As we discussed earlier this month, the American Public Health Association (APHA) is currently in the middle of a four-part series of webinars, The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation. Today, APHA’s third webinar, Unequal Treatment: Disparities in Access, Quality and Care, covered a variety of topics, including inequities in access to care for low-income communities and communities of color, the role of implicit biases in health disparities, and the impact of historical trauma on health.
The event featured an impressive lineup of speakers, including Brian Smedley from the National Collaborative for Health Equity, Michelle van Ryn from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and Linda Rae Murray from the University of Illinois School of Public Health. The presentations showed that while we have come a long way in regards to expanding coverage, access issues prevent many in low-income areas and communities of color from getting the best possible care. Also, racism and other biases result in additional barriers to care for these populations.
At CPEHN, we see racism as one of the leading social determinants of health and in order to achieve health equity it will be necessary to eliminate the barriers racism poses as communities of color strive to live healthy lives. We appreciate APHA’s efforts to further this important discussion with events like today’s webinar.
Here are some highlights from the event, which was recorded and will be available to stream on APHA’s website.
Smedley pointed to the disparities that remain despite the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act, particularly in low-income communities.
Of the many factors that influence our health, some of the most difficult to address are the social determinants that are deeply ingrained in our society. In particular, racism and violence have a tremendous impact on health and wellbeing, and communities of color are disproportionately impacted. Fortunately, a lot of work is being done to make the connection between racism, violence, and public health. Earlier today, the American Public Health Association (APHA) hosted No Safety, No Health: A Conversation About Race, Place and Preventing Violence, the second webinar of their four-part series, The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation.
Today’s web forum included an engaging discussion featuring APHA Past President Linda Degutis, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Howard Pinderhughes of UC San Francisco, Marc Philpart of Policy Link, and Benita Tsao of Prevention Institute. The discussion touched on a wide range of topics including the health impacts of violence and racism, trauma-informed interventions, improving the built environment, shaping positive narratives, and how public health can play a pivotal role in engaging communities for violence prevention.
Here are some of the highlights:
Degutis focused on some of the health impacts of violence.
"More people in the US die as a result of violence than car accidents." -@Degutislc, Defense Health Horizons. #APHAwebinar
Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on the infant mortality rate in California.
Today’s Friday Facts focuses on some sobering statistics about infant mortality in California. While the majority of births happen without incident, unfortunately, for every thousand babies born, there are a small number that don’t survive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the causes of infant mortality include serious birth defects, premature births, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and other injuries.
While infant mortality impacts every community in California, there are some significant disparities. As you can see in our Friday Facts table, the infant mortality rate for African Americans (10.5 per 1,000) is nearly twice that of any other individual racial or ethnic group. This disparity is not unique for California, and according to the CDC, African Americans (13.3 per 1,000) have an infant mortality rate nearly twice the national average (6.8 per 1,000). The CDC also found that preterm-related causes were the driving factor behind this disparity, but African Americans also had higher rates of SIDS and congenital malformations compared to Whites.