Health News Roundup

Taking Lyft to the pharmacy, treating high blood pressure at the barber, and more in this week’s roundup

health equity

As lead in children persists, state lawmakers look to tackle risks
Jenifer Frank, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, March 15
More than 72,000 children under the age of 6 are testing positive for some level of lead in their blood. More than 900 children were at levels two to four times the baseline at which a child is considered poisoned. Significant gaps in screening across the state mean those numbers could be even higher. The health disparities for lead poisoning among races and between Hispanic and non-Hispanic ethnicities remain, according to the Department of Public Health.

Why it’s so hard to reach males in need of mental health care
Tom Kuser, WSHU, February 27
Dr. Wizdom Powell, a clinical psychologist and the director of the Health Disparities Institute at UConn Health, discusses why it’s so difficult to reach males in need of mental health care and support, especially those from more vulnerable populations and circumstances.

health care innovation

Barbershop study trimmed black men’s hair and blood pressure
Associated Press, March 12
Black men reduced one of their biggest medical risks through a novel project that shows the power of familiar faces and trusted places to improve health. The project had pharmacists work with dozens of Los Angeles barbershops to test and treat clients. The results, reported Monday at a cardiology conference, have doctors planning to expand the project to more cities nationwide.

CVS and Walgreens partner with Lyft to get Blue Cross patients to pharmacies
Bruce Japsen, Forbes, March 14
Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans will expand a partnership with the ride-hailing company Lyft to provide a way for enrollees who don’t have adequate transportation to get to their neighborhood Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.

race and ethnicity

A debate over how government should identify our ethnicity
Jake Kara, The Connecticut Mirror, March 14
Are the racial and ethnic buckets the state uses for education and health data too big for policymakers to make meaningful use of? For example, can the state education department assume that by-and-large Asian students are doing OK in school since that’s what the overall data show, and focus their efforts elsewhere? Or would a further breakdown of the diverse category of Asian – which includes those from India, Pakistan, China, Japan and many other countries – be more useful?