Category Archives: Poverty
In Detroit, Michigan, the Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation has developed a targeted approach to promoting health equity, based on the four factors measured by the County Health Rankings: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. Despite its location in one of the most racially segregated cities in the country, with poor public transportation, high poverty and unemployment, and vast food deserts, the Joy-Southfield neighborhood has become a hub of partnerships and activities aimed at long-term health improvement. Several community groups and funders have collaborated to empower youth through mentoring and community garden projects; renovate vacant properties to attract new businesses; improve community safety; provide job training and foreclosure prevention services and more.
NewPublicHealth spoke with David Law, PhD, Executive Director at Joy-Southfield, about the program.
NewPublicHealth: Tell us about the Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation. How did your priorities evolve, and how did the County Health Rankings help shape them?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $201 million to support 731 new local homeless programs across the U.S. The funding will provide emergency shelters, transitional housing and permanent support for individuals and families. Read more on the connection between housing and health.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Eli Lilly and Company will generate a publicly available resource to profile the effects of thousands of approved and investigational medicines.
The NIH's newly established National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences collection of 3,800 approved and investigational medicines will be screened using Lilly’s advanced testing systems to assess their biological profiles. This could enable biomedical researchers to better predict treatment outcomes and improve drug development, according to an NIH release. Read more on prescription drugs.
Just 38 percent of sexually active young women were screened for chlamydia between 2006 and 2008, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends annual screening for all sexually active women aged 25 and under. Read more on sexual health.
Suicides among U.S. soldiers rose 80 percent from 2004 to 2008, according to a study in the journal Injury Prevention. While 40 percent of the suicides may have been linked to combat experience in Iraq, nearly a third of the soldiers who committed suicide were not in combat, according to the study. The researchers also found that rates of suicide among Army personnel from 1977 to 2003 were similar to trends in the general population, but in 2004 suicides started to increase quickly, outpacing the suicide rates among civilians by 2008. Read more on military health.
A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health finds that treating HIV in order to avoid brain impairment may have a window of just the first year of life. Treatment begun later than that may not have as significant results in avoiding cognitive impairment. Read more HIV news.
One-third of American families are having trouble paying for health care, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. Data for the first six months of 2011 found that one in five families had difficulty paying medical bills, one in four pays bills over time and one in 10 can't pay medical bills at all. Read more on access to health care.
Mobilizing Communities Toward Better Health, Income and Education: Q&A With United Way's Brian Gallagher
United Way Worldwide has evolved from its roots as a fundraising organization to a critical community convener that mobilizes local partners, including businesses, community leaders, public officials and community residents, to expand opportunities for people to live healthy, quality lives. United Way focuses on three key building blocks: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health. With support from United Way Worldwide, 12 United Ways across the country have formed the United Way network’s first Health Mobilization Group. This peer-learning community will use the County Health Rankings framework to work with the residents, external experts and stakeholders to drive systems change to improve health and health equity in their communities.
NewPublicHealth will conduct an in-depth series on the work of United Way on the ground to improve health, education and income. The series will include Q&As with thought leaders as well as those advancing initiatives at the community level: the leaders in local United Way organizations and their communities. We kick off this series with a conversation with United Way Worldwide President and CEO, Brian Gallagher, MBA, about the organization’s priorities, key partners and methods for mobilizing communities for social change.
NewPublicHealth: United Way focuses on three key issues: education, income and health. Why are these the most critical issues, and how do they work together to impact quality of life?
The New York Times is reporting that research on a mutated, more contagious form of the bird flu virus can be published in full despite concern that bioterrorists could use the information to start a pandemic. That decision was made during a special meeting of 22 bird flu experts in Geneva, Switzerland convened by the World Health Organization.
The Times reported that most of the researchers at the meeting felt that any theoretical terrorist risk was outweighed by the "real and present danger" of similar flu virus mutations occurring naturally in the wild, and by the need for the scientific community to share information that could help identify exactly when the virus might be developing the ability to spread more easily. The United States voted against publication. The research is expected to be published in Science and Nature at a future date. Read more on infectious disease.
More than 12.1 million white children live in low-income families; compared to: 10.7 million Hispanic children; 6.5 million black children; 1 million Asian children; 400,000 American Indian children; and 1.3 million children of other race, according to recent research released by National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), based at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Calculating by percentages put black children at the top in term of low-income families: 64 percent of black children and 63 percent of Hispanic children lived in such families compared to 31 percent of white children.
Other statistics include:
- Children represent 24 percent of the overall U.S. population, but 34 percent of all people living in poverty.
- There are more than 72 million children under age 18 in the United States: of those, 31.9 million live in low-income families.
- Low income ($44,700 for a family of four) is defined by NCCP as being twice the official federal poverty level ($22,350 for a family of four).
- The percentage of children in low-income families is highest (48 percent) in the South, compared to 45 percent of children in the West; 42 percent in the Midwest; and 36 percent of children in the Northeast.
Among the strategies recommended by NCCP is for parents to get help on how to succeed in the labor force, which will in turn, help their children. A new initiative by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is focused on such help. Last Thursday the Department announced that it was making $95 million available through two grant programs that help residents who receive HUD rental assistance get the necessary education and job training to find jobs and increase their income. Read more on the health effects of poverty.
A new study in the journal Health Affairs has found that young people with diabetes are more likely to drop out of high school and could expect to earn about $160,000 less than those without diabetes over their lifetimes. That’s on top of medical expenses that can average $6,000 per year for medicine, testing equipment and physician visits. The Health Affairs article used data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to look at the non-medical costs associated with diabetes.
NewPublicHealth spoke with Michael R. Richards, a co-author of the study and a graduate student in health economics in the Division of Health Policy and Administration at the Yale School of Public Health. Richards says the study is important because often the urgency that is associated with diabetes focuses on long-term health consequences—outcomes that happen later in life.
“Our work suggests that urgency should be brought forward earlier. We need to be looking at long- and short-term consequences—including educational attainment and income levels. Richards says not enough is known yet to help formalize policies on how to deal with short-term issues, but that the next step in the research by the study authors is to uncover the mechanisms that are driving these outcomes. “Once we know the mechanisms,” says Richards, “it will be easier to plan next steps.”
>>Read the Health Affairs article here.
A recent study in Pediatrics found that by age 23, up to 41 percent of young adults have been arrested at least once for a non-traffic offense. According to the study, early risk factors that can lead to arrests include poor academic performance, abuse at home, hyperactive behavior and poor concentration or language development. And because all of these factors can be identified by pediatricians, the authors say intervention by family members and pediatricians can direct at-risk children to programs that could prevent arrests and help them steer away from violent and unsafe behavior.
NewPublicHealth: Were you surprised by the high rate of arrests reported in the recent Pediatrics study?
Dan Stier: Over the years I have done a fair amount of work with the judicial system as a litigator and more recently as a member of the public health community. I’m not totally surprised, but that number is shocking to almost everyone, I think.
NPH: Why are there such high rates of arrests?
Over the course of a year, more than 12 million women and men are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States – that's more than 24 people per minute – according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Rates were particularly high among women. One in four women has experienced severe intimate partner violence and one in five has been raped, according to the report. Read more on violence.
In a new report, the Institute of Medicine recommended a wide range of scientific evidence and minimum standards around “modified risk tobacco products," or tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and tobacco lozenges that are designed or advertised to reduce the risk of tobacco-related disease. In order to market such a product, manufacturers are required to submit evidence to the Food and Drug Administration to demonstrate that it is less risky compared to conventional tobacco products, and this report provides a recommended set of standards for required evidence. Read more tobacco news.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness released a new report on emergency food assistance and homeless services provided in 29 U.S. cities between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011, and requests for emergency food assistance increased in all but four cities. Requests increased by an average of more than 15 percent.