A Community in Need: Public Health in America

I have been a practicing RN for the past five years. I am also a consumer of public health services.  My experiences have taught me an important lesson: despite reform efforts, health care disparities continue to exist in urban populations. This is especially true amongst the underinsured and uninsured.

As both a consumer and practitioner in free clinics and health centers in Philadelphia, I can attest to the  disparities in access and quality of care that continue to exist. I recently left an abusive relationship in Harrisburg, PA and am in the process of securing housing and health insurance for myself. To compound upon these issues, I require daily medications and treatments for chronic illnesses, which without I cannot live or function properly, let alone work.  I rely on public health services. (more…)

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Let’s Talk About It: Trans* Youth and Suicide Prevention

UnknownAs discussed in my previous article, bullying and discrimination take a toll on young people. In addition to physical symptoms, it can lead to depression, self-harm and, for some, suicide. This is particularly true for queer and trans* youth.

There are a lot of statistics about suicide among youth, particularly suicide among LGB youth. There is also quite a bit of research on mental health and transgender adults. However, I was hard pressed to find much research that specifically addresses transgender youth and suicide prevention. Although, there is overlap with other research on youth, and many of the same issues that affect transgender adults, also affect transgender teens, it is important to consider the unique difficulties that transgender youth face. (more…)

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5 Things about Medicare or Medicaid you are too Embarrassed to Ask

You’ve probably heard of Medicaid and Medicare, but you might not know what each one does. Both programs are social insurance programs managed by the government and provide health insurance coverage for those who meet certain minimum requirements. Usually, the programs are only available for those who are considered “seniors,” poor, or disabled. (more…)

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  • February 3rd, 2014 Surprised and Not Surprised
    By Glenna Crooks
  • Be Bold. Participate in the White House’s virtual “Big Block of Cheese Day”

    Block-of-Cheese-Memes_NOPLATE

    Leo: “Andrew Jackson, in the main foyer of the White House, had a two-ton  block of cheese. The block of cheese was huge…”

    Josh: “And a Wheat Thin the size of Lake Tahoe…”

    Leo: “It was there for any and all who might be hungry. It was there for the voiceless, the faceless…”

    The West Wing, Season 1, Episode 5 “The Crackpots and These Women”

    (more…)

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    The Work Behind the Work: Living Wages for Direct Care Works

    Janice Lynch Schuster

    In the digital age, there are few surprises, and we know that tonight’s State of the Union address is likely to confirm an executive order that will raise to $10.10 an hour the minimum wage paid to federal contractors that receive new awards.

    Clearly, any effort to reduce the ever-widening income gap is one step forward.

    But is it far enough? At $10.10 an hour, a full-time worker will gross about $400 per week or about $21,000 annually. While that is enough to lift one person above the federal poverty level, a family of four will remain below it. In the Washington metropolitan area, home to so many federal workers and contractors, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,300. So a worker who expects to eat, drive, or ride a bus will need to apply for safety net care or find another job. (more…)


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    What If Health Engagement Was a System-Wide Requirement?

    Cyndy NayerThe conversation in health care blogs, C-Suites, and peer-reviewed articles is highlighted with “health engagement,” as though this is a new rubric. It’s been defined as aligned commitment toward a health goal that is set by someone or some entity.  Without engagement, there is no improved health.

    But the weight of engagement appears to be shouldered by the patient, who is portrayed as derelict in commitment, follow-through, or even literacy in the attainment of goals set by a system in which he or she is not a valued contributor. (more…)

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    Rebecca Mitchell Coelius: Woman to Watch 2014

    Rebecca Mitchell Coelius

    Rebecca Mitchell Coelius

    “Read, travel, and speak to people with a diversity of opinions as often as possible, and, most importantly, never get too invested in seeing a problem from only one angle.” – Rebecca Mitchell Coelius

    Treasuring the history of health science and continuously pursuing the next opinion, idea, or discussion, Rebecca Mitchell Coelius first became a physician with the goal of becoming part of the health care industry. Rebecca’s career has taken her through that system, to entrepreneurship, to her current role at the Office of the National Coordinator where now works with entrepreneurs, investors, and innovation centers every day. (more…)

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    Level 5 Leadership, Sharing and Collaboration Will Transform Health Care

    Kendra WestLast month, I attended the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was a great opportunity to network with CIOs, CNOs and CMIOs from health care organizations around the country. Best-selling author Jim Collins delivered the keynote speech on the opening morning. I thought I had already overdosed on all things Good to Great, but I sat completely immersed in his talk for at least 90 minutes, typing notes on my iPhone as fast as I could peck away at the tiny keyboard. His insights are so crisp and commonsensical, and their simplicity resonates so easily. (more…)

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    A Conversation with Disruptive Women: Yvette K.W. Bourcicot

    Yvette BourcicotOn November 6th, Disruptive Women honored the Women Congressional Staff Association through a leadership panel titled “ A Conversation with Disruptive Women.”   The event featured career leadership and personal branding advice from some of the top female leaders in agriculture, defense, health care, and finance. Below,  Yvette K.W. Bourcicot, a panelist, shares career and leadership words of wisdom -

    How did you get where you are? 

    A lot of hard work, a little bit of luck, and tremendous support from my family and mentors.  I learned to seek out good people who had done what I was trying to do, and model my behavior on them. (more…)

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    Health Information Technology: Closing the Gap or Exacerbating Health Disparities in Underserved Communities?

    Megan DouglasHealth disparities are avoidable inequalities in health between two groups of people. They are often associated with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. In the United States, health disparities are persistent, especially in poor, rural, and minority communities. Maternal and child health is a prime example, with infant mortality rates experienced by African Americans in the U.S. more than double those experienced by Caucasians. The Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) for Health Disparities Research at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in Atlanta, Georgia, has been funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to tackle health disparities through four distinct initiatives using a collaborative approach and including community participation, with the ultimate goal of informing and influencing policy on these issues. (more…)

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  • November 11th, 2013 A Veteran’s Day Proposal for Disruptive Women
    By Glenna Crooks
  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Facts vs Myths

    Kimberly Baxter 1October is domestic violence awareness month!  Yet, after decades of working to end violence against women and hold offenders accountable, our work is not yet done.  We honor those harmed by, and bring awareness to, the issue of intimate partner violence—domestic violence (DV) or sexual violence because violence against women is serious!

    Don’t assume you know what’s happening in your community.  We need to make sure we really know by asking victims.  While the total number of DV victims and offenders has trended lower over the past 10 years, the total number of African American victims and offenders has each increased, while white victims and offenders have each decreased.  African American victims of DV are more likely than persons in any other racial category to sustain severe injury and have twice the rate of severe lacerations and internal injuries when compared with the entire population . (more…)

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    Mental Illness, Addiction, and an Unfinished Conversation

    EmmaHaylettRecent reports indicate that as many as one in ten adults take antidepressants—among adolescents, the numbers fall to one in 25. Researchers suggest that these numbers should actually be higher, though the existing data has the potential to tell us a variety of things. First, the use of medication to treat depression is going up. Second, more people are admitting to being depressed—but, very likely, there are not more depressed people overall. (more…)

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    The Real Invincibles: Young Adults with Chronic Health Conditions

    SantiKMBhagatFor the Young Adults Should Be Invincible series, several amazing young adults took huge risks to give us glimpses about how they live with chronic health conditions.  Most likely, you know a few young people like them, considering that 1 in 4 are affected, but do you know what their lives are like?  Probably not.  Do you know why?

    (more…)

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