Health News Roundup

The effects of gun violence on Hartford’s children and more in this week’s roundup

Health equity

Nearly three quarters of Hartford children live in areas with high rates of gun violence
Rebecca Lurye, The Hartford Courant, December 20
Along with its obvious victims, community gun violence compromises children’s sense of safety in their own homes, schools and communities, says Wizdom Powell, director of the Health Disparities Institute at UConn Health. It’s one of her most alarming findings over years of studying how racism and gender norms contribute to health gaps in boys and men of color. Cities like Hartford, with its 31-percent poverty rate, pose an added dilemma. A child’s ability to heal from trauma is undermined by challenges in their circumstance, like living in a community with high concentrations of violence, drug trafficking and eviction.

Discrimination questions add new depth to Wellbeing Survey
Jake Kara, The Connecticut Mirror, January 2
New Haven non profit DataHaven recently released the results of its 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey. The survey includes responses from more than 16,000 Connecticut residents and for the first time included questions relating to discrimination. There’s a growing body of research finding links between discrimination and poor health. Other questions cover a range of topics about people’s satisfaction with where they live, how safe they feel, how much they trust their neighbors and their financial and housing situations — but mental and physical health are a large part of the focus.

Health Policy

Report calls for changes to CT’s Medicaid program for children
Matt Pilon, Hartford Business Journal, January 2
A new report, authored by Georgetown University and released by the Connecticut Health Foundation, issued several prescriptions for reducing the count of uninsured youths, which stood at approximately 24,000 as of 2017, a number that has increased after state legislators tightened Medicaid eligibility requirements in 2016.

Shutdown leaves food, medicine and pay in doubt in Indian country
Mitch Smith and Julie Turkewitz, The New York Times, January 1
For one tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the government shutdown comes with a price tag: about $100,000, every day, of federal money that does not arrive to keep health clinics staffed, food pantry shelves full and employees paid. For many Americans who are not federal workers or contractors, a shutdown is a minor inconvenience. A trip to a national park may be canceled. A call to a government office may go unanswered. But for Native American tribes, which rely heavily on federal money to operate, a shutdown can cripple their most basic functions.

First person
How I went from graduate school student to Amazon warehouse janitor
Faylita Hicks, Slate, December 13
Today, black women are among the most-educated groups in the country. They are the only demographic of women who own more businesses than their male peers. But of course that does not always mean they are more successful. A 2016 survey from Consumer Finances shows that degrees for black women are not translating into wealth within their communities. Too many factors outside of higher education are leaving black women jobless and in debt. Upward mobility, a common desire among millennials, is still often thwarted by discrimination in the labor market.