Posts tagged low-income

Report: Minorities, Especially Latinos, Experience Inequalities in Health, Access to Care

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screeningDespite slow improvements in the quality of care overall, access is worsening and health care disparities, particularly for minorities and groups with lower socioeconomic status, have seen little to no improvement, according to a new report.

The report, the 11th annual National Healthcare Disparities Report, is conducted annually by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), found that, compared with whites, racial/ethnic minorities receive worse care across 25-40% of quality measures.

Poor and low-income people receive worse care than individuals with high income for about 60% of quality measures.

These disparities are even more pronounced for measures of health care access, and among particular racial/ethnic groups.

Hispanics had worse access to care than Whites for about 60% of measures.

Blacks and Hispanics received worse care than Whites for about 40% of quality measures.

The report concludes:

“To remain competitive, our nation needs to improve access to care, reduce disparities, and accelerate the pace of quality improvement, especially in the areas of preventive care and chronic disease management.”

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Report: Data Snapshot Reveals how Reading Proficiency Affects Hispanics

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Eighty-one percent of Hispanic fourth graders in 2013 did not read proficiently at their grade level, according to a new report by Kids Count and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Early Reading Proficiency in the United States” is a snapshot of data about today children, and their abilities to stay on track with reading and education.

Proficiency in reading a major milestone in the education of children in elementary school, and is the building block to all of the subjects and classes to follow.

“Children who read proficiently by the end of third grade are more likely to graduate from high school and to be economically successful in adulthood,” according to the report.

This greatly affects Latinos who, according to Kids Count studies, had 29% of high school students not graduating on time because of this delay in learning. Early roadblocks like a lack of proficiency in reading can cause students to delay graduation or not graduate at all.

States with high populations of Hispanics are among the highest with fourth graders who are reading below grade level, with California being 73%, and Texas 72%.

These two largely Latino states also both have a great disproportion in reading proficiency between low-income and high-income families. The percent of fourth graders who are not reading at grade level proficiency is 85% with low-income families, but only 54% in high-income families.

“Given the changing demographics of the United States, in order for our nation to remain competitive, we must build on our successes and make certain that all children, including children of color and immigrant children, are reaching this critical milestone. At the same time, increasing reading proficiency for low-income children in the early years can ensure that they are on track to gain the educational credentials they will need to earn a family-supporting wage and move up the income ladder.”

For more information and to see the full report, visit the Kids Count website and research materials.

More Seniors Getting Pneumonia Shots, But Hispanics Lag Behind

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The overall proportion of Americans age 65 and older who have ever been vaccinated against pneumonia, a leading killer of seniors, increased from 53% to 60% between 2000 and 2008, according to new figures from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

However, Hispanic, lower-income, and inner-city seniors were less likely to be vaccinated:

  • Just 37% of Hispanic seniors reported ever being vaccinated against pneumonia, vs. 65% of white seniors and 45-46% of Asian and blacks seniors.
  • Almost two thirds (65%) of high-income seniors reported ever being vaccinated against pneumonia compared with less than half (46%) of poor seniors.
  • Only 52% of seniors who live in a large inner-city area, where residents tend to be low-income and minority, reported ever being vaccinated, compared with 64% of seniors who live in medium-size cities.

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from 2010 National Healthcare Quality Report, which examines Americans’ access to, and quality of, health care.

‘Recess Rock Stars’ Teach What Play Works

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Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series that will highlight the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work in Latino communities across the country.

Latina PE exercise

SaludToday Guest Blogger: Nancy Barrand

Many children don’t get the recommended daily allowance of play they need to stay healthy. School recess is the number one opportunity to make sure kids are physically active.

Playworks, a program that protects and promotes recess and physical activity throughout the school day, supplies trained, full-time staff to more than 100,000 students every day. These “recess rock stars,” as the organization calls them, teach new and classic games at low-income urban schools in 20 cities around the country, including Latino communities in Los Angeles, Albuquerque, N.M., Houston and Newark, N.J. The program’s goal is to serve more than 650 low-income schools in 27 locations by 2012.

Playworks improves the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. But recess has benefits beyond physical activity: elementary school principals overwhelmingly agree that recess has a positive impact on student achievement in the classroom.

Pedro Noguera, an author and education professor at New York University, highlighted that point when he spoke to 250 parents, teachers, coaches, youth workers and community advocates at the Play On 2010 Conference.

“There is substantial evidence from a wide variety of research that a healthy and happy student who experiences a sense of balance in their life will be more likely to develop an intrinsic motivation toward learning and become successful,” Noguera said.

These days, Playworks is spreading the word about the importance of recess in one of the biggest, busiest venues around: New York City’s Times Square. At the crossroads of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the program is running a 15-second video from 6 a.m. to midnight on the CBS/David Letterman Show billboard. The video, which announces “Recess is another word for the recommended daily allowance of Play,” will continue through July 8.

Playworks has shown that when students have a safe, healthy recess, they are more physically active, are more engaged on the playground and in the classroom, learn to resolve conflicts, and experience less bullying.

For more information on Playworks, which is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, visit http://www.playworks.org/. Details can be found in English and Spanish.

You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #RecessCounts or visit www.facebook.com/MakeRecessCount.

Minorities Still Face Daunting Transportation Issues in U.S.

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Angela Glover Blackwell (photo from the Equity Blog)

Angela Glover Blackwell (photo from the Equity Blog)

Many of us are familiar with the historic connection between civil rights and transportation, from Plessy vs. Ferguson in the 1890s to the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 1960s, writes Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink, in a recent e-mail to PolicyLink followers.

Today, transportation remains a 21st century civil rights issue for minorities and low-income people.

For example, nearly 20% of African American households, 14% of Latino households, and 13% of Asian households lack access to automobiles, compared with nearly 5% of white households.

Also, nearly 60 percent of public transportation riders are people of color.

For decades, advocates all over have continued to push for much-needed reforms in America’s transportation policies that will help bridge this divide. This month, Glover Blackwell spoke with National Public Radio for three different programs dedicated to this important topic:

Glover Blackwell urges advocates to continue spreading the word about this issue. Learn more about Glover Blackwell and her work at PolicyLink.

America’s Low-Income, Minority Students Still Disproportionately Taught By Rookie Teachers

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Report: Not Prepared For Class

Report: Not Prepared For Class

Nearly a decade after federal law was enacted to ensure that low-income and minority students had a fair shot at being assigned to strong teachers, students in high-poverty schools are still disproportionately taught by out-of-field and rookie teachers, according to a new report from The Education Trust.

And while the report, Not Prepared for Class, indicates that equity in teacher assignment patterns remains a major problem in inner-city and rural schools – particularly in mathematics – gaps in access to in-field teachers actually are widest in our nation’s suburbs and small towns.

Out-of-field teachers do not have state certification in their subject or a college major in that field.

“This puts America’s low-income students at an enormous disadvantage,” said Sarah Almy, director of teacher quality at The Education Trust and co-author of the report. “Students who are taught by educators with subject-area knowledge tend to achieve at higher levels than those who aren’t, especially in mathematics. So when low-income kids – the ones most likely to face outside-of-school challenges – are assigned to math classes taught by English majors, we are dramatically increasing the odds against their success and stacking the deck for failure.”

Read more from the report here.

San Antonio Medical/Nursing Students Teach Healthy Choices to Latino Kids

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About 20 Latino middle-school students from the Good Samaritan Community Center Summer Day Camp went to a farmers market on San Antonio’s West Side recently to learn about healthy food choices from medical students as part of a program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The program, Healthy Choices for Kids, for Latino children ages 10-14 from low-income families, doubles as an interprofessional elective course for university nursing and medical students. The students design a health curriculum and teach it at Good Samaritan Community Center and Krueger Middle School.

The student-designed curriculum teaches kids how to make healthy decisions regarding fitness, nutrition and healthy relationships, with the goal of reducing obesity, diabetes, violence and teen pregnancy.

The camp includes positive youth development, exercise, healthy lifestyle choices, goal setting, bullying/anger management and sexual abstinence.

At the farmers market, the children learned that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables can combat childhood obesity, and that fresh produce is available for a reasonable price in their area of town. The children were each given $2 to buy fruit.

“They purchased some fruit and then went back to the center and made healthy smoothies to demonstrate different ways fruits can be used in the diet,” said Dr. Adelita G. Cantu, assistant professor of chronic nursing care, who teaches the elective course with Dr. Ruth Berggren, director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the Health Science Center.

Read more about the program here.

$75 Million Initiative to Fight Racism

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In an unprecedented effort to address the devastating impact of racial inequities, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has launched a five-year, $75 million initiative – America Healing – to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and their families by promoting racial healing and eliminating barriers to opportunities.

Children of color are over-represented among the 29 million low-income children and families in this country. About 61 percent of African American, 62 percent of Latino, 57 percent of Native American, 58 percent of children with immigrant parents, 30 percent of Asian American children and 26 percent of white children live in low-income families, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty.

In the first phase of America Healing, 119 organizations will receive grants totaling $14,613,709 to support community-based organizations’ healing efforts among racial and ethnic groups that address historic burdens, disparities and barriers to opportunity.

“The Kellogg Foundation’s vision is for a nation to marshal its resources to ensure that all children in America have an equitable and promising future,” said Sterling K. Speirn, president and CEO. “That is simply not the case in many communities across the country today. The goal of the America Healing initiative is to help make that vision a reality by engaging communities and supporting them in the hard work of racial healing and addressing the effects of historic and contemporary structural issues, such as residential segregation and concentrated poverty.”

Watch a video that captures the spirit of the initiative here or below:

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