Health News Roundup

Waterbury teens go door-to-door to promote vaccination, and more in this week’s roundup

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One state’s approach to maternal deaths: Free nurse visits after birth 
Precious Fondren, The New York Times, July 29
New Jersey is one of the most dangerous states in the country for women to give birth, particularly Black women, who are seven times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. A new law establishing a universal home nurse visitation program for newborns is designed to help address that. It is part of a broader plan that aims to decrease the state’s maternal mortality rates by 50 percent in five years.

In Waterbury, teens confront vaccine hesitancy with information and patience 
Ali Oshinskie, Connecticut Public Radio, July 28
A group of teens have a very “COVID” kind of summer job: They’re going door-to-door to sign up residents for the vaccine. Just under half the population is unvaccinated in Waterbury, creating a challenge and an opportunity. The teens are part of Grace Baptist Church’s vaccine outreach program. With grant funds, the church also runs a phone bank and a series of weekend vaccine events with food trucks and music.

Deep roots drive Newhallville stakeholders to advance neighborhood equality 
Sujata Srinivasan, Connecticut Health I-Team, Aug. 2
At a corner in Newhallville, New Haven, sits a green space, the Learning Corridor — a hub for educating young children and connecting families to healthy living. Children can stop by and browse books from a box and adults can take a spin on a bike. Once known in the neighborhood as the “mud hole,” a crime spot for “drug trafficking and all kinds of stuff,” the Learning Corridor is now a place where neighborhood residents gather to take care of their health and well-being.

US News Best Hospital ranking includes first health equity analysis 
Adrianna Rodriguez, USA Today, July 27
A U.S. News & World Report analysis of federal data from 2015 through 2019 compared more than 1,400 hospitals with the racial or ethnic makeup of each hospital’s surrounding community. Racial and ethnic minorities were underrepresented among patients in roughly 4 out of 5 hospitals in the country. This is the first time U.S. News included a health equity analysis in its annual Best Hospitals rankings.

Opinion: Pharmacoequity: a new goal for ending disparities in health care 
Utibe R. Essien, STAT, July 28
Essien’s research has shown that Black people with atrial fibrillation — an irregular heartbeat — have significantly lower chances of receiving the newest medications to prevent strokes, even when adjusting for clinical and socioeconomic factors. Why do these disparities exist, and what can be done about them? He proposes a three-part answer.