June 12, 2009

Beyond Bread: The Latest in Healthcare

~A study that was released by the Kaiser Family Foundation on June 10th reveals some disconcerting news. Black women in the District are shown to be in considerably worse health than their white, Hispanic, and Asian peers in just about every way imaginable. According to the study, Black women in DC experience health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as AIDS and HIV in numbers that vastly outnumber the "valedictorians" of the nation’s health class, or DC’s wealthy and healthy white female residents. The sad truth is that many of these health issues are those that are relatively easy to avoid if the conscientious American is presented with the opportunity and resources to experience good health, such as access to healthful and affordable food, safe and pleasant areas to walk and exercise, and affordable quality health care.

~A step in the right direction is literally a few blocks away at Howard University Hospital, where a free student-run health clinic is set to open on June 18th. The project was a dream of a student named Raolat Abdulai. What’s especially cool about this new clinic is that Bread for the City was part of its creation! Abdulai visited Bread for the City’s medical clinic with other students to see a free clinic in action. As a result of her visit, she realized "how much effort has to go into a project like this."

~Speaking of health care, this mom named Kathie McClure from Atlanta is driving a purple school bus (with some intense smiley faces painted on the side) across America to learn about America’s "broken health-care system." She plans to end her pilgrimage in Washington, DC to share what she has learned in her quest for understanding. I don’t know how I feel about the purple bus, but I like her style.

~Our stalwart readers will know that the DC City Council recently passed the Bag Bill, which Bread for the City vociferously advocated for. This week, the UN’s environmental chief is calling for a global ban on plastic bags. I’m not saying there’s a direct connection, but the environmental chief for the UN may or may not subscribe to our blog via email. That’s all I’m saying. Take it as you will.

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