This piece is part of our 2022 Year in Review, a reflection on some of the most urgent issues and causes that mattered most this year that we’ll face in the next – and the tangible ways you can take action.
Like most things in this country, it’s apparent that there are two different Americas, with our race, class, citizenship status, and other social and identity markers determining how we work, where we live, and how we receive care. Within the healthcare system, this determines not only the accessibility but also the quality of care and services but also in the quality; not only the focus of research and medical studies but the dissemination of information and public health messaging; and not only in whose pain and ailments are taken seriously but in the administering of treatment and medication.
As COVID-19 went from being a national concern to background noise in our “new normal,” these disparities have emphasized whose lives and deaths are seen as mere collateral damage. Equal is rarely equitable. The mere existence of an institution or system within our communities doesn’t mean it’s meant to help or save you. It’s important to understand this difference between equality and equity as we transform healthcare into one designed for all of us.
• Contribute to RIP Medical Debt to erase medical debt in the U.S.
• Donate to organizations like Autistic People of Color Fund, Autoimmune Community Institute, and the National Alliance of Multicultural Disabled Advocates that support and provide accessible services to disabled and immunocompromised people.
• Download the Hutano app, a social health platform for Black and Brown people to find information, connect, and discuss their health.
• RxAssist and NeedyMeds connect people to coupons, rebates, and other information.
Why Sunscreen Is Not A One-Size-Fits-All Answer For Skin Cancer
Generalized public health messaging without extensive community outreach and education is a disservice to underserved and marginalized communities. This is especially true when these awareness campaigns are declared as one-fit solutions for all but are the result of research and studies on white, often male, test subjects. Read More >>
America’s Failure To Integrate Hospitals
“If you arrived from another planet and saw two airports a mile apart, one for Black people and another for whites, you’d think this is some kind of weird apartheid…We don’t do that for airports, but somehow that’s where we’ve ended up with hospitals.” Healthcare disparities have always been present and are a prime example of how institutions as commonplace and integral as hospitals can cater to different people. Read More >>
The Deadly Cost Of Prescription Drug Prices
Healthcare costs are rising alongside the price of housing, gas, and groceries. More specifically, the cost of lifesaving prescription drugs like insulin has become so expensive and inaccessible that people are forced to go without them, resulting in deadly consequences. Change will require not reform but an overhaul of the pharmaceutical industry and the medical system that enables it. Read More >>
Can Safe Consumption End America’s Overdose Epidemic?
When our leaders and social safety nets fail to keep us safe, healthy, fed, and housed, the solution is to help those in need by providing safer alternatives. For drug addiction and the current opioid epidemic, harm reduction methods like syringe exchange programs and safe consumption sites work by shifting intervention from incarceration and violence to support and care in hopes of saving lives. Read More >>