Monthly Archives: February 2014

HJ News and Resource Roundup 2/28/14

Hello and welcome back to the news and resource roundup! This week, we’re looking at the impact of racism and economic inequality on health outcomes, immigrant access to care, developments in maternal health, and some critically important information on eating disorders for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities:

Income inequality is making Americans sick. You can read this report for more info.

Additional coverage on the New York Medicaid waiver for hospitals and its effect on the health care safety net. This issue continues to disproportionately impact low-income people of color.

There is a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) crisis in inner-city neighborhoods.

Immigrant Access to Care:

A toolkit seeks to address citizenship and immigration status questions on the Marketplace application.

Counterpunch explores medical repatriation in America. You can read some of our recent coverage of the issue here and here, and also check out the HJ-run medical repatriation website and report.


Obamacare hits 4 million enrollees!

Al-Jazeera America explores HIV, continuity of care, and Obamacare.

The state of Arkansas is trying to create a “barrier to enrollment.” MSNBC points out that “people die without health insurance.”

Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Healthy Living:

Obama administration to announce major nutrition label overhaul.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is officially recommending regular mental health screenings for children and gun control measures as matters of public health.

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. If you or someone you know may be living with an eating disorder, check out this helpful recovery website.

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

A proposed sex-selective abortion ban unfairly targets Asian Americans.

New labor guidelines aim to reduce C-sections. This issue is particularly salient here in our own neighborhoods: North Central Bronx Hospital’s award-winning midwifery program helped dramatically slash C-section rates before the hospital’s Labor & Delivery services were shut down.

In one state, Obamacare eases maternity costs.

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HJ News and Resource Roundup 2/21/14

Welcome back to the news and resource roundup! This week, we’re looking at disparate health impacts on women and communities of color, health and safety in prisons, and covering some interesting developments in hospital closures in New York and nationally.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities:

There are growing disparities in ADHD diagnosis for black and limited English proficient children.

How do racial and ethnic health disparities impact the economy?

Mayor De Blasio is looking to move 400 children and their families, many of whom people of color, out of two homeless shelters that have been cited for deplorable health and living conditions.

Prison Health:

As part of their business model, for-profit prisons vy to incarcerate younger inmates of color, who on the whole tend to have better health and thus cost less to incarcerate. This allows for-profit prisons to argue they are a more fiscally responsible model than state-run facilities, paving the way for their expansion–and the further and disproportionate incarceration of people of color.

New York State has agreed to sweeping reforms of punishment practices in prisons, including the use of solitary confinement. This is particularly important considering research that suggests that just a few days spent in solitary can dramatically restructure the brain.

Hospital Closures:

An $8 billion grant of federal Medicaid dollars likely will not stop the looming closure threat to community hospitals throughout New York.

Governor Cuomo, SUNY Chairman Carl McCall, and Mayor De Blasio announce the Long Island College Hospital settlement agreement.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, the state’s decision to reject Medicaid expansion has led to hospital closures in communities that are most in need of emergency care services.

Obamacare and Immigrant Access to Care:

Proposed legislation in California will extend health coverage to all residents.

Guttmacher Institute has released a report on removing legal barriers to health insurance coverage for immigrants.

NYLPI has signed on to a letter to support CHIP reauthorization.

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

Miscarriage management” emerges in response to limited access to abortion care for low-income women in Texas.

Here’s an exploration of reproductive justice for young men of color in light of the brutal assault of a sixteen-year-old boy at the hands of Philadelphia police.

Why do more babies die when Republicans are in office? The Atlantic explores political affiliation, race, and infant mortality.

People with HIV can be refused life-saving organ transplants.

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HJ News and Resource Roundup 2/14/14

Welcome back to the news and resource roundup and happy Valentine’s Day! This week, we’re looking at disparate health impacts on communities of color, continuing our ongoing ACA roll-out coverage, and covering some innovative new programs in health care delivery.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities:

The Navajo nation is considering implementing a junk food sales tax in an effort to curb obesity and related health problems from which many people in indigenous communities suffer. Some worry, however, that the move will not improve overall health, but will simply make the limited foods to which low-income tribal members have access even less affordable.

Meanwhile, merely providing access to fresh foods is not sufficient to increase fresh food consumption in food deserts, which are often located in low-income communities of color. It’s also important to consider the role gentrification plays in fresh food accessibility.

An experimental new treatment suggests hope for asthma sufferers. Yet the treatment is costly, and most insurance plans don’t cover it. It is unclear, then, what hope remains for the many children of color who are diagnosed with asthma at disproportionately high rates.


The employer mandate has been delayed for some companies.

Gaps in coverage remain for those who earn too little to qualify for subsidies but who also are not eligible for existing Medicaid programs.

The Huffington Post is featuring a series about working Americans who struggle to make ends meet. In this piece, Janice talks about her ability to access health care and special treatments for her autistic son.

Women may stand to benefit from the ACA more than men.

Obamacare seems to be succeeding with immigrants in the Bay area, yet also struggling to enroll Latinos in states across the nation.

Check out this toolkit of ACA resources for former foster care youth. In New York City, low-income children, immigrant children, and children of color are overrepresented in the foster care system.

Mental Health:

One advocate writes about the need for transformational change in mental health care and advocacy.

Students with disabilities, including those with severe emotional or behavioral issues, often face seclusion and restraint in educational settings.

The Atlantic explores an experimental program offering long-term mental health care for high-security prisoners.

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

Another program is offering prenatal yoga in New York prisons, where the women who are incarcerated are disproportionately young, poor, and of color, placing them at increased risk for maternal complications and mortality.

Pregnancy discrimination at work is a serious issue–one that disproportionately impacts low-wage and of color workers.

The HPV vaccine can also help prevent genital warts. Yet some parents still refuse to give their children this important medical intervention.

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HJ News and Resource Roundup 2/7/14

Welcome back to the news and resource roundup and happy Black History Month! This week, we’re looking at the impact of racism on health outcomes, maternal health care issues, ongoing complications with ACA rollout, and some critically important harm reduction information.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities:

A recent study has found that the experience of racial discrimination in teen years could lead to health problems for individuals later in life. In fact, racism is connected to a number of different health issues.

Disparities in organ donation rates may be fueled by cultural norms.

Family-based lifestyle changes can help reduce obesity rates in children, which are higher in communities of color.

The Atlantic explores how community health workers can reduce health disparities and improve access to care.

This infographic on education reform and school closure prevention shows how school-based health clinics and similar programs can play a role in closing the achievement gap between Black and white students.

We’ve talked about mental health issues in communities of color before. Watch this for a look into the stigma of raising a child with a mental illness.

Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health:

There appears to be a correlation between fracking and birth defects.

Catholic hospitals often fail to provide adequate and comprehensive reproductive health care. Unfortunately, the ACA may exacerbate this problem.

Doulas, particularly those of color, can play an important role in maternal mortality reduction.

Access to reproductive health care remains low for trans patients.


Republicans are still going strong in their efforts to undermine the ACA.

In some states, Americans are finding they are “too poor to qualify” for insurance under the ACA.

The majority of America’s uninsured are concentrated in just a few low-income areas.

Here and Now: Local and Timely Issues:

In the wake of the tragic loss of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, it’s important to think critically about what can be done to reduce overdose deaths such as his. Across the east coast, hospitals and law enforcement have reported a recent increase in heroin overdose deaths due to a particularly potent concoction that is now cropping up in the NYC area as well. Overdose deaths are preventable. If you or someone you know uses opioids, find out where you can be trained in opioid overdose reversal here. Read up on techniques for IV drug users to stay safe while using here, here, and here. For more information about harm reduction and substance use, check out the Harm Reduction Coalition’s website here.

Stony Brook Hospital on Long Island rejects many exchange plans.

February is Black History Month. Here’s a great timeline of fifty years of Black history. “In Grades K-12, Race and Racism Are Not Discussed In Any Meaningful Way” highlights the need for ongoing Black history education for youth.

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