Health News Roundup

Improving equity in cancer screening, and more in this week’s roundup

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We must improve equity in cancer screening
Melba Newsome, Scientific American, December 2021 issue
People of color, people with low incomes, and residents of rural areas are often screened for cancer too late. Differences in screening practices across health systems, structural inequities, costs, and cultural barriers all play a role in contributing to inequities in screenings that lead to preventable deaths.

In some rural CT towns, hospital cuts mean fewer options for giving birth
Katy Golvala, The Connecticut Mirror, Nov. 28
Windham Community Hospital, Sharon Hospital, and Johnson Memorial Hospital all plan to halt their birthing services, raising concerns from community members about the impact on residents, particularly those without access to transportation. If the closures become permanent, the state would only be left with one rural labor and delivery unit. Experts recommend focusing on public health resources, transportation, and telemedicine.

‘We don’t get treated the same’: Implicit racial bias is another barrier to quality health care
Ivey DeJesus, The Patriot-News, Nov. 29
Although a long-standing issue, Black patients are increasingly bringing attention to what they say is a major factor in the quality of health care they can access: implicit – and sometimes explicit – racial bias from a predominantly white community of medical professionals.

Opinion: The U.S. needs to engage communities around BIPOC data
Warren Kibbe and Giselle Corbie-Smith, STAT News, Nov. 22
The COVID-19 pandemic made clear the need to collect and track race and ethnicity data to be able to make informed decisions about public health interventions. Yet more than half of health departments did not report complete race and ethnicity data in 2020. In order to strengthen our approach to public health, there is a critical need to engage communities of color to build trust and understanding about why this data is important.

Like many of you, we are honoring the life of Alejandro Melendez-Cooper, the founder of the Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut. He was a longtime partner of the foundation and an advocate who built meaningful connections everywhere he went. Read more about Alejandro’s legacy here.