Erie County, Pa., Community Organizations Respond to Report on Racial Health Disparities by Improving Health Care Access, Editorial States
In Erie County, Pa., "[P]rogress ... has been made in delivering health care to minorities and in educating people about health risks," an Erie Times-News editorial states.
A 2007 county Department of Health report -- "Health Disparities in Erie County" -- showed "disturbing statistics about poverty, women and children's well-being, cancer and chronic illness," according to the editorial. Among the black community, the percentage of births to single women and teenagers was "considerably higher" than the general population, the Times-News states. In addition, the percentage of women who received prenatal care was lower for blacks than for whites, and black infants had a higher mortality rate than whites.
"Faced with numbers pinpointing a racial gap in health care," the health department, the religious not-for-profit Congregational Action to Lift Lives and other community organizations took action, such as opening a dental clinic in the community, according to the Times-News.
The editorial continues, "We don't need a statistician to tell us that it's not a good trend when young teens get pregnant or when women of any age don't receive prenatal care or when one segment of the population suffers from diabetes at a disproportionate rate," adding, "Poor health affects people directly, but also drives up costs for social services." The Times-News concludes, "The health department statistics spoke to the right people" (Erie Times-News, 10/3).