Chico were Professors Diana Flannery, Lyndall
Ellingson and Steve Shive, Department of Health and Community Services,
and Kevin Shanley, CSU, Chico Technology and Learning Program. Graphic
and Web page design was done by CSU, Chico student Jerome Heuze.
Eight hundred copies of the CD-ROM will be distributed. Statewide health
educators are receiving a copy by mail, and all those attending SOPHE’s
Nov. 8 annual meeting in Philadelphia will receive one from CSU, Chico
health and community services faculty members.
This project was funded by CSU, Chico’s College of Behavioral
and Social Sciences and the Department of Health and Community Services.
For more information, contact Tomita, Department of Health and Community
Services, CSU, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0505, or contact Elaine M. Auld,
executive director, Society for Public Health Education, 750 First St.
N.E., Suite 910, Washington, DC 20002-4242.
Tomita is currently at work on another CD-ROM for health educators.
The topic will be health issues related to the Mexico-U.S. border. Tomita
said that CD-ROM should be released June 1.
CONTACT: Joe Wills, 530-898-4131