Author: ChrisAnna Mink

Fear of Deportation is Keeping Kids from Getting Health Care

Eleven-year-old Jaime was diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. He’s a U.S. citizen but his mother is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. “His mother told me that when they get home after his chemo, Jaime closes all of the curtains and locks the doors,” explained Jacqueline Casillas, my colleague and director of Pediatric Oncology at Miller’s Children’s Hospital in Long Beach. He’s afraid that his mother will be deported because she takes him to the doctor.

Doctor’s Notes: Head Start Offers Better Beginnings for School, Resilience for Life

Most of my patients are low-income and many have faced adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, which can cause lifelong physical and mental health problems. After years of working with low-income families, I’ve come to believe that combating ACEs contributes as much to a child’s academic success as learning the ABCs. That’s why Head Start is one of my weapons in the War on Poverty. It changes lives, one kid at a time.

Doctor’s Notes: Children Shouldn’t Have to Endure Homelessness

Working in South LA, I see a lot of children living on the fringes and whom, at times, society wishes they could forget. Many of the kids are poor, hungry, mistreated, immigrants and minorities. Some are also homeless.

But these children are part of our community and they need us to look out for them. I tell their stories hoping that they won’t be forgotten.

Doctor’s Notes: These Children Don’t Need to Die

Children living in high poverty neighborhoods—a disproportionate number of whom are children of color—are more likely to die from child abuse.

My patients in my clinic in South Los Angeles are children from high poverty areas. However, regardless of where they practice, pediatricians have a critical role in the recognition and prevention of child abuse.

How Postpartum Depression Affects Mothers and Babies

As Sofia’s pediatrician, I couldn’t miss her mother’s overwhelming signs of postpartum depression. It’s a threat to the wellbeing of babies, their mothers and families.

Nationwide, depression affects 10 to 25 percent of all pregnant women during the perinatal period, defined as three months before pregnancy to one year after giving birth. Across California, the rate is about 20 percent, and in Los Angeles County, it’s 26 percent.

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