Day 9: How Race Impacts Health
According to a Common Ground Health report titled, “Overloaded: The Heavy Toll of Poverty on Our Region’s Health,” 80 percent of one’s health and wellness is based on social determinants. These are socioeconomic factors such as housing, transportation, and access to what often can be taken for granted - food, parks, playgrounds, and much more. As little as 20 percent of one’s health and wellness can be attributed to clinical or medical care.
It is much more difficult for people living in poverty to access these important services. When one considers that so many people who are living in poverty in Monroe County are non-white, these factors become even more stark. We’ve looked at how systemic racism contributes to inequity in areas such as housing, income, and transportation. This can have a large impact on health status, and it is easy to see how communities of color can experience greater health challenges. By addressing racism and related inequities, health outcomes can be improved for all groups of people.
Did You Know?
A child born in Pittsford’s 14534 zip code will live as many as nine years longer than a child born in the city of Rochester’s 14608 zip code. (Common Ground Health)
Resources for Learning
Option 1: Watch Fast Facts on Health Inequities (4:02)
Option 2: Watch Social Determinants of Health, an Introduction (6:27)
Option 3: Read Implicit Bias and Racial Disparities in Health Care
Option 4: Watch Ted Talk: How Racism Makes Us Sick (17:20)
Option 5: Read Concerns about COVID-19 Vaccine in African American Community Have Historical Roots
Consider these ways to reflect, grow, and take action:
Questions to Consider for Self-Reflection:
- Think about access to health care in your community. Is it easy and affordable to visit a doctor? If not, what barriers prevent people in your community from receiving the health care they need?
- Have you ever struggled to get the health care you needed? What would it be like for you to need health care, but not receive it?
- Do you know where to turn for help if you were unable to afford basic needs such as food, clothing, utilities, or housing?
- Review the Monroe County Health Profile from Common Ground Health.
Office of Professional Learning Google Site Offering:
"Under the Affluence," by Tim Wise
Exploring economic inequality and the demonization of those in need, the author demonstrates how mainstream discourse blames people with low income for their own situation. Along the way, he documents an increasing contempt for the nation's poor, reveals the forces at work that create and perpetuate the situation, and outlines a path to greater compassion, fairness, and economic justice.
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