"I don't know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future."

– Ralph Abernathy

Welcome to day 11

Topic: Health Equity, Edition 2

Challenge yourself to think of how healthcare costs may affect your household budget. Then think about those currently living in low or very low child well-being areas and how lack of affordability and access to quality healthcare can cripple a family and an entire community.

Reminder, no matter who you are or where you are on the journey, you will not be perfect. Try to digest the information slowly and go at your own pace. Allow time for reflection and avoid feeling pressured to tackle everything.

Why Are Black People Sicker, And Why Do They Die Earlier, Than Other Racial Groups?

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.”

Data via americanprogress.org, minorityhealth.hhs.gov

“I Can’t Breathe” in Atlanta: The Connection Between Air Pollution, Systemic Racism, and COVID-19

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.”


Challenge Menu

United Way Provides Health Education, Helps Eliminate Unnecessary Emergency Room Visits

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.

DeKalb County Declares Racism A Public Health Crisis

The announcement of DeKalb County’s declaration explains why it is significant and the reasons behind the declaration. “Racism attacks people’s physical and mental health,” Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, said in a recent statement; “and racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now.”

The Mental Health Ripple Effect

Mental Health Services are an important part of overall health and well-being. Managing health issues is one strategy for helping families and communities achieve economic stability. Last year, United Way helped more than 3,800 people get access to doctor’s appointments, low-cost medication, and health information to better manage their health. Read Kelly’s story to see how United Way of Greater Atlanta and community partners in Henry, Coweta and Fayette counties are part of the solution by integrating food access and health services.

Bad Medicine: The Harm That Comes From Racism

This New York Times article explores how racial bias still affects many aspects of healthcare.

Introduction To Health Inequities

In Episode 34 of the podcast Run the List, listen to a discussion about how the medical community can step up to address structural racism. (20 minutes)

The Trauma Of Systematic Racism Is Killing Black Women. A First Step Toward Change

T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek, are on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among Black women and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives. (15 minutes)

How Racism Makes Us Sick

In this TED Talk, watch David R. Williams, a public health sociologist, discuss why race and deep-rooted systemic racism have such a profound impact on health. (17 minutes)

Racial Health Disparities: How COVID-19 Magnified a Public Health Emergency

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the health disparities in America’s communities of color in such dramatic fashion that racism is now seen as a public health emergency. In the season finale of “Beyond the White Coat,” David Skorton, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) President and CEO, and Malika Fair, MD, Senior Director of Health Equity Partnerships and Programs at the AAMC, discuss what forces are driving the disparities in healthcare access, how physicians can work to acknowledge and address racism against Black Americans, and what the academic medicine community can do to address institutional and systemic racism. (23 minutes)

How Does Racism Affect Your Health?

TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz speaks with Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, about how and why race affects the medical attention you receive, your baby’s chances of living, and even life expectancy. (12 minutes)

Jasmine Nicole Williams says her  Plaza Theatre  mural, “I AM,” honors the resilience of Black women and presents it as a gift to this community. William’s mural was inspired by Civil Rights-era “I Am a Man” signs, though the artist wanted to add her own female-centric spin.