health disparities

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@nci?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">National Cancer Institute</a> on Unsplash

As soon as COVID-19 hit, there was a massive jump in telemedicine visits. A Centers for Disease Control study found that in March 2020 there was a 154% increase compared to the previous year.

Now it’s clear the coronavirus has dramatically changed the way Americans get medical care. But some of these virtual options remain out of reach for the most vulnerable populations, like seniors.

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On Dec. 4, Dr. Susan Moore posted a video from her hospital bed in the Indianapolis area. Short of breath and with an oxygen tube in her nose, she said that she was denied proper care while being treated for COVID-19.

Less than three weeks later, she died from the virus. 


Aime'e Elliott

Earlier this year, Aime’e Elliott couldn’t keep any solid foods down while pregnant with son Jacion. So the 28-year-old Indianapolis woman called a community group before even considering her doctor.

IU Health

As a pediatric chief resident at Indiana University’s medical school, Dr. Chaniece Wallace had a list of blessings. This fall, the 30-year-old was interviewing for jobs around the country — and preparing for the birth of her first child. 

Shepard Community Center

When Marion County Health Commissioner Dr. Virginia Caine fell down a flight of stairs recently, a pill to treat her arthritis became a way to cope with the pain. But she forgot her insurance card on a trip to the pharmacy, and the out-of-pocket price of her prescription – $230 – gave Caine sticker shock.

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When the COVID shutdown hit, lots of people lost jobs and couldn’t pay their rent. States and cities responded by putting a moratorium on evictions, but those are ending. Housing advocates are now bracing for a flood of evictions — and a public health problem.

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July marked 30 years since President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. And while the U.S. has come far since then, the nation still has a long way to go when it comes to achieving health equity. The current public health crisis of COVID-19 has only exacerbated existing inequities for people with disabilities. 

States continue to reopen, but the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, according to experts on Indiana Public Broadcasting’s All IN talk show. The experts discussed the current state of the pandemic and how state officials have responded — as well as the need for more data.

Francisco Bonilla is a pastor in Carthage, Mo., catering to the spiritual needs of the town's growing Latinx community. But he's also a media personality, casting his voice far beyond the white-painted walls of Casa de Sanidad. Inside the church, Bonilla runs a low-power, Spanish-language radio station.

Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media

Dr. Blessing Ogbemudia graduated from Indiana University’s medical school in May. As he was celebrating with a few friends, he received an anonymous message on Instagram. It contained an audio clip of someone talking about him. 

This spring, as it became clear COVID-19 was hitting African-Americans especially hard, Indianapolis-area health officials vowed to set up testing sites in “hotspot” neighborhoods. One opened in predominantly Black Arlington Woods, at a respected local institution: Eastern Star Church.

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Systemic racism has a big impact on the health of black Americans. They are more likely to have health conditions like diabetes or hypertension- and more likely to die from them. Racism in medicine takes many forms, and one is a foundation of mistrust and misunderstanding.

WFYI

Indianapolis and other cities across the U.S. have recently been rocked by street demonstrations protesting systemic racism. WFYI’s Terrie Dee and the Indianapolis Recorder’s Oseye Boyd were joined by community leaders to discuss what sparked the protests and possible solutions to those deeply rooted problems.

Justin Hicks, Indiana Public Broadcasting

Demonstrations are flaring up across the country to protest the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police. They’re also calling attention to broader inequalities. One of those areas—health disparities—kills Black Americans in massive numbers.

Darian Benson, Side Effects Public Media

African-Americans across the country are dying from the new coronavirus at a much higher rate than whites. Experts have a lot of explanations, but they also say more data is needed. In Indianapolis, a new no-cost testing program hopes to increase COVID-19 testing in African-American communities.

Crowded Homeless Shelters And The Vicious Flu Brew Perfect Storm

Mar 7, 2018
Carmen Heredia Rodriguez / Kaiser Health News

The flu descended on Connie Gabaldon like a fog, she recalled, clouding her mind and compromising her judgment. It progressed to chest and back pain, the aches perhaps made worse by a fall the 66-year-old had while riding the bus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's "village" — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.

Clint Lalonde / https://www.flickr.com/photos/clint_lalonde/

Findings from a new study on fast food availability appear to turn previous research on its head.

Lag In Brain Donation Hampers Understanding Of Dementia In Blacks

Aug 9, 2017
Anna Gorman / Kaiser Health News

The question came as a shock to Dorothy Reeves: Would she be willing to donate her husband’s brain for research?

‘Bureaucratic Ninjas’ Slice Red-Tape To Battle Health Disparities

Aug 7, 2017
Kristian Foden-Vencil / Oregon Public Broadcasting

When a receptionist hands out a form to fill out at a doctor’s office, the questions are usually about medical issues: What’s the visit for? Are you allergic to anything? Up to date on vaccines?


Harsh life experiences appear to leave African-Americans vulnerable to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

Several teams presented evidence that poverty, disadvantage and stressful life events are strongly associated with cognitive problems in middle age and dementia later in life among African-Americans.

Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

This year’s Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is in full swing. The event is the Expo organization’s biggest annual fundraiser, which runs through Sunday at the Indiana Convention Center.

How Disease Rates Vary By State — And What States Can Do About It

Dec 13, 2016
Chris Bentley/via Flickr

By many measures, Hawaii is one of the healthiest states in the union. Yet only Mississippi has a higher rate of flu or pneumonia deaths than the Aloha State.

West Virginia, which is usually among the bottom dwellers in state health rankings, is in the middle of the pack when it comes to deaths related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Side-By-Side Kansas Counties Are Worlds Apart When It Comes To Health

Mar 21, 2016

At her home studio in Westwood, Kansas, yoga instructor Marilyn Pace leads a class of 5-to-8-year olds. With the help of songs, games and other kid-friendly teaching methods, she guides her small students through poses like the cobra, the triangle and the downward-facing dog.

Tatjana Alvegard takes her daughter, Kaya, to Pace’s classes regularly.

In Freddie Gray's Baltimore, The Best Medical Care Is Nearby But Elusive

Feb 15, 2016

A recurring bone infection landed Robert Peace in the hospital five times after a 2004 car accident fractured a hip.

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