Health News Roundup

Mississippi water crisis is ‘racism to the umpteenth degree,’ and more in this week’s roundup

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Mississippi water crisis is ‘racism to the umpteenth degree,’ residents say 
Aallyah Wright and Adam Mahoney, Capital B, Aug. 31
The water crisis that has left residents of Jackson, Mississippi struggling to bathe, cook, and flush their toilets has been decades in the making. The crisis underscores a growing risk to Black communities in the South that are burdened by failing water systems. A majority of the country’s failing water systems are in Midwest and Southern states that all have growing Black populations and are expected to be some of the worst hit places for future storms and extreme heat.

Housekeepers know they’re essential. They want to get treated like it. 
Katy Golvala, The Connecticut Mirror, Sept. 4
There are 95,000 housekeepers working in hospitals across the country. Despite the crucial role they play in keeping hospital rooms clean and sanitized, housekeepers reported feeling unseen and undervalued throughout the pandemic. In Connecticut, housekeepers are fighting to be recognized and to receive adequate hazard pay for providing crucial services during the pandemic.

Medicaid program expands funding for seniors and people with disabilities, but its future remains uncertain
Sara Luterman, The 19th, Aug. 29
The Biden administration recently announced roughly $25 million in grants to expand Money Follows the Person, a Medicaid program that has allowed more than 90,000 disabled people and seniors to move out of institutional settings and back into their communities. Despite the program’s success, there is no permanent funding dedicated to the program – leaving its future uncertain.

Sickle cell patients face a double whammy: Systemic racism and a crippling disease
Fara Yousry, WFYI Indianapolis, June 7
Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder that affects nearly 100,000 people in the U.S., a vast majority of whom are Black. The disease receives far less research funding compared to other illnesses, and it’s extremely difficult to find specialists to treat it. The disease is also debilitating, making it even more difficult for Black Americans with sickle cell disease to pursue educational or employment opportunities and accumulate wealth.
Related: This disease causes agonizing pain to 100,000 in the U.S. A CT man wants everyone to know about it.  Deidre Montague, Hartford Courant, Sept. 7

Access and insurance continue to be obstacles to gender-affirming surgery in Connecticut
Kate Farrish, Connecticut Health I-Team, Sept. 6
Thanks to changes in state and federal laws that require coverage of gender-affirming surgery, many transgender people can receive life-saving care. However, medical providers and advocates for transgender people say there are still too many loopholes and limited access to gender-affirming surgery in Connecticut.