Rebecca Tan, The Washington Post, December 25
Montgomery, Maryland recently released its first report on health inequities, tracking disparities in health indicators among racial groups from 2008 to 2017. Some gaps, such as the rate of deaths by diabetes for black and white residents, have narrowed. But other key indicators — including infant mortality and heart diseases — increasingly affect poor and minority residents more than their affluent neighbors. Montgomery’s strong overall numbers have disqualified the county from various state and federal grants and have disguised the need to address problems in specific neighborhoods and communities. “When your overall numbers are strong, you mask and hide pockets of need,” said county health officer Travis Gayles. “The gap between black infants and everyone else — it’s significant, and it’s growing.”
Sam Whitefield, NPR, January 2
An estimated 100,000 people in the U.S. live with sickle cell disease. The genetic disease — which primarily affects African Americans — causes chronic pain that lands many in the ER for pain management. The national opioid crisis has prompted some emergency room leaders to rethink how they administer opioid medications, including how they treat people who suffer from episodes of severe pain.