The Right to Control What is Inalienably Ours

A poster from a 1921 eugenics conference displays the U.S. states that had implemented sterilization legislation by then (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an African-American woman activist, both racial justice and gender equality are important to me. Thus, I was appalled when I read about the state of North Carolina’s history with eugenic sterilizations. North Carolina sterilized 7,600 people through its sweeping eugenic sterilization program and “the targets of the sterilization were disproportionately Black and female, and almost universally poor.”

Johanna Schoen, a Rutgers University historian who has extensively documented the state’s eugenics policy, stated, “The eugenic sterilization really was …read more

Reducing Obesity while Revitalizing America’s Cities

English: Photo of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma mayor Mick Cornett. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a period of five years, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was able to rally citizens and policy makers to simultaneously accomplish two seemingly unrelated and ambitious tasks – reduce obesity among residents while drawing a new group of educated “20-something” Americans to live and work in the city.

It all began when Men’s Fitness magazine ran an article in 2007 that ranked Oklahoma City as #7 on a list of “America’s Fattest Cities.” Obesity is a health issue that affects more than one-third of Americans, leading …read more

Veterans Die…Waiting for Medical Care

VETERANS DAY 2013 (Photo credit: arbyreed)

We sing the national anthem with pride, take the day of November 11th to remember those who served our country, wear “Support Our Troops” paraphernalia, and thank veterans for risking their lives…but what does it matter if we fail to accommodate their health upon return?

I am extremely disappointed with the recent medical record fraud in Phoenix, VA. According to a recent preliminary report, “at least 1,700 military veterans waiting to see a doctor were never scheduled an appointment and were never placed on a wait list at the Veterans Affairs medical center …read more

Decarceration: Resuscitating our Squandered Resources

Every year, 11% of Baltimore’s population goes through central booking. One in four African American children have a father in prison at some point during their youth compared with one in thirty Caucasian kids. The yearly drug consumption costs in Baltimore total approximately $16 billion, making our city a hotbed for drug raids and high rates of incarceration.

These are all facts that I learned during the Social Determinants of Health Symposium on Squandered Resources: Incarceration – Its Consequences, Costs and Alternatives, which was convened by the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute on April 28th. Speakers examined the reality of …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

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

To Smoke or Not to Smoke (At Age 18): That is the Question

As you may know, during the month of February the WellPower blog team has been considering the pros and cons of raising the legal age of cigarette smoking from 18 to 21. Our fellow colleagues at Campaign Consultation weighed in to let us know what they think about the Maryland Smoking Age debate.

I don’t think that the legal age to smoke should be raised from age 18 to age 21. Adults should continue to make decisions for themselves and deal with the consequences accordingly. – Adiyah Ali

 

 

 

 

 

I think smoking is a dangerous habit, …read more

Solutions Needed: A Small Habit With A Lifetime Of Consequences

English: Herbal Cigarettes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While in college, I once asked my professor how he had stopped smoking cigarettes. In his English accent he answered, “Well, when I went to buy cigarettes I would find myself at the shop counter asking for Marl-bor-lo, Marl borrow, Marlbro…I eventually just gave up!” I know my professor was kidding…but I really do wish smoking habits could be so easily dropped. Smoking tobacco is extremely addictive, and starting at a young age can cause detrimental health effects in the future.

I am not illustrating my own opinions about Senator Jennie M Forehand’s …read more