Until [Health] Justice…Just Is

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Until [Health] Justice…Just Is

Categories: News

UNTIL [HEALTH] JUSTICE…JUST IS.

YWCA Greater Cleveland is excited to be a part of the Until Justice…Just Is campaign. Join us as we cover a different topic each month to explore some of many areas in which true justice is needed, and what we can do to achieve equity in our community and our country until justice…just is.

For the month of February, we believe healthcare is a human right. Join us in a deep dive into specific areas in which health justice is needed and what we can do to achieve true health equity.


WE ADVOCATE FOR: WOMEN’S HEALTH

The Problem:

  • Despite historically low uninsured levels under the Affordable Care Act, women’s health (especially that of women of color) suffers disproportionately.
  • Maternal mortality rates have been decreasing worldwide, while they continue to increase in the U.S.
    • Of these women, Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth than white women
  • Research of women’s healthcare habits reveled Black and Hispanic women much less likely to have access to regular doctor’s visits.
    • Barriers reported included: lack of insurance, cost of visit, transportation, lack of childcare, and being denied time off from work

Where We Stand

YWCA Greater Cleveland believes that quality, affordable healthcare is critical for all people. This continues to be inaccessible for many people, particularly women and girls of color.

Our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan emphasizes our goal to develop health and safety initiatives especially for women and girls of color. To achieve this, barriers to regular, affordable, and accessible healthcare to women and girls must be redressed immediately.

YWCA Greater Cleveland recognizes the many barriers women and girls may face to healthcare. We provide resources to conquer some of these barriers and encourage a healthy community at Independence Place, Norma Herr Women’s Center, and Early Learning Center.

WE ADVOCATE FOR: MENTAL HEALTH

The Problem

  • Systemic racism has resulted in people of color bearing a disproportionate burden of poor mental health outcomes.
    • Barriers that contribute: inaccessibility of high quality mental healthcare services, criminalization of behavioral health issues, discrimination, social stigmas, linguistic barriers, lack of diversity and cultural competency in the workplace.
  • These result in higher rates of untreated mental and behavioral health struggles, addiction, and suicide in communities of color.
  • These result in higher rates of underdiagnosis and/or misdiagnosis in communities of color.
  • These result in people (including children) of color consistently referred to criminal justice system when struggling with mental & behavioral health at much higher rates than white people.

The Solution

  • Mandatory, comprehensive cultural competency training for all mental healthcare professionals.
  • Increase in specific recruitment and retention of mental healthcare professionals of color.
  • Inclusion of mental healthcare services in basic health insurance plans.
  • Partnerships among physicians, mental and behavioral health providers, community leaders, government agencies, and families to ensure development and implementation of culturally and linguistically competent prevention, intervention, and treatment.
  • Develop and implement policy and programs based on psychological and behavioral research ensuring that marginalized communities are empowered through culturally and linguistically informed and evidence-based strategies.

Where We Stand

YWCA Greater Cleveland believes comprehensive, accessible mental healthcare is imperative to ensure the health and safety of all people.

Our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan emphasizes our goal to develop health and safety initiatives especially for women and girls of color. To achieve this, mental healthcare must be redressed.

YWCA Greater Cleveland works to ensure mental healthcare is accessible from an early age, and beyond.

    • Clinical Directors present to assist in mental healthcare services at Independence Place and Early Learning Center.
    • Community Nurturing Independence and Aspirations was created in part to address the lack of mental healthcare services available to youth who have aged out of foster care.

WE ADVOCATE FOR: ELIMINATION OF BIAS IN MEDICINE

The Problem

  • Due to well documented systemic racial bias in the medical system, as well as toxic stress as a result of daily exposure to racism, people of color in the US experience significantly worse health outcomes.
  • Examination of opinions on healthcare revealed Black and Hispanic Americans experience much higher rates of dissatisfaction due to cultural and linguistic barriers that negatively impact quality of care.
  • Population of non-English speakers continue to grow rapidly in the United States, yet there is persistent lack of access to affordable translation services often resulting in poor comprehension and adherence to medical guidance.
  • Because of well documented abuse at the hands of medical institutions, people of color are often labeled as non-compliant when skeptical of doctors advice.
  • Very few standards are in place to ensure lack of bias in healthcare professionals, allowing racial and cultural bias to influence medical decisions.
  • Medical training is still informed by racial and gender stereotypes and generalizations, encouraging them in practice.

The Solution

  • Widespread patient-centered culturally sensitive healthcare.
  • Mandatory, comprehensive cultural competency and bias training for all healthcare professionals.
  • Increase in specific recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals of color.
  • Free, accessible interpreting services for all medical encounters.
  • Fund & promote research that identifies structural & cultural barriers to care, and test effectiveness of interventions to address these.
  • Adopt federal standards to collect race and ethnicity information in clinical data to better identify disparities
  • Creation of review board, held accountable by communities affected, to evaluate research to ensure elimination of additional data-driven biases & stereotypes

Where We Stand

YWCA Greater Cleveland believes the complete elimination of racial, gender, and cultural bias in medicine is critical in ensuring quality healthcare.

Our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan emphasizes our goal to develop health and safety initiatives especially for women and girls of color. To achieve this, bias in medicine must be eliminated.

YWCA Greater Cleveland works to ensure quality, equitable healthcare for women and families in the Greater Cleveland area.

    • Independence Place & NIA connect residents with quality healthcare
    • A Clinical Director at the Early Learning Center ensures quality social and emotional care of students

WE ADVOCATE FOR: TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE

The Problem

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have long-term, negative effects to physical and emotional health.
    • Includes higher rate of heart disease, some cancers, & other chronic diseases, depression, & behavioral problems
  • 60% American children have been exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their home, schools and communities.
    • Children of color, especially girls of color, are at an increased risk of experiencing traumatic events such as displacement, sexual and physical abuse, poverty, witnessing violence, racial discrimination, and others.
  • Lack of access to treatment for children of color leads to disparate rates of post-traumatic stress in communities of color.

Trauma-Informed Care

  • Trauma-informed care acknowledges that in order to provide effective healthcare services, healthcare organizations and care teams need comprehensive understanding of a patient’s past and present life situation.
  • Implementation of timely and appropriate trauma-informed approaches and interventions in care can help prevent and mitigate effects of trauma.
  • Trauma-informed care seeks to:
    • Understand widespread impact of trauma and means for recovery
    • Target signs of trauma in patients, families, and staff
    • Create policies, procedures, practices based on knowledge of trauma
    • Actively avoid re-traumatization.

The Solution

  • Widespread adoption and access to trauma-informed care on clinical and organizational levels.
  • Implement trauma-informed care models with specific consideration to women and girls of color.
  • Improve data collection and research around the prevalence and effects of trauma and ACEs.
  • Increase funding and access to organizations providing trauma-informed care.

Where We Stand

YWCA Greater Cleveland believes trauma-informed care is critical to creating health equity.

Our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan emphasizes our goal to develop health and safety initiatives especially for women and girls of color. This must be done with a trauma-informed care model in mind.

YWCA Greater Cleveland programs & facilities functioning based on a trauma-informed system of care model:

    • Independence Place & NIA
    • Early Learning Center
    • Norma Herr Women’s Center
    • Cogswell Hall

WE ADVOCATE FOR: HEALTH EQUITY & COVID-19

The Problem

  • System racism continues to cause communities of color to contract and die from COVID-19 at disproportionate rates across the United States.

Specific causes of this disparity include:

  • Long-standing systemic health, social, and financial inequities put many people of color at increased risk.
  • People of color are disproportionately represented in essential work settings, putting them at high risk for exposure.
  • Barriers to testing, such as high demand, distance, wait time, and hours of operation continue to disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic communities.
  • Early data shows Black and Hispanic Americans are receiving COVID-19 vaccines at significantly lower rates than white Americans.

The Solution

  • Increase accessibility and eliminate barriers to COVID-19 testing & vaccination.
  • Establish hospital review boards at state level to ensure healthcare equity.
  • Remove financial barriers to COVID-19 treatment, including job security, to encourage observation of CDC guidelines.
  • Increase release of demographic data to ensure comprehensive research in COVID-19 treatments and guidelines.
  • Create direct partnerships between hospitals, government bodies, and community institutions to ensure specific consideration of communities of color COVID-19 guidelines, testing, vaccinations, and treatment.

Where We Stand

YWCA Greater Cleveland believes that quality, affordable healthcare is critical for all people. This includes that all people should have access to COVID-19 testing, treatment, vaccination, and current information.

Our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan emphasizes our goal to advance advocacy to improve the health and safety of all women and girls of color, including developing health and safety initiatives especially for women and girls of color.

YWCA Greater Cleveland implements and follows strict guidelines in all facilities to ensure we are all doing our part to avoid spread and exposure to COVID-19.

HOW ARE MEANINGFUL CHANGES MADE IN OUR COMMUNITY?

Funding and support of research and practices with a specific focus on the health of women, families, and communities of color.

Encourage partnerships among physicians, community leaders, government agencies, & families to ensure empowerment of people of color through development & implementation of culturally & linguistically competent healthcare.

Require cultural competency training of all healthcare professionals.

Advance a widespread trauma-informed care model.

SOURCES

Disparities in Mental Health Status and Mental Health Care, American Psychological Association.
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Care: Evidence and Policy Implications, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Mental Health Disparities, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Mental Health Disparities in Minority Populations, Brook Lane.
Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations, American Psychiatric Association.
Cultural Competence in Health Care: Is it important for people with chronic conditions?, Georgetown University
Patient-Centered Culturally Sensitive Health Care: Model Testing and Refinement, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Culturally Sensitive Care, The O&P Edge
The Impact of Unconscious Bias in Healthcare: How to Recognize and Mitigate It, Oxford Academic
Not me! Doctors, Decisions, and Disparities in Health Care, MedScape.
Unconscious Bias in Healthcare, Quality Interactions.
Racism in healthcare: What you need to know, Medical News Today.
The Trauma Informed Care for Children and Families Act, YWCA USA.
What is Trauma Informed Care? Trauma Informed Care Implementation Resource Center
A Week Without Violence: Trauma Informed Care– Helping Survivors Heal, YWCA USA
Trauma Informed Care, The Trauma Informed Care Project
CDC COVID-19 Response Health Equity Strategy: Accelerating Progress Towards Reducing COVID-19 Disparities and Achieving Health Equity, CDC.
Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups, CDC.
COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, CDC.
Racial Disparities in COVID-19: Key Findings from Available Data and Analysis, KFF.
As Pandemic Deaths Add Up, Racial Disparities Persist — And In Some Cases Worsen, NPR.
White people are getting vaccinated at higher rates than Black and Latino Americans, CNN.
The Trauma Informed Care for Children and Families Act, YWCA USA.
What is Trauma Informed Care? Trauma Informed Care Implementation Resource Center
A Week Without Violence: Trauma Informed Care– Helping Survivors Heal, YWCA USA
Trauma Informed Care, The Trauma Informed Care Pro
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Women’s Health Coverage and Access To Care, Kaiser Family Foundation.
Health Disparities in Women, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Healthcare Quality and Disparities in Women, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Addressing minority women’s health, Office on Women’s Health.
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Obstetrics and Gynecology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Maternal Health and Women of Color, YWCA USA.
2020-2025 Strategic Plan, YWCA Greater Cleveland.