–Health Equity Quiz: When I took the Health Equity Quiz I only got 50%. I knew a lot of the specific disparities, but I was unaware of most of the statistics about where the United States ranked among the world. I think the question that I got wrong, that I was most surprised about was the question about which ethnic group had the best overall health in the U.S. I had never heard of the “Latino Paradox”, and I think I would like to read up on that more, because that was quite an interesting statistic. On a side note, the statistic I found the most depressing was the one about the life expectancy of young Black men in Harlem. I answered that question correctly, but I still find it shocking and sad.
–Unnatural Causes- “Place Matters: I chose the “Place Matters” episode. This short film was about once prosperous communities in the Pacific Northwest, that have fallen on very hard times. This film discussed the prevalence of disease in these low income neighborhoods. A lot of these families, that left their home countries in order to make a better life in the United States, have found their health in actually worse shape than it was before. Many of the illnesses that are endemic in these communities are heart disease and asthma. The emotional stresses and the environmental stressors that many of the adults endure, cause them to have severe cardiac diseases, which can cut their lifespan by 30%. The children in these communities have such poor air quality, outside with pollution and inside with mold and other contaminants, that they are six times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. And since most of these people are too poverty stricken to have proper health insurance, they end up in the ER for every episode. There was some community action to help rebuild the neighborhood of High Point into a multi-income community, but some of the poorest of the poor lost out again and were permanently displaced.
–Influences on Issues of Illness: There are many factors that affect the spread and treatment of illness, particularly in these impoverished, forgotten cities, like the one discussed in “Place Matters”. A lot of the community politics do not take into account the poorest residents and therefore they are under the radar and do not receive the services they are in need of. Also, the economics of a city fallen on hard times, causes those left there to be invisible to the surrounding communities, this is happening in parts of Detroit right now. Lastly, the environment presented in the film, shows that even if the residents are trying to take good care of their health and the health of their children, it is a lost cause, because they will still be exposed to the environmental hazards that make them ill in the first place. All of these factors lead to the constant spread of poverty and illness, which go hand and hand.