minority health

Courtesy of Immigrant Welcome Center

With COVID-19 limiting gatherings, the Westside Community Development Corp. had to get creative for a recent wellness event. 

So it hosted a Health and Wealth event on Facebook to provide information on public health topics, including the vaccines. There were discussions with representatives from organizations such as local health departments, as well as live music performances.

How Redlining, Racism Harm Black Americans' Health

Jun 24, 2020
Carter Barrett, Side Effects Public Media

Systemic racism has a huge impact on the health of Black Americans, and not just in the doctor’s office. In a Facebook Live event, Side Effects Public Media reporter Darian Benson spoke with three experts on topics ranging from generational mistrust to the impact of COVID-19. 

Service by www.wordclouds.com/

We asked you, our listeners and readers, to share  your concerns with healthcare costs. And the results are in. 

In 2014, the percentage of construction workers with health insurance increases from 64 to almost 69.
Jon Fleshman via Flickr / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Immigrants saw the steepest gains in health insurance coverage in 2014, the first year for enrollment on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges and Medicaid's expansion, according to a New York Times analysis of census data. Hispanics accounted for nearly one third of the increase in adults with insurance. A smaller percentage of blacks gained coverage, according to the Times, because most poor blacks live in states that chose not to expand Medicaid. 

For Native Americans, Health Care Is A Long, Hard Road Away

Apr 14, 2016

Cody Pedersen and his wife, Inyan, know that in an emergency they will have to wait for help to arrive.

Cody, 29, and his family live in Cherry Creek, a Native American settlement within the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in north central South Dakota.

The reservation is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. But Cherry Creek has no general store, no gas station and few jobs.

Downtown Waco, Texas, looking north.
city-data.com

A new initiative is working to create a data dashboard that almost any city could use to get a handle on the health of its citizens. City-level health data can be critical when it comes to measures like reducing smoking or deciding where to build new parks and health clinics. Yet most health data is collected at the county, not the city level. That means city leaders looking to improve residents’ health lack a baseline of information to work from.

HIV rates have been on the decline in the U.S. for years now, but stark disparities remain, with some groups of people at high risk of infection.

Here's the good part: The number of people diagnosed annually has dropped by about 20 percent in the last decade.

The drop was driven by plunges in certain groups of people, including heterosexuals, with a 35 percent decline since 2005; black women, with a 42 percent decline; and people who inject drugs, 63 percent.

Johnathan Casserly has autism spectrum disorder.
Ana Casserly / submitted photo

Autism spectrum disorder, better known as autism, is a condition where an individual struggles to engage in two-way communication, especially in social situations. 

There is no "cure" for autism, and the cause may come down to hundreds of interacting factors, but we do know it is critical for people with autism to get the earliest possible diagnosis and get access to appropriate educational and medical resources.

Genetics researchers often discover certain snips and pieces of the human genome that are important for health and development, such as the genetic mutations that cause cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. And scientists noticed that genetic variants are more common in some races, which makes it seem like race is important in genetics research.

State Refor(u)m

  "A new Mason-Dixon Line has been forming in our health care system," writes Cecilia Vichier-Guerre in an editorial for HoustonChronicle.com. The 2012 Supreme Court ruling that changed Medicaid expansion from mandatory to optional for states led to the current landscape, where a majority of Southern and Midwestern states have opted out, says Vichier-Guerre. With people of color making up three quarters of Texans without health insurance, she argues that her state's decision not to expand Medicaid is contributing to worsening inequality. 

On any given episode of East Los High, the highly addictive teen soap on Hulu that just got a fourth season, you'll see love triangles and heartbreak, mean girls and bad boys, and some seriously skillful dancing. Think a Latino Degrassi meets Gossip Girl meets Glee.

Childhood Asthma Rates Level Off, But Racial Disparities Remain

Dec 28, 2015

There's finally some good news about childhood asthma in the United States: After rising for decades, the number of children with the breathing disorder has finally stopped increasing and may have started falling, according to a government analysis.

"That was a big surprise," says Lara Akinbami of the National Center for Health Statistics. "We were expecting the increase to kind of continue. But in fact we saw the opposite."

Clinical Trials Still Don't Reflect The Diversity Of America

Dec 16, 2015

About 40 percent of Americans belong to a racial or ethnic minority, but the people who participate in clinical trials tend to be more homogeneous. Clinical trials are the studies that test whether drugs work, and inform doctors' decisions about how to treat their patients. When subjects in those studies don't look like the patients who could end up taking the treatments, that can be problematic. In short: Clinical trials are too white.

Advocates Allege Discrimination In California’s Medicaid Program

Dec 16, 2015

LOS ANGELES – A coalition of civil rights advocates Tuesday called for a federal investigation of California’s Medicaid program, alleging that it discriminates against millions of low-income Latinos by denying them equal access to health care.

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit national health policy news service. 

Latinos Live Longer, Despite Poverty. What's Their Secret?

Dec 11, 2015
Acavius Largo/YES! Magazine

Celia Aguilar wears a long, loosely fitted white dress with touches of red embroidery and red bandanas tied around her head and waist. The 29-year-old Chicana dances alongside men wearing large, feathered headdresses, the seashells on their ankles rattling. Here in El Paso, Texas, they gather in a ritual of Danza Azteca, an Aztec dance preserved in Mexican culture. 

When Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodríguez was a graduate student in psychology at the University of Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, she learned there were no studies of how many Latinos suffered from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder.

A Church Seeks To Bridge The Mental Health Knowledge Gap

Dec 8, 2015
Alyssa Kapnik Samuel/KHN

For Rev. Donna Allen’s congregation in Oakland, California, the New Revelation Community Church is a place to share with other African-Americans and to find support when facing life’s small and big crises. And for Allen, one of the most important messages is that their community has too often ignored the scourge of mental illness.

“They’ll describe being very depressed, like ‘I don’t want to go on. I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to live anymore,’ ” said Allen. “They’re really describing things that are mental health issues.”

There's a big racial disparity in NIH funding

Nov 23, 2015
Mark Garrison

Several scientists are concerned about racial bias in federal funding of medical research. Using National Institutes of Health data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, researchers find persistently lower approval levels for grants filed by minority researchers, as compared to white applicants. The issue has major implications for America’s health and how its tax money is spent.

Oviea Akpotaire and Jeffrey Okonye put in long days working with patients at the veterans' hospital in south Dallas as fourth-year medical students at the University of Texas Southwestern.

They're in a class of 237 people and they're two of only five black men in their class.

"I knew the ones above us, below us," Okonye says. "We all kind of know each other. It's comforting to see another person that looks like you."

Miguel Dominguez, 51, at his home in East Los Angeles on Sept. 14, 2015. Dominguez is one of thousands of residents that live in the area affected by the Exide Technologies plant contamination.
Heidi de Marco / KHN

EAST LOS ANGELES — Miguel Dominguez didn’t know what to make of the notices he started receiving from the state toxic substances department a couple of years ago. They warned about Exide Technologies, a company he’d barely heard of.

Then a community activist knocked on the door. He explained that Exide’s battery recycling plant – just minutes from Dominguez’s home — had been polluting the air and soil with lead and other toxic chemicals for decades.

Hispanic people much are less likely to get cancer than non-Hispanic whites, but it's also their leading cause of death.

Beneath that puzzling fact lie the complexities and contradictions of the Hispanic health experience in the United States. Since we're talking about 17 percent of the U.S. population, it has ramifications for health care and the economy.

Here's what caught our eye in Wednesday's report on cancer and Hispanics from the American Cancer Society:

Bishop Gwendolyn Coates-Stone of the God Answers Prayer Ministries of Los Angeles gives a sermon about preparing for the death of loved ones.
Heide de Marco / Kaiser Health News

BUFFALO — Twice already Narseary and Vernal Harris have watched a son die. The first time — Paul, at age 26 — was agonizing and frenzied, his body tethered to a machine meant to keep him alive as his incurable sickle cell disease progressed. When the same illness ravaged Solomon, at age 33, the Harrises reluctantly turned to hospice in the hope that his last days might somehow be less harrowing than his brother’s.

Katrina Shut Down Charity Hospital But Led To More Primary Care

Aug 24, 2015

Five years ago, New Orleans attorney Ermence Parent was struggling to find out what was wrong with her leg. She was 58 years old, and her right leg hurt so much that she needed a cane. That was not only painful, but frustrating for a woman who routinely exercised and enjoyed it. Parent sought advice from several doctors and a chiropractor, but got no diagnosis.

Can Health Care Be Cured Of Racial Bias?

Aug 20, 2015

Jane Lazarre was pacing the hospital waiting room. Her son Khary, 18, had just had knee surgery, but the nurses weren't letting her in to see him.

"They told us he would be out of anesthesia in a few minutes," she remembers. "The minutes became an hour, the hour became two hours."

She and her husband called the surgeon in a panic. He said that Khary had come out of anesthesia violently — thrashing and flailing about. He told Lazarre that with most young people Khary's age, there wouldn't have been a problem. The doctors and nurses would have gently held him down.

Nonprofit AltaMed is conducting HIV prevention outreach at several Latino gay bars in the Los Angeles area. Latinos make up about 21 percent of new infections nationally, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Heidi de Marco / Kaiser Health News

LOS ANGELES – Late on a Friday night at The New Jalisco Bar downtown, a drag show featuring dancers dressed in sequined leotards and feathered headdresses had drawn a crowd — most of them gay Latino men.

Inside the bar and out, three health workers chatted with customers, casually asking questions: Do you know about the HIV prevention pill? Would you consider taking it? A few men said they had never heard of it. Others simply said it wasn’t for them.

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