News You Can Use, 6/17

New York Times, 6/14
Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed that the total number of admissions to treatment services from 1996 to 2005 (the last year for which detailed data are available) stayed about the same among people under 40 but jumped 52 percent among those 40 and older. Of the 40 and older group, the rise in admissions among men was 44 percent. Among women, it was 82 percent.
(During the same span, the population in the United States age 40 and older grew by only 19 percent.)

Of these women, admissions for nonsmoked cocaine have doubled; admissions for crack cocaine have tripled; admissions for opiates other than heroin have nearly quadrupled; and admissions for methamphetamines have increased sevenfold.

Ed Week, 6/11
The latest analysis of a long-running early childhood education program for children of low-income families in Chicago suggests economic payoffs from such services that continue well into adulthood.
Researchers looking at data from the study, which is now more than 20 years old, say that for every dollar spent on children who attended the Chicago Child Parent Centers, almost $10 is returned by age 25 in either benefits to society—such as savings on remediation in school and on the criminal-justice system—or to the participant in the form of higher earnings.

Commonwealth Fund, 6/10
The number of underinsured U.S. adults—people who have health coverage that does not adequately protect them from high medical expenses—has risen dramatically. A new Commonwealth Fund study published today as a Health Affairs Web Exclusive finds that as of 2007, there were an estimated 25 million underinsured adults in the U.S., 60 percent more than the 16 million underinsured in 2003.

Following the method used in the 2003 baseline study, adults ages 19 to 64 were classified as underinsured if they were insured all year yet spent 10 percent or more of their income (or 5 percent if low-income) on out-of-pocket medical expenses, or if they had per-person deductibles that equaled 5 percent or more of their income.

Denver Post, 6/10
Almost twice as many Colorado children are living in poverty as in 2000, making the state’s population of impoverished kids the fastest growing in the nation, according to a Colorado Children’s Campaign report to be released today. Roughly 180,000 of the state’s children—infants through high schoolers—lived in poverty in 2006, according to the report. That is a 73 percent increase since 2000, which researchers concluded by using census and community survey data for the annual statistical review, KidsCount.

The number of impoverished black children jumped 116 percent in six years. Among white children, there was about a 50 percent increase, and the number of Latino children living in poverty jumped 88 percent in that same period.

Philanthropy News Digest, 6/4
Despite turmoil in the credit markets and growing economic uncertainty, corporate philanthropy increased in 2007 and is expected to stay at those levels in 2008, a new survey from the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy ( http://www.corporatephilanthropy.org/ ) finds. Indeed, the weakening economy did not seem to have a significant impact on most companies’ giving.

Denver Post, 6/3
Denver’s largest charities spent more on fundraising last year and a smaller share on programs than their national peers, according to a report Monday from Charity Navigator. The 53 largest charities in Denver spent 78.4 percent of their budgets on charitable programs versus the national median of 80.4 percent. That represents the lowest percentage among the 30 metro areas looked at in Charity Navigator’s 2008 Metro Market Charitable Analysis Study.

Funds aren’t being diverted to administrative expenses as much as to fundraising. Denver charities spent 9.8 percent of their budgets trying to get more money, the highest share among metro areas and significantly above the national median of 7.5 percent.

New York Times, 6/2
Some of the nation’s biggest banks have closed their doors to students at community colleges, for-profit universities and other less competitive institutions, even as they continue to extend federally backed loans to students at the nation’s top universities. Citibank has been among the most aggressive in paring the list of colleges it serves. JPMorgan Chase, PNC and SunTrust say they have not dropped whole categories but are cutting colleges as well. Some less-selective four-year colleges, like Eastern Oregon University and William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., say they have been summarily dropped by some lenders.

Denver Business Journal, 5/29
According to The Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based private foundation that aims to promote healthcare access, Colorado ranked 34th of 50 states and Puerto Rico in terms of access, quality, costs, equity, infant mortality and other factors regarding the children’s healthcare system. While the state came in at No. 5 for the potential for children to live long, healthy lives and No. 17 in terms of costs, it ranked No. 48 and 42 in access and equity, respectively.

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