This United Way of Greater Atlanta blog post offers examples of how United Way works actively throughout the Greater Atlanta region, pairing community health workers with patients to help them avoid expensive and unnecessary emergency room visits.
Race and income can disproportionately impact an individual’s health. The studies cited below illustrate that this is not a result of individual choices, but barriers in policies, implicit bias, and access to quality healthcare. By understanding what the factors are that stand in the way of life, longevity and thriving, healthy communities, will allow us to unite and work together to close racial disparity gaps.
The American Bar Association notes that “the poverty in which Black people disproportionately live cannot account for the fact that Black people are sicker and have shorter life spans than their white complements; racial and ethnic minorities receive lower-quality healthcare than white people — even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable.”
Christina Hemphill Fuller, Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, has done research on air pollution in Black and Latinx communities. Being exposed to air pollution creates inflammation in the lungs and lessens the body’s ability to respond to infections, like COVID-19. “Recent evidence that air pollution and COVID-19 have a synergistic effect is not surprising,” says Fuller. “Many interactions exist between environmental factors, social status and health.”