Health News Roundup

Why health care providers are setting up food pantries right in hospitals and clinics, and more in this week’s roundup

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, The Connecticut Mirror, November 25
Since the mid-1980s, almost $2.2 billion in low-income housing tax credits have been awarded to construct affordable housing in the state. Just 10% were built in prosperous towns and about 80% were located in struggling communities, erecting pockets of poverty. While many state leaders across the country argue that the money goes where the need is greatest, Connecticut stands out on the national stage. In a recent federal study of 21 states, it had the second highest concentration of affordable housing in high-poverty neighborhoods, behind only Mississippi. The concentration of affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods has meant a deepening racial divide in a state that’s home to some of the most segregated neighborhoods in America.
Elizabeth Heubeck, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, November 26
An estimated 207,100 female Connecticut residents have at least one disability. The disabilities range from barely noticeable to those that render women unable to see, speak, move freely, or make sound decisions. But no matter the type of disability, all women need access to gynecological health care. There are obstacles to getting care, ranging from lack of training from doctors on how to provide care to patients with disabilities to inadequate reimbursement for the time required to gain their trust.
Kathleen Megan, The Connecticut Mirror, November 29
A recent study by the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut shows that evidence-based therapy treatments are significantly more effective than “treatment as usual,” or ordinary “talk therapy” — especially for black and Latino children.
Jose A. Del Real, The New York Times, November 29
Looking for better opportunities, tens of thousands of black farmworkers migrated to California’s farm country in the 20th century. Met with racism, black families were forced to settle on acres of farmland that lacked access to indoor plumbing or drinking water. This lack of access to clean drinking water remains a problem across California today and low-income and predominantly minority communities are disproportionately affected.
Blake Farmer, NPR, November 28
There’s a new question that anti-hunger advocates want doctors and nurses to ask patients: Do you have enough food? Public health officials say the answer often is “not really.” So clinics and hospitals have begun stocking their own food pantries in recent years with the thinking that if you don’t have a steady source of healthy food, it’s hard to manage chronic conditions like diabetes.