HJ News and Resource Roundup 4/18/14

Welcome back! This week, we’re continuing our Minority Health Month coverage of racial and ethnic health disparities and providing some updates on previously covered issues, like mental health care in detention and the prosecution of pregnant women who use drugs. Check it out below!

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities:

Ten states ban people with felony drug convictions from ever receiving food stamps.

People of color breathe air that is 38% more polluted than white people’s–leading to a number of serious health issues.

Hispanic men are more likely than non-Hispanic white men to suffer from paternal depression during the first five years of parenthood.

The physical and emotional toll of stop and frisk on African American communities, told from one father’s perspective.

NPR on heightened teen pregnancy rates in Latina communities.


Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

In a time where many young women consider sexual assault to be normal or expected behavior, sex education is working to instill in youth the importance of healthy relationships and mutual respect.

About one in five women uses prescription opioids during pregnancy, with particularly high rates in the south and among Medicaid holders.

We recently covered the dangerous increase in prosecutions of pregnant women who use drugs. Looks like the trend is catching on: Tennessee has just passed legislation to allow women to be prosecuted for assaultive offenses for illegal drug use during pregnancy.

NYLPI’s Disability Justice program is helping women with disabilities access comprehensive gynecological health care.Thanks to their advocacy, City Council has committed $5 million to HHC to build accessible examination rooms.


Access to Care:

A report on the health care needs of people involved in the sex trade in New York City. You can read a press release about the report here.

A short video on mental health and immigration detention.

One woman’s story about her experience with Obamacare.


The Here and Now: Local and Timely Issues:

Sign a petition to encourage mayor De Blasio to address “food deserts” in NYC.

Why gunshot victims seeking care in New York City hospital ERs may find themselves in handcuffs.

Staten Island police officers will begin carrying naloxone in a pilot program to equip first responders throughout the city with medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses.

The former director of the Health Justice program has been appointed the Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs! Congrats, Nisha!

Happy end of tax season! A friendly reminder that immigrants pay taxes, too.

Struggling safety net hospitals in Brooklyn are eager to apply for Medicaid waiver funds. Our very own Shena comments, calling for meaningful stakeholder involvement and input.

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HJ News and Resource Roundup 4/11/14

It’s National Minority Health Month and we have plenty of news on racial and ethnic health disparities, immigrant access to health care, and language barriers in the health system in this week’s news and resource roundup. We’ll also bring you articles on prison health and the latest on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Read (now former) HHS Secretary Sebelius’ statement on National Minority Health Month here.

African-American children with autism are being diagnosed later than children of any other ethnic group.

Poverty and unstable households “ages” the genes of young black children.

Listen to this story about a California medical center that is training interpreters to provide language assistance in indigenous Mexican languages common in the region.

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health

On reproductive justice for women of color and the continued need for the Medicaid sterilization consent requirement.

An investigative report on pregnant detainees in immigration detention centers.

A report on crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in NYC. CPCs are non-medical centers, staffed by untrained non-providers who distribute false and intentionally manipulative information to prevent abortion.

On the return of the back-alley abortions in Texas.

Prison Health

New York City prisons are not meeting the health needs of their mentally ill inmates.

Yet another report on treatment of people with mental illness in prisons.

The Vera Institute recently held an event on this issue. You can find information on the event and watch a video of the speakers here.

Here’s an academic perspective on health care discrimination and incarceration.


The ACA can reduce unnecessary incarceration of people experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders. The ACLU has released a primer on the ACA and the criminal justice system . Read press release here and download the toolkit here.

The ACA provides an unprecedented opportunity to expand coverage for people of color and reduce health disparities. Office of Minority Health Director Nadine Gracia talks about how the ACA is currently working to close the gap on health disparities.

This article explains the critical steps following enrollment that will ensure expanded access to health care for communities of color.

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HJ News and Resource Roundup 4/4/14

Sorry for our delay! We’re back this week with an extra special news and resource roundup. This week, we’ll be covering health disparities, reproductive health concerns across the pregnancy spectrum, the disturbing state of health care in America’s prisons, and ACA rollout analysis.

Health Disparities:

The learning gap between wealthy/white and poor/of color children begins early.

Tracking health disparities in the LGBTQ population nationwide.

A look at racial and ethnic health disparities in New Mexico, a state whose demographics may predict nationwide trends.

“A political system that fosters inequality limits the attainment of health.”

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

With the new mayoral administration, there have been some positive changes in teen pregnancy prevention messaging here in NYC. Yet many problems remain. More on how the stigmatization of teen mothers is both harmful and unwarranted here.

Challenges to birth control coverage under the ACA made it to the Supreme Court last week.

Abortion access and the ACA.

The dangerous trend of criminalizing pregnant women who use drugs is most likely to impact poor women, young women, and women of color–all of whom already experience disproportionately high rates of maternal and prenatal complications.

Happiness levels during pregnancy are lower for Black women than their non-Black counterparts.

Prison Health:

In Chicago, the largest mental health provider is the Cook County Jail. Advocates–and even the county sheriff–are calling for the reopening of closed mental health clinics and Medicaid coverage of mental health care services.

A look at the lasting health and social impacts of harsh mandatory sentencing.

A few weeks ago, we covered the landmark decision in the state of New York to restrict the use of solitary confinement. Here’s a great long-read on the mental and neurological health impact of solitary.

On the tragic death of Jerome Murdough, a homeless and mentally ill man who died in Rikers Jail.


There will be an enrollment extension for people who experienced technical issues accessing federal marketplace online.

Latinos still lag in enrollment rates.

Check out these helpful fact sheets on health coverage for people with disabilities.

Asian Americans and health enrollment.

Positive developments for survivors of domestic violence accessing health care.

One of the primary goals of ACA is to increase access to primary care. But what if mental health services could be provided in a primary care setting as well? For children, this may already be the case.

Nutrition and Wellness:

Active moms=active kids.

Google launches a tool to compare the nutritional value of different foods.

Faith, fellowship, and fitness.

Local and Timely News:

Our very own Jenn discusses the health concerns of medical workers in a New York City hospital.

More on NCBH.

New York is one of two states working toward a Basic Health Plan that will provide more affordable coverage for low-income families than they may find in the marketplace!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

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Opinion: Three Ways Mayor de Blasio Can Up His Game on School Sports

Check out this opinion piece written for WNYC’s SchoolBook by our very own Jennifer Swayne! The piece illuminates three key steps the new mayoral administration can take to improve access to physical education in NYC public schools.

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HJ News and Resource Roundup 3/21/14

Hello and welcome back to the news and resource roundup! This week, we’ll be discussing health disparities for various marginalized communities, emerging issues in the fight for reproductive justice, and taking a special look at some new developments in our campaign to save Labor & Delivery services at North Central Bronx Hospital.

Health Disparities:

On geography, access to care, and health outcomes.

Access to necessary health care remains an issue for incarcerated and recently released individuals.

HIV-positive Black people often do not receive continuity of care.

Babies may be able to “inherit stress” from their mothers, and even farther back in their genetic history. This theory may hold implications for racial and ethnic health disparities.

A community-oriented approach to eliminating racial health disparities.

Racial disparities in diabetic eye health.


Trans health and access to care under the ACA.

More issues with language access and the new health exchanges.

Advocates say NYC immigrants aren’t signing up for health insurance.

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

A Buffalo-based doctor has opened a natural birthing center and abortion clinic within the same walls, providing the full spectrum of reproductive care.

The murder charge of a woman who gave birth to a stillborn baby may have terrifying implications for access to reproductive health care.

Immigrant rights, language access, and state interference in maternal custody.

Local News:

HHC issued an official announcement that they are working to bring back Labor and Delivery to North Central Bronx Hospital by September. You can read about their press conference here and here. Advocates, including our very own community organizer Sascha Murillo, organized a public meeting at the hospital. Over 100 employees, concerned community members, and advocates attended! You can read about the meeting here and watch a video of community member Sandra Lobo Jost pressing HHC Senior VP Laray Brown with questions about community engagement in the reopening of Labor and Delivery at NCBH. Also read new City Council Member Ritchie Torres’ demand for a firm commitment from HHC on regular communication and engagement with the community.

Members of NYLPI’s Environmental Justice team testify on school health conditions and the DOE’s use of “temporary” trailers for education.

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HJ News and Resource Roundup 3/14/14

School Environmental Health

NYLPI has received inquiries from parents and teachers concerned about the use of temporary trailers (also known as transportable classroom units or TCUs) for instruction in NYC schools. We are asking parents, students, teachers, and community members to complete the following survey to gather information about how these trailers are used and any concerns you might have. To fill out the survey, please click here:  Parent/Teacher Survey in TCUs (Classroom Trailers) in NYC [English] (y en Español: Encuesta para Padres y Maestros sobre las Aulas Escolares Transportables en NYC [Español]). All individual responses and personal information will be kept confidential.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Black women and cancer mortality.

Reproductive Health Justice

The HEAL Act, or the Health Equity and Access under the Law for Immigrant Women and Families Act, was introduced to remove harmful and discriminatory barriers that prevent immigrants from participating in health care programs their tax dollars support.

Monday was National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers, at a time when training in abortion care for future medical providers is becoming increasingly rare.

On the changing financial demographics of maternity care in New York.

The Affordable Care Act

President Obama plugs healthcare.gov with comedian Zach Galifianakis.

More on the negative impact of income inequality on health.


The Health Justice team has been working with North Bronx residents, labor, health advocates, and elected officials to pressure the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) of NYC to reopen the maternity ward at North Central Bronx Hospital. We are holding a Public Meeting with HHC on Tuesday, March 18 at 6:30pm at North Central Bronx Hospital to hear updates on the reopening and demand that HHC collaborate with the community to bring services back.

The Medicaid waiver may limit which New York hospitals benefit from federal funds.

Measles are making a comeback in NYC.

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HJ News and Resource Roundup 3/7/14

Hello welcome back to the news and resource roundup! This week we’re looking at racial implications for health, Obamacare and immigrant access, and several important women’s health issues in honor of International Women’s Day.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities:

Black women battle triple negative breast cancer at alarming rates.

What about the health and wellness of our providers? Many home health aides and elder care providers are low-income folks of color like Marlene Champion.

Check out these facts about the Black experience in America (especially the section on Health.

What happens when safety-net hospitals are turned into private medical complexes?

On mental health, access to care, and incarceration.

Immigrant Access to Health Care:

Enrolling in Obamacare won’t put families at risk for deportation.

If you are an immigrant who has tried to sign up for insurance through the marketplace and had trouble doing so, please complete this survey.

Medicaid reform as an immigration issue.

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

What does the decrease in abortion rates mean for women of color?

A clinic escort writes about her experiences helping women access abortion care.

Nurses continue to push for the reopening of labor & delivery services at NCBH.

Washington, DC announces broad protections for transgender health coverage.

As we transition from Black History Month to Women’s History Month, consider this important piece on the erasure of women of color from the reproductive justice movement.


Rich, white, and healthy people are the most likely to hate Obamacare.

Medicaid sign-up rates remain lower than eligibility rates.

Obamacare enrollment continues its outreach to diverse and underserved communities. Next up? Taxi drivers!

Nutrition and Wellness:

The new nutrition label has been revealed! Yet some advocates feel the changes don’t go far enough.

One study has found that there has been no significant change over time in obesity prevalence in children or adults.

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