The latest overall COVID-19 mortality rate for black Americans is 2.3 times as high as the rate for whites and Asians, and 2.2 times as high as the Latino rate, according to APM Research Lab. Although stark, the disparity is not new.
Communities of color fare worse than whites across many measures of health, including physical and mental health; infant mortality and maternal mortality; and certain chronic conditions. The CDC says that living conditions—including poverty and residential segregation—contribute to a higher risk of getting sick, and being sicker as result of their disease, and to having decreased access to care.
Dr. Cara James, president and CEO at Grantmakers in
Health and former director of the Office of Minority
Health at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,
will discuss the structural and economic reasons why
minorities are faring so poorly during the pandemic. Dr.
James is a nationally recognized expert and thought leader
in health equity and improving health outcomes for
Samantha Artiga serves as director of the Disparities
Policy Project at the KFF and associate director for the
KFF’s Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Ms. Artiga
leads research and policy analysis to provide greater insight
into healthcare disparities affecting underserved groups and
strategies to promote equity in health care.
Facilitator Ridgely Ochs has been the SABEW health care
project director since 2017. She is a retired health care
reporter from New York’s Newsday. Her beat included the
island’s 23 hospitals and two county health departments,
as well as the ACA. She was a fellow in the SABEW Atlanta
Commonwealth/SABEW health care symposium in 2014.
This session is free to journalists thanks to a grant to SABEW from the Commonwealth Fund.