Connect with us

#NNPA BlackPress

African-Americans And Social Determinants Of Health: Is It Race? Or Is It Racism?

THE SEATTLE MEDIUM — Data and statistics reflect the dismal reality that if you are African-American, you will be more likely to die at birth, die giving birth, grow up sicker, be diagnosed of a life-threatening illness later, and die sooner. What is less known, and agreed upon, is the fact that the determining factors for all of these outcomes, is not because one is African-American, but because of what are known as social determinants of health.

Published

on

By Glenn Ellis, The Seattle Medium

(Trice Edney Wire) – There is no disagreement that African-Americans have worse health outcomes across the board when compared to other races. Researchers, scientists, sociologists, and doctor all agree.

Data and statistics reflect the dismal reality that if you are African-American, you will be more likely to die at birth, die giving birth, grow up sicker, be diagnosed of a life-threatening illness later, and die sooner.

What is less known, and agreed upon, is the fact that the determining factors for all of these outcomes, is not because one is African-American, but because of what are known as social determinants of health.

It’s true, research had concluded that medical care and is only responsible for 10-20 percent of a person’s health: regardless of what color they are. The remaining 80-90 percent is attributed to these social determinants of health.

Doctors see this every day in their patient population. A recent survey by The Physician Foundation revealed that 90 percent of the doctors in this country say that most of their patients have a social condition that poses a serious threat to their health. Only 1 percent of the doctors surveyed felt that none of their patients were affected by SDOH.

So, what exactly are social determinants of health?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these are the “conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age”. In other words, the conditions of health are alarming in communities with poor SDOH such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, and/or substandard education.

One only has to look at every city (urban and rural) to see how this plays out in most of our lives.

In the United States, it is SDOH, not race that accounts for the dismal health outcomes for African-Americans. In fact, the inequities in outcome are clear all the way down to the level of neighborhoods in the same city.

Several years ago, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiated a first of its kind initiative to look at life expectancy by neighborhood in respective cities around the country.

Known as United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimate Project (USALEEP), the found shocking differences in life expectancy of as much as 20 years for residents in the same city, living just a few miles apart; in some cases, just a few blocks.

Further examination of the data shows that, almost with exception, neighborhoods with the lowest life expectancy were those with substantial African-American or Latino populations.

As the cities in this country become more gentrified, we are seeing the health outcomes for the Black and brown people in this country worsen.

Are there other reasons that HVI/AIDs is a chronic condition for Whites, while it continues to be an epidemic in the African-American communities in this country? Or, Black women are two to six times more likely to die from complications of pregnancy than White women? And their babies almost three times the infant mortality rate as Whites?

Is it due to the genetic makeup of African-Americans? I think not!

Every human being on the planet is 99.99 percent identical. A difference of 0.01 percent is all that separates us from each other. That means that the 3 billion pairs of genes (human pairs) that make up our individual genetic code are equal to a book with 262,000 pages. The individual differences between us represents only 500 of those pages!

Understanding this is what will allow us to stop using race, a totally social construct, in the concepts of medicine and healthcare. Instead, we must realize how much of our human and financial resources are “misused” applying race to issues of health.

We can see it in how, even today doctors have been found to believe that there is something about being African-American that results in not providing adequate pain medications due to the belief that we have a higher tolerance for pain, because of our skin color. The same phenomena were observed even in children at Emergency room with appendicitis; African American children were denied pain medication for the same reason.

Most alarming to me are the implications as we move further into genomic medicine.

If we are not careful, we can see research from this endeavor to further engrain the notion that there are racial differences that justify our higher rates of high blood pressure; diabetes; and other diseases and conditions.

Currently, policy, legislation, and funding are directed towards supporting the theory that African-Americans are more susceptible to poorer health outcomes, while SDOH are being largely ignored.

Dr. Richard Cooper of Loyola University has done research on high blood pressure that has made an indisputable case for the dismissal of the fallacy of African-Americans being “predisposed” to poor health outcomes.

In his research, Dr. Cooper studied high blood pressure in Nigerians, Jamaicans, and in African-Americans. His conclusions: Only African-Americans had the highest rates of high blood pressure. To further make the case, he found that Germans and Russians have rates that were significantly higher than African-Americans!

Seems like it’s more about being African-American in this country, than it is about just being African-American. It begs the question: Is it Race or is it Racism?

Remember, I’m not a doctor. I just sound like one. Take good care of yourself and live the best life possible!

The information included in this column is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

The post African-Americans And Social Determinants Of Health: Is It Race? Or Is It Racism? appeared first on The Seattle Medium.

#NNPA BlackPress

NNPA – Black Press w/ Hendriks Video Interview

Published

on

By

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Black Woman to Lead United States Park Police

 Chief Smith’s experience serving in leadership roles in every U.S. Park Police field office has provided her with an unmatched foundation to lead the diverse agency,” said Flynn, who oversees law enforcement programs at USPP.

Published

on

Pamela A. Smith

Pamela A. Smith, a 23-year veteran of the United States Park Police, will lead the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency.

Smith, who became the first African American woman to lead the 230-year-old agency, immediately remarked that she would establish a body-worn camera program for USPP within 90 days.

The program will initially begin in San Francisco and be implemented across the country by the end of the year, Smith said.

“Body-worn cameras are good for the public and good for our officers, which is why I am prioritizing implementing a body-worn camera program within my first 90 days,” Smith offered in a statement.

 “This is one of the many steps we must take to continue to build trust and credibility with the public we have been entrusted to serve.”

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and graduated from the FBI National Academy. She is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

During her law enforcement career, the proud Zeta Phi Beta Sorority sister has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, canine handler, and academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

 According to a news release, Smith also served as executive lieutenant to the chief of police, assistant commander of the San Francisco Field Office, commander of the New York Field Office, acting deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division, and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division.

Smith was the first woman to lead the New York Field Office as its Major.

At the USPP, she will lead a 560-member workforce that protects the public, parks, and the nation’s most iconic landmarks in Wash., D.C., New York City, and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

“Chief Smith’s commitment to policing as public service and her willingness to listen and collaborate make her the right person to lead the U.S. Park Police at this pivotal moment in our country,” Shawn Benge, deputy director exercising the delegated authority of the NPS director, noted in a statement.

 “Over the coming months, the leadership of the National Park Service will explore opportunities with Chief Smith designed to strengthen our organization’s commitment to transparency. Her personal and professional experience make her acutely aware of and ready to meet the challenges and responsibilities that face U.S. Park Police and law enforcement agencies across the nation.”

 Jennifer Flynn, the associate director for Visitor Resource Protection at the National Park Service added that she’s looking forward to Smith’s leadership.

“Chief Smith’s experience serving in leadership roles in every U.S. Park Police field office has provided her with an unmatched foundation to lead the diverse agency,” said Flynn, who oversees law enforcement programs at USPP.

 “As federal law enforcement officers, the U.S. Park Police officers have a new opportunity each day to give their best to the American people. Chief Smith exemplifies that approach as a colleague and mentor, and she will be instrumental in refining and shaping the future of the organization,” Flynn said.

Smith declared that she would lead by example and expects all officers to display integrity.

 “I have dedicated my career to the professionalism of law enforcement, and it is my highest honor and privilege to serve as chief of police,” Chief Smith declared. “Today’s officers face many challenges, and I firmly believe challenges present opportunities. I look forward to leading this exemplary team as we carry out our mission with honesty and integrity.”  

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Children’s Defense Fund: State of America’s Children Reveals that 71 Percent of Children of Color Live in Poverty

“While we reported on the 73 million children in the U.S. in 2019, which is 22 percent of the nation’s population, we also note that 2020 was the first year in American history that a majority of children are projected to be children of color,” said the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, the president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Published

on

Dr. Wilson did note that the Children’s Defense Fund is pleased about President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which, among other things, makes it easier for parents to keep their jobs and provides a lifeline for disadvantaged children. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Dr. Wilson did note that the Children’s Defense Fund is pleased about President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which, among other things, makes it easier for parents to keep their jobs and provides a lifeline for disadvantaged children. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

Part One of an ongoing series on this impactful and informative report.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

The child population in America is the most diverse in history, but children remain the poorest age group in the country with youth of color suffering the highest poverty rates.

“While we reported on the 73 million children in the U.S. in 2019, which is 22 percent of the nation’s population, we also note that 2020 was the first year in American history that a majority of children are projected to be children of color,” said the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, the president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Dr. Wilson’s remarks come as the Marian Wright Edelman founded nonprofit released “The State of America’s Children 2021.”

The comprehensive report is eye-opening.

It highlights how children remain the poorest age group in America, with children of color and young children suffering the highest poverty rates. For instance, of the more than 10.5 million poverty-stricken children in America in 2019, approximately 71 percent were those of color.

The stunning exposé revealed that income and wealth inequality are growing and harming children in low-income, Black and Brown families.

While the share of all wealth held by the top one percent of Americans grew from 30 percent to 37 percent, the share held by the bottom 90 percent fell from 33 percent to 23 percent between 1989 and 2019.

Today, a member of the top 10 percent of income earners makes about 39 times as much as the average earner in the bottom 90 percent.

The median family income of White households with children ($95,700) was more than double that of Black ($43,900), and Hispanic households with children ($52,300).

Further, the report noted that the lack of affordable housing and federal rental assistance leaves millions of children homeless or at risk of homelessness.

More than 1.5 million children enrolled in public schools experienced homelessness during the 2017-2018 school year, and 74 percent of unhoused students during the 2017-2018 school year were living temporarily with family or friends.

Millions of children live in food-insecure households, lacking reliable access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food, and more than 1 in 7 children – 10.7 million – were food insecure, meaning they lived in households where not everyone had enough to eat.

Black and Hispanic children were twice as likely to live in food-insecure households as White children.

The report further found that America’s schools have continued to slip backwards into patterns of deep racial and socioeconomic segregation, perpetuating achievement gaps.

For instance, during the 2017-2018 public school year, 19 percent of Black, 21 percent of Hispanic, and more than 26 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native school students did not graduate on time compared with only 11 percent of White students.

More than 77 percent of Hispanic and more than 79 percent of Black fourth and eighth grade public school students were not proficient in reading or math in 2019, compared with less than 60 percent of White students.

“We find that in the course of the last year, we’ve come to the point where our conversations about child well-being and our dialogue and reckoning around racial justice has really met a point of intersection, and so we must consider child well-being in every conversation about racial justice and quite frankly you can only sustainably speak of racial justice if we’re talking about the state of our children,” Dr. Wilson observed.

Some more of the startling statistics found in the report include:

  • A White public school student is suspended every six seconds, while students of color and non-White students are suspended every two seconds.
  • Conditions leading to a person dropping out of high school occur with white students every 19 seconds, while it occurs every nine seconds for non-White and students of color.
  • A White child is arrested every 1 minute and 12 seconds, while students of color and non-whites are arrested every 45 seconds.
  • A White student in public school is corporally punished every two minutes, while students of color and non-Whites face such action every 49 seconds.

Dr. Wilson asserted that federal spending “reflects the nation’s skewed priorities.”

In the report, he notes that children are not receiving the investment they need to thrive, and despite making up such a large portion of the population, less than 7.5 percent of federal spending went towards children in fiscal year 2020.

Despite Congress raising statutory caps on discretionary spending in fiscal years 2018 to 2020, children did not receive their fair share of those increases and children’s share of total federal spending has continued to decline.

“Children continue to be the poorest segment of the population,” Dr. Wilson demanded. “We are headed into a dark place as it relates to poverty and inequity on the American landscape because our children become the canary in the coal mine.”

Dr. Wilson did note that the Children’s Defense Fund is pleased about President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which, among other things, makes it easier for parents to keep their jobs and provides a lifeline for disadvantaged children.

The $1.9 trillion plan not only contained $1,400 checks for individuals, it includes monthly allowances and other elements to help reduce child poverty.

The President’s plan expands home visitation programs that help at-risk parents from pregnancy through early childhood and is presents universal access to top-notch pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds.

“The American Rescue Plan carried significant and powerful anti-poverty messages that will have remarkable benefits on the lives of children in America over the course of the next two years,” Dr. Wilson declared.

“The Children’s Defense Fund was quick to applaud the efforts of the President. We have worked with partners, including leading a child poverty coalition, to advance the ideas of that investment,” he continued.

“Most notably, the expansion of the child tax credit which has the impact of reducing poverty, lifting more than 50 percent of African American children out of poverty, 81 percent of Indigenous children, 45 percent of Hispanic children. It’s not only good policy, but it’s specifically good policy for Black and Brown children.”

Click here to view the full report.

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending