Health News Roundup

How more midwives may mean healthier moms, extreme inequality in Connecticut and more in this week’s roundup

health equity

Video: How more midwives  may mean healthier mothers
Ranjani Chakraborty, ProPublica and Vox, May 29

What makes maternal health care in other affluent countries look so different than the U.S.? Among other things, midwives. Midwives in the U.S. participate in less than 10 percent of births. But in Sweden, Denmark and France, they lead around three-quarters of deliveries. Find out how midwives have been at the center of a culture war that’s deeply rooted in race and class in America.

community health workers

They’re out of prison. Can they stay out of the hospital?
Patricia Leigh Brown, The New York Times, May 29
An eternity ago, Ronald Sanders was the one needing guidance. He was homeless and sleeping in doorways. He was lucky enough to meet a social worker, who saw a spark in him and took him under her wing. Mr. Sanders quit using drugs and stopped cycling in and out of prison more than two decades ago. He is now a community health worker who helps people getting out of prison deal with a host of medical, psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.

Some health care firms focus on empathy to keep people healthier
Dan Gorenstein, Marketplace, May 2
During the past decade, some health care businesses have begun to experiment with new ways to keep people healthier and out of the hospital by improving the relationships between medical professionals and patients. One reason for the interest in community health care workers and the emphasis on more empathetic clinical staff stems from the fact that hospitals and physicians, increasingly, have financial incentives to keep patients out of the hospital.


New series: Extreme inequality: Connecticut’s wealth dilemma
Keith M. Phaneuf, The Connecticut Mirror, May 29
The gap between Connecticut’s richest and poorest citizens — and that between the top and the middle class —  outstrips those in most other states, and in many other corners of the globe. This six-part series explores the wealth and income inequality in Connecticut and its impact on the state.