Despite California’s leadership in expanding health coverage to a record number of Californians, we have a crisis that hardly anyone is addressing: Our state still fails to provide the quality—and quantity—of care needed by our largest ethnic group.
Gavin Newsom kicked off his term as governor by unveiling several health care proposals on his first day in office. But to truly transform health and achieve health equity in our state, we need to address the community conditions that determine whether we will be healthy and safe in the first place, long before the medical system gets involved.
Both mother and infant can suffer when maternal depression or anxiety is not treated promptly. A National Institutes of Health study found that maternal depression puts a child at risk for numerous emotional and developmental issues.
The Trump administration’s Health and Human Services Department is poised to redefine gender as an immutable characteristic dependent on a person’s biological sex assigned at birth. Yet medical science knows that biologic sex cannot always be predicted by a quick inspection of a baby’s genitals in the delivery room (the basis of many birth certificates) or even a chromosome count.
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.
This past weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that mandates a new process for discharging homeless patients from California hospitals. Though well-intentioned, this new law misses the bigger and more urgent problem: assuring that sufficient beds and supportive care are actually available for homeless patients.
The rising cost of higher education makes food a luxury for some college students. Students are often embarrassed that they need food—but they’re not alone. Among Cal State students, 41 percent reported food insecurity in a 2016-17 survey across all 23 campuses.
It is unfathomable that the Health Care department would single out this one group of economically challenged children to undergo this experimental program. Meanwhile, children who are financially better off do not have to go through this change. The result is that the transition is creating unequal access to health care for low-income, medically fragile children.
Silicon Valley faced a seemingly impossible task: create permanent housing solutions for its most vulnerable residents in one of the least affordable markets in the world.
Yet, despite this daunting challenge, over the past five years, the tide finally seems to be turning.
Traditionally, the housing and health care industries have viewed one another as distinct. This distinction has prohibited us from seeing our broader intersections with economic, social and racial equity—and the solutions.