High racial segregation, along with high income inequality and poverty, are driving poor health outcomes in Cuyahoga County and in other areas of Ohio. Segregation of neighborhoods, institutionalized in federal housing and banking policies in the 1920’s which barred blacks and other minorities from securing home loans, has created large areas of deteriorating housing and environmental conditions. These conditions have direct and indirect effects on health, and need to change, public health experts say. (Joshua Gunter/The Plain Dealer, File)

CLEVELAND, Ohio— Cuyahoga County is large and diverse, the most populous county in Ohio. It’s also one of the most racially segregated counties in one of America’s most segregated states.

And that division is bad for our health, researchers say.

“Highly segregated neighborhoods tend to have environmental hazards, often elevated crime levels, and segregated residents in general have fewer opportunities for good education or a job that pays a living wage, or access to health care and healthy food,” said Marjory Givens, associate scientist with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. (read more)

by Janie Boschma

In a modern-day tale of two cities, in virtually every major U.S. metropolitan area students of color are much more likely than whites to attend public schools shaped by high concentrations of poverty, an analysis of federal data has found.

In all but five of the 95 largest cities by population for which data is available, more minority than white students attend public schools where most of their classmates qualify as poor or low-income, according to the analysis of data from the National Equity Atlas. In a full three-fourths of cities, the share of minority students attending mostly poor or low-income schools is at least 20 percentage points greater than the share of white students. In 29 of the cities, the gap is at least 40 percentage points.

Across a wide range of cities, the numbers point to a massive racial imbalance in exposure to concentrated poverty. In St. Louis, 92 percent of black, but only 27 percent of white, students attend schools where most of their classmates qualify as poor or low-income. In Dallas, 38 percent of white, compared to 95 percent of black and 97 percent of Latino students, attend mostly low-income schools. In Los Angeles, the numbers are 49 percent for whites, 85 percent for African Americans, and 96 percent for Latinos.  (read more)

by Janie Boschma and Ronald Brownstein

In almost all major American cities, most African American and Hispanic students attend public schools where a majority of their classmates qualify as poor or low-income, a new analysis of federal data shows.

This systemic economic and racial isolation looms as a huge obstacle for efforts to make a quality education available to all American students. Researchers have found that the single-most powerful predictor of racial gaps in educational achievement is the extent to which students attend schools surrounded by other low-income students.

Underscoring the breadth of the challenge, the economic segregation of minority students persists across virtually all types of cities, from fast-growing Sunbelt places like Austin, Denver, Dallas, and Charlotte to struggling Rust Belt communities like Detroit, Cleveland, and Milwaukee, to the nation’s largest metropolitan centers, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. But cities, educators, and researchers are also exploring new ways to abate the negative impact of concentrated poverty on black and brown students.  (read more)

Emily DeRuy and Janie Boschma

Charlotte, North Carolina, wants to change its status as one of the worst places in the United States for poor children to have a shot at getting ahead as adults. If the city succeeds, its efforts may offer a roadmap for other major metro areas gripped by barriers such as concentrated poverty and school segregation.

Improving schools, particularly how they serve poor black and Latino children, will be a crucial piece in the fight to reduce inequity. Right now, the percentage of children in Charlotte attending schools where at least half the students are poor varies significantly by race. While just 23 percent of white students in Charlotte attend majority-poverty schools, 77 percent of black students and 80 percent of Latino students go to these schools, according to an original analysis of federal data provided by the National Equity Atlas, a joint project of PolicyLink and the University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity. The discrepancy is significant, because high-poverty schools tend to have fewer resources, less-qualified teachers, and weaker parent-volunteer networks than affluent schools. Add to this the fact that black and Latino children in Charlotte are more likely to live in areas of concentrated poverty and to experience a range of barriers to economic mobility, and the scope of the problem—and, by extension, the complexity of any solution—balloon.  (read more)

San Juan Community PLACE MATTERS, or SJCPM, is a group of organizations and citizens from throughout San Juan County joining together to make the places where we live, learn, work and play healthier for ALL members of the community. It addresses health in a broader way than health is normally viewed. SJCPM doesn’t just look at medical and physical health of the community, but also looks at environmental, educational and economic aspects of the community and the ways those issues can affect the health of San Juan County. Through partnerships with New Mexico Health Equity Partnership and the National Collaborative for Health Equity and the Kellogg Foundation, SJCPM looks at the disparities around these issues to determine how to make health more equitable for ALL people through policy change. (Full article here)

from WKKF:
“Over the past weekend, the unimaginable happened in our nearby Kalamazoo community when a shooter took the lives of six people and severely injured two others. We are deeply saddened by such unbearable acts of violence and the senseless death and unspeakable fear that has fell upon our beloved community. We share our deepest condolences to the victims and their families, and those grieving.

Unfortunately, we now join a growing list of communities across the country that have suffered and are trying to heal from the loss of innocent lives. It is our sincere hope we can move forward in the spirit of healing, as individuals and families, and as a unified community.”  (Continue reading)

Join the NHMA  & HDA network of physicians, dentists, health care professionals, government and private sector partners from across the nation and learn new strategies for effective health care and policies to improve the health of Hispanic populations.

In 2016, NHMA and the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) will host a joint national conference, bringing together experts from across the nation to share their multi-disciplinary experiences in improving health care delivery for Hispanic populations.  National, international, and local health care experts will present on current innovations in medical homes, accountable care organizations, medical education training, research, prevention, behavioral health, integrated care, e-health, and cultural competence for the growing Hispanic populations in the U.S. Disease areas include infectious disease, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and others. CE/CME credits to be provided.  (continue reading)

The Lung Cancer Allinace has launched a Congressional Briefing Series as a platform to educate Members of Congress and Congressional staff on issues related to lung cancer. During the briefing series, they will provide substantive, fact-based information through speakers and materials which focus on raising awareness and informing key decision makers about the current state of lung cancer in the United States and worldwide.

The Congressional Briefing Series will focus on important topics such as increasing survivorship, showing the value of federally funded lung cancer research, supporting preventive screening efforts, highlighting new and emerging breakthroughs, understanding lung cancer among our military service members and ensuring equitable access to preventive screening, treatments, diagnostics and testing.

All briefings will take place on Capitol Hill and are open to anyone who wishes to attend. Please check back regularly as details are finalized.

Congressional Briefing Series Details:

Please contact your Representatives today and encourage them to attend these important educational briefings. To find your Representative, visit www.House.gov.