Health News Roundup

A tale of many pandemics: In year three, a matter of status and access, and more in this week’s roundup

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A tale of many pandemics: In year three, a matter of status and access
Yasmeen Abutaleb, The Washington Post, April 16
At this precarious moment in the pandemic – with cases comparatively low but poised to rise again – the reality is that people are experiencing many different pandemics depending on their job, health, socioeconomic status, housing, and access to medical care.

The pediatrician as advocate: Rhea Boyd on making clinical work about community needs
Theresa Gaffney, STAT, April 13
Rhea Boyd is both a physician and a researcher. When the pandemic began, Boyd helped develop a national campaign for Black, Latinx, and Spanish-speaking communities to provide answers about the COVID-19 vaccine. Her efforts have been shaped by her own experience as a Black woman in the largely white medical world.

CT physicians call for Medicaid expansion for undocumented children 
Jenna Carlesso and Keith M. Phaneuf, The Connecticut Mirror, April 14
Dr. Nish Pandya, a pediatric resident at Yale New Haven Health, remembers the 10-year-old boy who came to the emergency room five times with breathing difficulties. His asthma was not managed properly because his family was not able to access care and were uninsured due to their undocumented status.

Research finds stark racial disparities in how Boston responds to unhealthy conditions that trigger asthma
Danny McDonald, The Boston Globe, April 11
Analyzing a decade’s worth of complaints about mold, pest infestations, and other housing problems in Boston, researchers found the government’s responses were slower in poorer, racially diverse neighborhoods. This research adds to the body of evidence that the working class and people of color are exposed to higher risks for respiratory disease, particularly allergens in the home.

70-hour work weeks, sleeping in car: Personal care assistants struggle to care for themselves
Lisa Backus, Connecticut Health I-Team, April 6
Dilliner Jordan works 62 hours a week taking care of two people who are too medically fragile to take care of themselves. But she has no health insurance and often sleeps in her car because she can’t afford rent and a security deposit, despite saving for months. More and more stories like Jordan’s are being revealed, as the 10,000-member workforce struggles to make a living in year three of the pandemic.