The brutal deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless people of color before them, and the shocking disparities in death rates from the coronavirus, are tragic examples of the still pervasive racism in America. For organizations like NASHP, it is not enough to speak out – we need to redouble our efforts, along with our state partners, to combat racism and ensure health equity. NASHP pledges to more intently listen to Black voices, to work harder to frame policies rooted in the experiences of communities that have been disenfranchised for far too long and, most importantly, to make way for, seek out, and support Black leadership in state health policy. We won’t achieve the change we need until we first change ourselves.
Health Equity Resources
COVID-19 and Health Equity
American Medical Association: Why African American Communities Are Being Hit Hard by COVID-19, May 13, 2020. Join a virtual town hall hosted by the AMA and the National Association of Black Journalists exploring COVID-19 and the black community, moderated by NABJ President Dorothy Tucker, an investigative reporter for CBS 2 Chicago (WBBM-TV).
Journal of the American Medical Association: COVID-19 and Health Equity — A New Kind of “Herd Immunity,” May 11, 2020. Segregation of health care also contributes to racial disparities in health care. COVID-19 testing centers are more likely to be in well-off suburbs of predominantly white residents than in low-income neighborhoods that are predominantly Black. The advice to obtain testing through a primary care clinician limits access to testing for people who lack one. Improving access to care for all and ensuring high-quality care, with greater focus on under-resourced settings and vulnerable groups, is an important “treatment” for racial disparities in health.
American Medical Association FAQs: Health Equity in a Pandemic, April 2020. Marginalized and minoritized patients have and will suffer disproportionally during the COVID-19 crisis. The AMA is answering frequently asked questions on health equity in the pandemic response to equip physicians with the consciousness, tools and resources to confront inequities.
American Medical Association You Tube Health Equity Discussion: Physicians Detail COVID-19’s Impact in Latinx Communities, May 21 2020. More than 28 percent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 are Latinx. Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, chief health equity officer and group vice president of the AMA, joins four Latinx physicians to discuss how the coronavirus has impacted their communities.
Police Violence Impact on Community Health
UNC Center for Health Equity Research: Health Equity Implications of Police Violence, August 2017. As of August 2017, the US is on track to approach 1,000 deaths of civilians at the hands of police for at least the third year in a row. This brief provides an overview of existing evidence documenting police-related killings of civilians, and suggests key strategies to mitigate the disparate health impacts resultant from those acts of violence.
The Lancet: Police Killings and their Spillover Effects on the Mental Health of Black Americans: A Population-Based, Quasi-Experimental Study, July 28, 2018. Police kill more than 300 Black Americans — at least a quarter of them unarmed — each year in the United States. These events might have spillover effects on the mental health of people not directly affected.
American Psychological Association PsycNet: Black and Blue: Exploring Racial Bias and Law Enforcement in the Killings of Unarmed Black Male Civilians, April 2016. The report attempts to disentangle racial bias from common characteristics of law enforcement agents (e.g., social dominance orientation), while also addressing the interaction between racial bias and policing to more effectively identify and develop solutions to eradicate excessive use of force during interactions between “Black” (unarmed Black male civilians) and “Blue” (law enforcement).
American Journal of Public Health: Unequal Burdens of Loss: Examining the Frequency and Timing of Homicide Deaths Experienced by Young Black Men Across the Life Course, July 2015. A study of the frequency and developmental timing of traumatic loss resulting from the health disparity of homicide among young black men in Baltimore.