In 2014, Catherine Horine developed a persistent cough that would not go away. Within three months of first seeking treatment for the cough, even though her doctors had been unable to find a cause for her cough, they told her she would not live to see the end of the year without a lung transplant. At that time, Catherine was diagnosed with idiopathic bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare and irreversible disease that is extremely difficult to diagnose because its symptoms mimic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The condition causes inflammation and blocks airways in the lungs.
It took Zoey Salsbury six years to get an incorrect diagnosis for her constant pelvic and joint pain.
The first time she mentioned her pain to her doctor, during her freshman year of high school, her pain was dismissed as “growing pains.” She remembers thinking, “Well this growing thing is absolute [garbage] if this is how it feels.”
Throughout American history, the tenacity that women advocates have shown in combating systematic inequities has proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration for each successive generation of health care activists. The significance of this legacy is well-captured in a quote from the late Dr. Gerta Lerner, an esteemed scholar of Women’s History, and a lifelong advocate for women’s rights: “Women’s history is women’s right — an essential, indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and a long-range vision.”
African Americans Still Lag Behind in Health Outcomes: Increasing Representation Among Providers Must be A Part of the Solution
Black History Month is an opportunity to elevate the accomplishments of African American trailblazers who may be missing from the history books. For example, in health care, we may remember Roselyn Epps, the first black president of the American Medical Women’s Association, or Ida Gray Nelson Rollins, the first black female dentist. We need to continue highlighting individual achievements because inclusive, representative narratives are an important tool for dismantling racism.
African Americans are disproportionately more likely to suffer from mental health issues than white Americans.
Throughout our nation’s long and complicated history, the experiences and achievements of past generations of African Americans have formed an indelible part of the tapestry of American life. Their threads are the traditions we embrace during Black History Month. From the life-saving pediatric innovations pioneered at Johns Hopkins by Dr. Vivien Thomas, to the groundbreaking research of Dr.
High and rising prescription drug prices force consumers to skip doses or even avoid filling their prescriptions for life-saving medications altogether. Now is the perfect time for Congress to finally begin to take action by passing the bipartisan CREATES Act.
The Utah Senate approved a bill this week that would repeal and replace the voter-approved Medicaid expansion ballot initiative, Proposition 3, which passed with 54 percent of the vote in Utah’s election this past November. Proposition 3, if implemented, is poised to bring health care coverage to over 150,000 Utahns with annual incomes below $17,236 for an individual and $29,435 for a families of three.
NOTE: This blog was orginally published in Health Affairs on January 24, 2019.
Chief Executive Officer of Asian Health Services (AHS)
For more than 40 years, Sherry M. Hirota has championed underserved communities and has made an impact fighting for health care as a right, not a privilege. As a leader of movements to expand health access, educate and advocate for linguistic and cultural competency, and lift the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Sherry has created positive change locally, regionally, in California, and throughout the nation.