Op-ed work related to health equity written by members of the Center’s team.

A Sense of Belonging May Be the Counterforce Needed Now

Raj Shah, Maria Ferrera, Maureen Benjamins, Suzanne Carlberg- Racich, Emily Tamblyn

Crain’s Chicago Business, September 26, 2022

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s words in the “We Will Chicago: A framework plan for the city’s future,” articulates our beliefs as organizers of the recent Health Equity & Social Justice Conference: “I envision Chicago as a place where people, businesses, and communities thrive, and where all residents can live in healthy, safe communities and feel a sense of belonging

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Chicago an Outlier in Health Outcomes Among Racial Groups

Maureen Benjamins, Fernando De Maio

When these researchers looked at 30 of the most populous U.S. cities, they found Chicago is among six big cities moving in the “wrong direction.”

Crain’s Chicago Business, September 26, 2022

The World’s Leading Medical Journals Don’t Write About Racism. That’s a Problem

Rhea Boyd, Nancy Krieger, Fernando De Maio, Aletha Maybank

Time, April 21, 2021

Over the past year, rising deaths from COVID-19, police brutality, anti-Asian hate crimes, and the inequitable damage of climate breakdown, have made the manifold harms of racism easier for everyone to see. Harms that were once shielded from public consumption by segregation or shrouded from public scrutiny by stories depicting the U.S. as a nation of fairness and freedoms, are now the center of an ongoing national confrontation with racism and its impacts on health, safety, and justice.

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Medicine’s Privileged Gatekeepers: Producing Harmful Ignorance About Racism And Health

Nancy Krieger, Rhea W. Boyd, Fernando De Maio, Aletha Maybank

Health Affairs, April 20, 2021

Ignorance is neither neutral nor benign, especially when it cloaks evidence of harm. And when ignorance is produced and entrenched by gatekeeper medical institutions, as has been the case with obfuscation of at least 200 years of knowledge about racism and health, the damage is compounded. The racialized inequities exposed this past year—involving COVID-19, police brutality, environmental injustice, attacks on democratic governance, and more—have sparked mainstream awareness of structural racism and heightened scrutiny of the roles of scientific institutions in perpetuating ignorance about how racism harms health.

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Seeking, Sharing the Truth About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Monique Reed

Rush Stories, December 27, 2020

I figured I would spend the 15 minutes of mandatory observation after getting vaccinated sharing the experience. At this point, the COVID-19 injection feels no different than the annual flu shot. Or for those that don’t get the annual flu shot — think about the required vaccinations you and/or your children received in order to attend public school or work in certain places of employment.

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Let’s Make Reunification and Comprehensive Reparation THE Top Priority of the New Year

Maria J. Ferrera

Latino Rebels, January 8, 2020

Images of volunteers giving gifts to migrant children at the border this past Christmas are yet another vivid reminder that there are still children living in detention centers who have been separated from their families. While a beautiful gesture, Christmas gifts alone won’t cut it. What will?

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Digital Solutions Can Address the Problem of Student Mental Health

Enid Montague

U.S. News & World Report, January 6, 2020

Following the recent seventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting where 26 people were killed including 20 children, news of shootings at schools in Wisconsin and California made headlines. An anonymous note left in a Florida school recently threatened a shooting. I am a survivor of a mass school shooting over 10 years ago at Virginia Tech and I am deeply concerned that more than 236,000 U.S. students have experienced gun violence at school since 1999. As a university professor, researcher, engineer and parent, I understand the threat of violence remains constant for students, families and citizens. Whether that violence begins on the streets or verbally on social media, the aftermath of threats are real. But addressing mental health needs of students can be virtual.

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Reproductive revolution: Ending black maternal health inequities in 2020

Tracey Lewis-Elligan

The Hill, January 1, 2020

The disparities in black women’s health are not new. Neither is the leading role that black women have played in the movement to dismantle poor health outcomes due to systemic issues of racism, sexism and classism. What is new, is the potential for black women and allies to collectively change the narrative and achieve equity in health outcomes, so that by 2025 and 2030 the statistics can more accurately reflect the lived experiences of black women.

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Community benefit: ACA and tax exemptions help patients

Fernando De Maio

The Hill, December 27, 2019

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has faced two constitutional challenges in the U.S. Supreme Court, and a third lawsuit is gaining force. The legal threat to the ACA is centered on partisan attacks on the individual mandate and its provisions regarding pre-existing conditions. Primarily overlooked in these debates is the ACA’s provision for how not-for-profit hospitals may justify their tax exemptions. This essential element of the ACA fundamentally alters the way hospitals engage with communities they serve.

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We Must Address the Roots of Inequality to Keep It From Killing Us

Fernando De Maio

Truthout, December 21, 2019

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau confirms that the gap between the richest and poorest households in the U.S. is the largest it has been in over 50 years, and that economic power is more concentrated than ever before. Democrats and Republicans may have different interpretations of these facts, but in public health, decades of research are coming to a consensus: Inequality kills.

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Health Care Meets the Voting Booth: Why Housing Policies Determine Wellness

Janice Phillips

Morning Consult, November 6, 2018

New candidates and incumbents seeking election in the midterms and beyond have made access to health care a key issue. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation states that 71 percent of voters consider health care a “very important” issue when choosing a candidate. Around the country, several of these congressional candidates are vowing to ensure coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, while other candidates vow to save Medicaid and Medicare. New initiatives to frame health care needs and costs around the social determinants of health — and housing in particular — are necessary additions to the debate.

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