While President Barack Obama’s 2010 health reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, greatly expanded insurance access, it excluded undocumented immigrants across the country. This likely contributed to COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on undocumented Californians. Health equity and immigrant rights advocates have been urging California leaders to broaden health coverage for nearly a decade.
Mike Duncan is founder of Native Dads Network, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that runs workshops on healthy parenting and relationships. The workshops draw on traditional Indigenous teachings about the value of life, the role of parents and the sacredness of women.
The network is one of a growing number of programs across the state that seek to address high rates of domestic violence in many Tribal communities by using Native American people’s own traditions and history as a guide.
Long-standing racist policies and practices have determined where and how Californians live, work, receive health care, attend schools and more. For Black Californians, Latinx Californians, and other Californians of color these racist policies block opportunities to be healthy.
When the pandemic started, it became abundantly clear that the virus was disproportionately harming communities of color, who are at increased risk of severe illness due to long-standing inequities.
Since the death of George Floyd nine months ago prompted America to re-examine entrenched racism in all its institutions – from police departments to corporations and colleges – the child welfare system too, has had to reckon with its troubled past and deeply flawed present.
Driven by evidence that child welfare decision-makers judge parents of color more harshly and are more likely to remove their children, calls for systemic change have grown more urgent among parent advocates, scholars and even agency leaders.
Native American seniors are much less likely than other racial and ethnic groups to receive hospice and palliative care, but a new partnership between a Capay Valley tribe in Yolo County and a local hospice provider seeks to change that.
Yolo Hospice is working with Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation to research the challenges that Native American communities face when trying to obtain and plan for end-of-life care.
Arts education has the power to emotionally and academically rebuild students — and the world around us.
I come from an immigrant community, where people routinely shift between English and Spanish in everyday conversation. As the student ambassador to a statewide organization, Create CA, I’m working to ensure every student has access to a full arts education, as promised by California’s Education Code.
We are going to need a “healing surge” that will match our vaccine surge — and health equity must guide how we allocate those resources.
We have learned the lesson in this crisis that public health is critical to our individual health — we all do better when we protect those who are most vulnerable. We also understand that mental health is not just an individual condition but a collective challenge in communities that were already stressed by racist policing, economic inequality and deportation threats.
With the ongoing closures of schools, playgrounds, sports and other extracurriculars, children are missing out on large pieces of their development.
I’m seeing a spike in children with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideations in my practice. The current state of children’s mental health is concerning not only for the near future, but also for the long-term effects it may have on this generation and society as a whole.
Tens of thousands of Mexican and Central American immigrants in California speak Mixteco and other indigenous languages.
Despite laws requiring medical facilities to offer interpretation, indigenous patients often have no information in their language as they try to navigate virus-related medical care.
The need for mental health services has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing pressure on California’s already beset mental health care system.
Yet one source of funding that could potentially help counties meet the demand for mental health care remains underused more than a year after the California Health Report first drew attention to the issue. The funding benefits the mental health care program that serves a third of Californians.
California’s leaders must build a diverse and culturally competent health workforce. This starts with making investments in the communities that are most vulnerable and medically underserved.
Policymakers should work to expand health career pipeline programs for underrepresented students. Programs such as Health Career Connection have driven talented students of color into health care and public health careers for years. Full disclosure: I’m an alum.