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Racial Health Disparities: Equity in Light of COVID-19 MVCC Library Event and Resources

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Health science, psychology, and history faculty will discuss the racial health disparities and inequities that the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed. They will discuss access to healthcare, culturally appropriate healthcare and the legacies of the past that still impact community health today. This event is part of our One Book, One College Program.

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You can also learn about visiting the library and scheduling curbside pickup for library materials. If you need help you can visit our e-resources help page or get help from a librarian.

Caring for Equality : a History of African American Health and Healthcare

"African Americans today continue to suffer disproportionately from heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. In Caring for Equality David McBride chronicles the struggle by African Americans and their white allies to improve poor black health conditions as well as inadequate medical care--caused by slavery, racism, and discrimination--since the arrival of African slaves in America. Black American health progress resulted from the steady influence of what David McBride calls the health equality ideal: the principle that health of black Americans could and should be equal to that of whites and other Americans. Including a timeline, selected primary sources, and an extensive bibliographic essay, McBride's book provides a superb starting point for students and readers who want to explore in greater depth this important and understudied topic in African American history."--Publisher description

Invisible Visits : Black Middle-Class Women in the American Healthcare System

"Although the United States spends almost one-fifth of all its resources funding healthcare, the American system continues to be dogged by persistent inequities in the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities and women. 'Invisible Visits' analyzes how middle-class Black women navigate the complexities of dealing with doctors in this environment. It challenges the idea that race and gender discrimination--particularly in healthcare settings--is a thing of the past, and questions the persistent myth that discrimination only affects poor racial minorities. In so doing, the book expands our understanding of how Black middle-class women are treated when they go to the doctor, why they continue to face inequities in securing proper medical care, and what strategies they use to fight for the best treatment (as well as the consequential toll on their health). Drawing from original research, the author shines a light on how women perceive the persistently negative stereotypes that follow them into the exam room, and proceeds to illustrate why simply providing more cultural-competency or anti-bias training to doctors will not be enough to overcome the problem. For Americans to truly address these challenges, the deeply embedded discrimination in our prized institutions--including those in the healthcare sector--must be acknowledged."--Back cover

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Sample words and phrases to use in the databases: "racial health disparities", "race and healthcare", "unconscious bias", "discrimination", "medical care" "health and race"

The Racial Divide in American Medicine : Black Physicians and the Struggle for Justice in Health Care

"An exposure to the long history of separation, isolation, disparities, and eventual healing in southern healthcare. 'The Racial Divide in American Medicine' documents the struggle for equity in health and health care by African Americans in Mississippi and the United States and the connections between what happened there and the national search for social justice in health care. Dr. Richard D. deShazo and the contributors to the volume trace the dark journey from a system of slave hospitals in the state, through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the civil rights era, to the present day. They substantiate that current health disparities are directly linked to America's history of separation, neglect, struggle, and disparities. Contributors reveal details of individual physicians' journeys for recognition both as African Americans and as professionals in Mississippi. Despite discrimination by their white colleagues and threats of violence, a small but fearless group of African American physicians fought for desegregation of American medicine and society. For example, T. R. M. Howard, MD, in the all-black city of Mound Bayou led a private investigation of the Emmett Till murder that helped trigger the civil rights movement. Later, other black physicians risked their lives and practices to provide care for white civil rights workers during the civil rights movement. DeShazo has assembled an accurate account of the lives and experiences of black physicians in Mississippi, one that gives full credit to the actions of these pioneers. DeShazo's introduction and the essays address ongoing isolation and distrust among black and white colleagues. This book will stimulate dialogue, apology, and reconciliation, with the ultimate goal of improving disparities in health and health care and addressing long-standing injustices in our country."--Publisher description

The Death Gap : How Inequality Kills

"We hear plenty about the widening income gap between the rich and the poor in America and about the expanding distance dividing the haves and the have-nots. But when detailing the many things that the poor have not, we often overlook the most critical their health. The poor die sooner. Blacks die sooner. And poor urban blacks die sooner than almost all other Americans. In nearly four decades as a doctor at hospitals serving some of the poorest communities in Chicago, David Ansell has witnessed the lives behind these devastating statistics firsthand. In 'The Death Gap', he gives a grim survey of these realities, drawn from observations and stories of his patients. While the contrasts and disparities in Chicago's communities are particularly stark, the death gap is truly a nationwide epidemic as Ansell shows, there is a thirty-five-year difference in life expectancy between the healthiest and wealthiest and the poorest and sickest American neighborhoods. It doesn't need to be this way; such divisions are not inevitable. Ansell calls out the social and cultural arguments that have been raised as ways of explaining or excusing these gaps, and he lays bare the structural violence the racism, economic exploitation, and discrimination that is really to blame. Inequality is a disease, Ansell argues, and we need to treat and eradicate it as we would any major illness. To do so, he outlines a vision that will provide the foundation for a healthier nation--for all."--Publisher description

Inequality and African-American Health : How Racial Disparities Create Sickness

This volume reveals how living in a highly racialised society affects health through multiple social contexts, including neighbourhoods, personal and family relationships, and the medical system. Black-white disparities in health, illness, and mortality have been widely documented, but most research has focused on single factors that produce and perpetuate those disparities, such as individual health behaviours and access to medical care. This title offers a comprehensive perspective on health and sickness among African Americans. Starting with an examination of how race has been historically constructed in the United States generally and in its medical system specifically, it goes on to explore the resilience of these racial ideologies and practices

Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth

The premature birth rate in the United States has been persistently high among Black women for many decades. While most research on the topic of premature birth involves poor and low-income women, this book focuses on the experiences of more affluent women to show that race is as much a common denominator as class in adverse birth outcomes. Using the afterlife of slavery framework, the book argues that racism shapes professional and college-educated Black women’s prenatal and birthing medical encounters, which have precedents that emanate from slavery. The book weaves in historic examples of medical racism, offering analytical context for understanding contemporary Black women’s interpretations of medical encounters of prenatal care, labor, birthing, and the admission of their premature child to the neonatal intensive care unit. Based on ethnographic observations, archival research, and nearly fifty interviews with parents, medical professionals, public health administrators, and birth workers, including midwives, doulas and reproductive justice advocates, the book is divided into two parts. Part I offers definitions of prematurity, outlines some of its causes, and describes what it is like to have a premature child. This part also explores the everyday forms of racism, such as diagnostic lapses or being dismissed by medical personnel, and links those experiences to past ideologies and practices of medical racism. Part II uses a critical racial lens to explore three strategies to address prematurity: technological intervention, public health intervention, and the preventionist approach taken up by birth workers. The conclusion gestures toward ideas to address medical racism.

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