Well Nation


Dismantling Barriers to Health, One Word at a Time

Emergency Room (Photo credit: Mark Coggins)

I recently read an article about Deisy Garcia, a woman who filed a police report saying her husband had assaulted her and that she feared for her life. That report, filled out in Spanish, sat untranslated — and without follow up – for months until she and her two children were murdered.

No human being should be denied protection from bodily harm due to language barriers and cultural incompetence. Deisy Garcia’s death could have been prevented had she been given the protection she sought. Her health, well-being, and ultimately her life was taken …read more

Commemorating National Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. The WellPower blog team is committed to raising these issues to public consciousness, and writing about the ways that social determinants like education, housing, and jobs affect health.

Throughout April, we will be blogging about issues that are aligned with this year’s Minority Health Month theme; Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity. This brings to mind the old saying that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Although there are many …read more

After Soldiers Protect Us, Who Protects Them?

This piece by Stephanie Moore is re-posted from the Eyes Wide Open Blog: http://eyeswideopen.org/soldiers-protect-us-protects/

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I recently read a disturbing article in the Baltimore Sun that quoted a Veterans Administration report that there is an average of 22 suicides a day by veterans. 22 a day. Where are we as a nation if we cannot help and support those who risk their lives to protect us?

The website, Veterans and PTSD shares these statistics from a major study done by the RAND Corporation (full pdf of study), the Congressional Research Service, the Veterans Administration, and the US Surgeon General.[i]

at …read more

Denying Vaccines: Personal Choice or Public Health Threat?

Last year, 187 Americans contracted the measles, and in 2014 there have already been over 70 cases confirmed across the country. This is a disease which can be easily prevented through immunizations; which was thought to be eradicated in the U.S. in 2000.

As a mother-to-be, I was nervous to learn that children are not able to receive the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine until age one – thus making babies and toddlers particularly susceptible to the disease during an outbreak. Of the twenty current measles cases in New York, about half have been identified in children – seven …read more

Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage: A Meaningful Investment

Raise the Minimum Wage (Photo credit: CT Senate Democrats)

There’s a lot of talk about increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by 2016 – including its impact:

Approximately 16.5 million low-wage workers would directly benefit from the proposed increase Roughly 900,000 people living below the poverty line would move above the poverty threshold Both low-and-middle-income families’ incomes are projected to rise, 2.8% for the poorest families to .4% for middle-income families Employment would be reduced by about 500,000, or .3% of total employment Wealthy families with an average income of $180,000 can expect a .4%, or …read more

The War on Tobacco

The No Smoking sign, designed by one of the members of AIGA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve been following the WellPower blog this month, you know that we’ve been focusing on tobacco use as a health issue, and debating the implications of raising the smoking age to 21. Aside from the controversy surrounding the legal age of smoking, I think one thing that we can all agree on is how effective anti-tobacco education and awareness programs have become over the past two decades.

The ‘Truth’ anti-tobacco campaign has had a big impact: evaluations show that 90% of youth aged …read more

Maryland’s Smoking Age Debate

Smoke (Photo credit: AMagill)

During the month of February, the WellPower blog team will be considering the pros and cons of raising the legal age of cigarette smoking from 18 to 21. This debate was prompted by legislation that will be introduced this year by Maryland State Senator Jennie M. Forehand (A Democrat from District 17 in Rockville) to raise the smoking age.

We’ll be blogging about the smoking age debate from different perspectives, and inviting others to weigh in on this issue throughout the month.

We would love to hear from you! Please tweet us @WellPowerBlog #SmokingAge …read more

The New Life Support Debate

The matter of when (and if) to terminate life support has long been a matter of debate among the medical community. Currently, patients and their families have the power to choose whether to remain on life support or to have it cut off, based on their medical situation.

But, what if the patient is in the early stages of pregnancy? What happens to her right to choose in that scenario?

As a pregnant woman myself, I was surprised to first hear about the case of Marlise Munoz … a sentiment that later turned to distress and sympathy for the family, …read more

The Healing Aspects of Rhythm & Dance – Tackling Health Disparities among African-American Men

KevDancer

Health disparities are most prevalent among marginalized communities, including communities of color. African-Americans historically have been barred from accessing health care or have been violated instead of receiving care (think Tuskegee Experiment).

African-American men, in particular, have a well-grounded fear or mistrust of modern medicine because of the aforementioned systemic disparities that exists within the African-American community.

However, just because doctors’ offices often will not have many African-American men in the waiting rooms ready to receive preventive care, this does not mean that they are not finding alternative ways to ensure that they remain healthy and receive the healing that …read more

Health Effects of Toxic Spill in West Virginia=Unknown

When MCHM, a chemical that is used to clean coal, spilled into the water of West Virginia, it resulted in an inconvenient, though very necessary water ban during the cleanup process. While the ban from using tap water is slowly being lifted, many of the state’s residents are still struggling to go about their daily routines faced with the restriction. In the meantime, much anxiety has been stirred about the immediate and future health problems that this spill may have caused.

Water drop (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Unfortunately, there is much that is unknown about how MCHM …read more