Health News Roundup

What a Rwandan medical school can teach the U.S., a new community health worker program in Meriden, and more

Health Equity

What a medical school on a Rwandan hilltop can teach the United States
Sarah Karlin-Smith, Politico, January 27
Three hours along a bumpy dirt road from the capital of Rwanda, a new medical school is emerging from the unlikeliest of places — a small hilltop in the poor farming village of Butaro. The school’s name reveals its ambitious mission: The University of Global Health Equity. It aims to transform both medical education and medical care for the rural poor in central Africa and to serve as a model for more equitable health care around the globe.

Health Policy

Fear of deportation or green card denial deters some parents from getting kids care
Ashley Lopez, NPR, January 26
As U.S. immigration enforcement becomes stricter, more immigrant families are cutting ties with health care services and other critical government programs. Ana, who lives in Central Texas with her husband and two children, has been increasingly hesitant to seek help from the government. In particular, she’s worried about getting help for her 9-year-old daughter, Sara, who was diagnosed with autism a few years ago. Ana entered the country without documentation about 10 years ago but both of her children were born in the U.S. and have been covered by Medicaid for years.

New Mexico may open Medicaid to paying customers
Morgan Lee, Associated Press, January 30
New Mexico would open its Medicaid program to new paying customers in an effort to expand affordable health care options under proposed legislation. Residents would pay a monthly premium to the state in return for medical insurance under Medicaid, which currently serves low-income families and individuals, according to the new proposal.

Community Health Workers

New community health worker targets diabetes in Meriden
Matthew Zabierek, Record-Journal, January 27
The city’s Community Health Center is using part of a state grant to launch a six-month pilot program for a community health worker position. Community health workers are members of a local community who work as liaisons between clinicians and patients,  particularly those in underserved communities. The health workers help patients overcome language barriers and other access issues, like finances and transportation. The pilot program is being offered to patients with Type 2 diabetes.


Hope you’re sitting down: Hospital charges $4,700 for a fainting spell
Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News, January 28
Matt Gleason of Charlotte, N.C., fainted after getting a flu shot at work in October, and a colleague called 911. He turned out to be fine, but the trip to the ER cost him his whole deductible.