Health News Roundup

Breaking the cycle of violence in our poorest communities, and more in this week’s roundup

Lisa Rab, Politico Magazine, December 15
Black women are 320% more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. While awareness of the health crisis facing black women has grown nationally, the solutions have been primarily local. Private groups have been providing doulas to women of color in cities across the country, improving the health outcomes for them and their babies. While programs like this have made a difference, experts say community-based doulas cannot, by themselves, overcome all the complex factors that contribute to higher mortality rates. Policy and systemic racism need to be addressed as well.
Maria Godoy, NPR, December 17
Chef Tunde Wey uses food as a tool for social justice. His company, BabyZoos, aims to use profits from the sale of applesauce to hospitals to fund ventures that create more economic opportunities for African Americans in an effort to close racial wealth and health gaps.
Lisa Backus, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, December 17
More than one-fourth of the state’s 885,000 hourly employees who potentially face wide swings in work schedules are parents of children under the age of 18, putting their kids at risk for behavioral issues. Compared to their white counterparts, women and men of color are more likely not to have any input on their schedules and are more likely to have unstable work schedules including extended shifts, last minute on-call shifts, and shifts canceled after they have arrived at work.
Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, December 17
Lawmakers and policy experts gathered this week to hear about the various gun violence prevention measures and community resources in the 06120 – which is one of the poorest zip codes in the state. One of the ways the community has been dealing with the trauma caused by gun violence is through a hospital-based violence intervention program. Andrew Woods and Carl Hardrick are two of just a handful of individuals who have provided 24/7 crisis response and clinical care to over 820 victims and their families and loved ones since 2004. The team shows up at the hospital to offer emotional support to gunshot victims and their families in an effort to help break the cycle of violence and prevent retribution, and to help affected people get back to their lives.
Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, December 19
A federal appeals court sided with Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act, ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The case is now being sent back to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas for further analysis to determine if the entire ACA should fall too if the individual mandate is no longer valid. With regards to Connecticut residents, it’s important to understand that for now, nothing changes. Open enrollment for 2020 health insurance coverage is still open through Access Health CT and federal aid is available for those that qualify.