Health and Poverty News
"Before the Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was the second-lowest-ranked district in the second-lowest-ranked state in the country. In 2005, 62 percent of students were failing, according to district records. Simmons' story represents that of many students who might not have succeeded to the same degree without the post-Katrina education system changes, experts point out. For Simmons, that meant attending a charter school, where she said her teachers pushed her even more once they found out about her compromising situation."
"We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Community Health Centers. What began as a modest demonstration program in the mid-1960s has evolved 50 years later into the largest and most successful primary health care system in the country."
"The reality, however, was substantially different. Rose sold everything to Access Funding — 420 monthly lead checks between 2017 and 2052. They amounted to a total of nearly $574,000 and had a present value of roughly $338,000. In return, Access Funding paid her less than $63,000."
"The fruits and vegetables are normally an expensive indulgence in the Southwest Washington neighborhood surrounding the center, but at Martha’s Table’s summer markets, they are free. It is the longtime D.C. charity’s latest initiative to provide low-income families with a bevy of produce and meal ideas, offered up with a casual farmers market feel, picking out veggies while music plays in the warm breeze."
"This summer's deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the South Bronx was described by one politician here as an 'unfortunate perfect storm' — invisible clouds of contaminated mist from commercial cooling towers swirling down into one of this city's poorest areas, whose population already struggles with health problems associated with poverty. The result: the worst outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in New York state history — 115 cases and 12 deaths since the middle of July. No one was prepared for the ferociousness with which the disease struck the South Bronx."
"Unfortunately, misdiagnosis happens more often when the pediatric patient is black, Hispanic or low-income, according to a study published today in PLOS ONE led by Park and Stanford medical student Louise Wang."
"Medicare turned 50 at the end of last month and has proven to be a popular and indispensable component of the social safety net. Still, like any 50-year-old, the program needs to learn some new tricks to bring it more comfortably into the modern age, where budget pressures, rising health costs and equitable access to quality care must be addressed. Specifically, Medicare’s reliance on the fee-for-service model has contributed to rising budgetary pressures. Considerable research has shown that fee-for-service plans are one way our system incentivizes quantity of treatment over quality."
"Green classrooms, incorporated into high school curricula, have sprouted nationwide to educate teenagers about nutrition and include them in community gardening. Participating students invest their time and energy in providing their neighborhoods with ready access to healthy and affordable food. As a result, they may also improve academic performance and engagement at school and pass on their knowledge and habits to their families."
"Even though Latinos make up nearly half of California's 12.5 million Medi-Cal enrollees, a report by the independent California HealthCare Foundation found that 36 percent of the Spanish-speaking Medi-Cal population has been told that a physician won't take them, compared to 7 percent of the overall Medi-Cal population. Even those who speak both English and Spanish reported similar difficulty accessing doctors."
"Ending federal funding that benefits Planned Parenthood, county health departments and other health-care providers would directly impact thousands of low-income women in Arizona. That's according to Bryan Howard, CEO with Planned Parenthood Arizona."
"As expected, Senate Republicans failed in their attempt to cut off contraception and health screening services for Planned Parenthood patients. But Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal rushed to act, announcing that Medicaid patients who go to Planned Parenthood will not be allowed to go there any more. Planned Parenthood estimates that 4,300 women will be cut off from their current gynecological care because of this."
"When it comes to getting the HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer, teens below the poverty line are doing better than the rest. Among teenage girls ages 13 to 17 whose total family income was less than the federal poverty level for their family size, 67.2 percent have received the first dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine, compared to 57.7 percent for those at or above the poverty line. For teen boys, it's 51.6 percent compared to 39.5 percent."
"New York is set to begin a $30 million program aimed at providing mental health services to low-income residents with little or no access to care. The program, Connections to Care, will tap existing community organizations that reach low-income residents but are not providing mental health services."
"This year students from low-income families in the Weldon Valley school district will be eligible for free or reduced-price meals during classes.
"Most fish in the United States contain mercury, but states rarely explain the health dangers to immigrants and low-income people who often rely on catching fish for their daily meals. Studies show up to 10 percent of women of child-bearing age have mercury levels that exceed federal standards. The substance, which occurs naturally in fish and is exacerbated by power plant pollution, can be devastating for the neurological development of children."
The Board of Health recently convened to discuss the lack of doctors in Aspen that accept Medicaid, and look at three potential options to ensure that all valley residents have timely access to a primary care physician. Liz Stark, Pitkin County public health director, said that more than 4,500 of Pitkin County’s 17,000-plus residents live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level — where an individual earns less than $23,500, or a family of four brings in less than $48,500. Many of these residents either rely on Medicaid for health insurance, or have no coverage at all."
"Advocates declared victory at the Oregon Legislature’s recent passage of House Bill 2545, which eliminates the co-pay for reduced price lunches statewide starting this fall. The change affects more than 30,000 students statewide whose families live on the brink of poverty."
"Low income senior citizens in Philadelphia are being given vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Senior farmers’ market produce vouchers were distributed at Reading Terminal Market, and Sue Gibson, nutrition manager at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, says that while Wednesday was their final distribution date here, it’s not too late to pick up a voucher elsewhere."
"Dr. Jay Mitchell of Rochester Hills retired as a pediatrician and now volunteers full time with his nonprofit KidzKare, which provides goods and services for low-income children in the Rochester Area."
"Northwestern University study found that it has been documented that children from low-income families typically complete less education, have worse health and are convicted of more crimes relative to their affluent peers."
"Succeeding academically and socially, a new Northwestern University study finds, may require self-control but ultimately this same trait will undermine health — but only in those who come from a low-income background. For the disadvantaged, self-control provides success while stealing vigor, the researchers suggest."
"Diet-related health problems have been worsening in the U.S., and obesity rates have skyrocketed in recent decades. The search for an explanation in recent years has often zeroed in on “food deserts,” generally defined as places where many residents don’t have access to a full-service grocery store within a mile of home in urban areas or 10 miles in rural ones."
"A longtime Coconino County dental clinic that is the only one of its kind in the state will shut its doors this fall. The clinic will close Sept. 30, the last day of work for resigning public health dentist Thomas Cardwell. The county Board of Supervisors decided last week that it was no longer feasible to keep operating the clinic after Cardwell's departure."
"So how do lower-income families feel about mandatory vaccination? It turns out that while they may struggle to get their kids vaccinated, they are very supportive of making it mandatory."
"The young people who are struggling with dental issues their families can’t afford to fix are nearly universally more appreciative than some other patients who take this kind of care for granted, he said."