Health News Roundup

As hospital systems grow in CT, rural patients lose services, and more in this week’s roundup

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As hospital systems grow in CT, rural patients lose services
Katy Golvala, The Connecticut Mirror, May 8
Hospital mergers are changing the ways in which people access health care. Most hospitals are no longer independent but instead part of larger health systems that own multiple facilities. When health systems buy up community hospitals, they often say the new affiliation will bring access to new services. But in reality, community members – particularly people of color in rural Connecticut – have been hit hard by cuts to services.

Racial split on COVID-19 endures as restrictions ease in US 
Annie Ma and Hanna Fingerhut, The Associated Press, April 29
Recent polls show that Black and Hispanic Americans remain far more cautious in their approach to COVID-19 than white Americans, reflecting not only the unequal impact of the pandemic on people of color but also apathy among some white Americans.

‘Unexpected’ state budget vote delays ‘baby bonds’ program targeted at closing racial wealth gap 
Patrick Skahill, Connecticut Public Radio, May 9
Connecticut was lauded for creating a first-of-its-kind benefit that was supposed to invest up to $3,200 on behalf of babies whose birth was covered by Medicaid. Babies born after July 1, 2021 were supposed to be eligible for the program. Now, the program is being delayed by two years, and no money will be authorized for the program until July 1, 2024.

As climate change worsens hurricane season in Louisiana, doulas are ensuring parents can safely feed their babies
Jessica Kutz, The 19th, May 5
A doula collective is training emergency responders in best practices of emergency preparedness for parents with infants. The collective is also putting together feeding kits to ensure caregivers can properly feed their babies during emergencies. As the climate crisis worsens, mothers and breastfeeding parents – who are already considered uniquely vulnerable to the climate crisis – will need assistance to feed their babies in shelter settings.

Doctors Without Borders addresses charges of racism within its ranks
Joanne Lu, NPR, May 9
After hundreds of reports of abuse and discrimination, Doctors Without Borders is grappling with the racism within the organization. While reports from the organization demonstrate steps they are taking to change their culture, some say there has been no significant improvement and much more needs to be done.