Economic justice

Reshaping the Economy: Health, Racial Disparities and Economic Justice – Non Profit News

Click here to download the accompanying slides

Building on a series of articles from the Winter 2020 issue of Quarterly non-profit, this webinar in our Redo the economy series looks at health care, the largest sector of the US economy. Famously, the United States pays far more than any other country for health care—17.7 percent economy in 2019, but has lower health outcomes. The Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation report that “In 1980, life expectancy at birth in the United States was similar to that of comparable countries. However, since then the United States has gained only 4.9 years of life expectancy, while peer countries have gained 7.8 years on average. The average American now lives 2.5 years less than the average German and 5.6 years less than the average Japanese.

Economic inequalities and racism are two drivers of poor health outcomes in the United States. This year, the American Medical Association officially recognized racism as a threat to public health. The impact of racism in healthcare can be seen in the age-adjusted COVID-19 death rates for blacks, Latinxes and Native Americans, which are double that of whites. How can health care be reorganized to address these disparities and promote better health?

In this webinar, we present three panelists who address these questions:

Ben palmquist is program director of healthcare and economic democracy for Partners for Dignity and Rights, a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for a new social contract where everyone’s human needs are met.

Al-richmond is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is the Executive Director of Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, a non-profit, membership-based organization that promotes health equity and social justice through community-to-community partnerships and academic institutions.

Yolandra Toya, MD, MPH is a community physician and pediatrician, and a citizen of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. In her practice, Dr. Toya currently provides medical care to residents of Native and non-Native communities in New Mexico.

Some of the questions addressed in a high-profile conversation include the following:

  • What are some of the major structural causes of health care injustice in the United States? What can be done about it?
  • What does good community health research look like? How does poorly conducted health research in the past continue to sow distrust in the present?
  • How do you approach indigenous communities if you want to engage in health promotion work?
  • What are the social determinants of health and how do you address them?
  • What protective factors exist within communities of color that can be strengthened for better health outcomes?
  • How do communities gain greater control over their own health care?
  • Is COVID-19 teaching us new things about health care in the United States, or is it primarily confirming what was already known?
  • How to prepare to face the consequences of the “long COVID”?
  • What political steps can the new administration take in Washington?

Articles by or about the panelists

Kathleen McCleery, “Need: Native Doctors — Yolandra Gomez Toya ’88 is working to close the gap, ” Princeton Alumni Weekly, March 7, 2018.

Lloyd Michener, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Philip M. Alberti, Manuel J. Castaneda, Brian C. Castrucci, Lisa Macon Harrison, Lauren S. Hughes, Al Richmond and Nina Wallerstein, “Engaging with Communities — Lessons (Re) Learned from COVID -19[FEMININE”[FEMININE”Prevent chronic diseases, July 2020.

Ben Palmquist, “The Struggle for Justice in Health Care: Time for Movement”, NPQ, January 14, 2021.

Additional resources

Karen Kahn, “Crisis in a Crisis: Health Workers on the Front Line of COVID-19”, NPQ, January 15, 2021.

Ruth McCambridge, “Profit as the Main Driver: The Everyday Health Care Disaster in America”, NPQ, January 19, 2021.

The Editors, “Recognizing Racism as a Public Health Threat: A Conversation with Dr Willarda V. Edwards”, NPQ, January 22, 2021.

Steve Dubb, “Communities Must Be Engaged to Improve Health Outcomes”, NPQ, November 15, 2017.

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