Health News Roundup

Surprising findings in neonatal mortality rates, and more in this week’s roundup

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Racial disparities in neonatal mortality even wider with tools like IVF, study finds 
Andrew Joseph, STAT, Oct. 19
Researchers studying birth outcomes of people who’ve used methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) thought that they would find narrower disparities in this group. Instead, the researchers found that the racial and ethnic disparities for some metrics were even wider for babies of parents who had used IVF or other fertility treatments than among children who were conceived “spontaneously.”

Racial gap in cancer mortality prompts Yale Cancer Center to hire more navigators
Sujata Srinivasan, Connecticut Public Radio, Oct. 12
The recent death of Bloomfield basketball coach Kevin Moses from colon cancer drew attention to cancer mortality rates in Connecticut’s Black community. Despite the highly sub-specialized care at Yale Cancer Center, delays in screening, poor access to care, and a lack of physicians of color are barriers to treatment. As a result, the center is working to hire more navigators to help people access care.

Monkeypox vaccines still aren’t reaching Black Americans
Orion Rummler, The 19th, Oct. 17
Monkeypox virus cases are continuing to trend down overall across the United States, but queer Black Americans are still being disproportionately affected. Black Americans are still not receiving as many monkeypox vaccine doses as white Americans. That disparity leaves them more vulnerable to the spread of a virus that is rarely lethal but can cause severe pain.

Call to save maternity units in rural Connecticut
Hugh McQuaid, CT News Junkie, Oct. 18
A group of Northwestern Connecticut patients and public officials rallied recently to stave off an effort by Nuvance Health to close the maternity unit at Sharon Hospital. The hospital will first need approval from the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy (OHS), which approves or rejects such requests by providers. Earlier this year, OHS recommended denying a similar request to close the labor and delivery unit at Windham Hospital.

What it’s like being an abortion doula in a state with restrictive laws
Destinee Adams, NPR, Oct. 19
In general, a doula is a person who provides support to a patient, and the term is often used to describe someone who gives guidance during labor. As an abortion doula, people like Ash Williams provide physical, emotional, or financial help to people seeking to end a pregnancy. This has become especially critical as people navigate restrictive abortion laws.