Op-Ed

Opinion: California Has Opportunity to Close Racial Health Gap

The California Black Women’s Health Project and other health and racial justice organizations are grateful to the California Legislature for supporting our bold proposal to fund community programs seeking to address systemic racism embedded in health care systems.

The California Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund would dedicate $100 million annually, a fraction of the state’s historic surplus, to innovative approaches to transform systems, eliminate disparities and improve health.

Opinion: Accurate Patient Data is Key to Reducing Health Disparities, Improving Care

To transform the future of health care, we must understand current care. This is especially true when it comes to addressing the multiple socioeconomic and other factors that drive health disparities.

Right now, our ability to reduce these inequities and increase quality of care for those most in need is limited because we do not have accurate and complete information about how our most vulnerable patients access health care.

A man crosses Market Street in San Francisco last April during the pandemic. Photo by Philip Wyers / iStock

Opinion: An Equitable COVID-19 Recovery Requires Renewed Public Health Investment

As a second-generation public health nurse, I can assure you another crisis will inevitably come. It could be a wildfire, poor air quality, extreme heat, another disease outbreak, an earthquake or bioterrorism. No one knows, which makes investment in our readiness so important.

Only one thing is certain: The next emergency will reveal our progress, and our failures, in addressing social inequities.

Opinion: The Importance of Fitness in a Post-Pandemic World

The past year has taken a toll on the physical and mental health of millions of Californians. While we were rightly focused on slowing the spread of the pandemic, widespread shutdowns brought about a more sedentary lifestyle, which has led to weight gain and worsened mental health for many.

As Californians look ahead and as more people receive the vaccine, it is time for policymakers and citizens to start reprioritizing physical activity and placing much needed attention on the health equity crisis in our state.

Small black boy receiving asthma treatment while doctor is vising him at home due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Opinion: California Must Take Action on Chronic Disease Among Children of Color

The upward trend in childhood chronic disease in California is threatening the health of the next generation, and racial disparities in those diseases are stark evidence of the deep impact that racism has on health.

A groundbreaking Senate bill could help the state begin to change course by prioritizing and investing in prevention of childhood chronic illnesses and creating actionable steps for implementation.

Two women wearing protective masks walking at crosswalk on 16th Street in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Opinion: COVID-19 Shows Us Why California Must Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

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.

An illustration of Arlene Campa, founder of Art Hour, with fellow students.

Opinion: Arts Education Is a Student Right, Especially During a Pandemic

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.

A nurse gives a COVID-19 vaccination at The Forum in Los Angeles in January.

Opinion: After COVID-19, Here’s How We Can Make Sure Everyone Can Heal

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.

Sad teenager

Opinion: I’m a Doctor. The Kids I’m Seeing Need to Be Back in School

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.

Dr. Adam Dougherty receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Sutter Medical Center.

Opinion: Vaccines Are Coming. What Can We Do Until Then?

I felt relief as I received my shot. After months of relentless pandemic care on the front line, we have finally received a vital tool in the fight against COVID-19 that will help California return to some normalcy over the coming months.

I trust these vaccines and urge the community to listen to the advice of health experts. When we receive the vaccine, we don’t just do it for ourselves, we do it to protect our loved ones and others who are at higher risk. Getting vaccinated is an act of compassion that will help us to save lives and stop the spread.

X Close

Subscribe to Our Mailing List