In Minnesota, African-American babies are twice as likely as Whites to die in their first year, African-American men are more likely to die from prostate cancer than Whites, and stroke deaths are significantly higher among African-American, American-Indian, and Asian populations compared to Whites.
These and other racial gaps in the health of Minnesotans have been recorded in a new report prepared for the legislature, with health officials warning that the state must tackle the deeply entrenched problems if it is to close what are some of the greatest racial health disparities in the United States, the Star Tribune reports.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Edward Ehlinger says part of the blame can be laid at the feet of “structural racism,” which, he said, all Minnesotans must confront in order to bridge the gap, “Everybody is damaged by health disparities.”
Ehlinger cited the Health Department’s own radon testing program as an example of deep institutional health barriers. The program educates homeowners to test their houses for the chemical, which can cause lung cancer, but only one-fifth of Black residents own their own homes in Minnesota — compared to 75 percent of White residents. This means that Blacks are less likely to be reached by the program, and as renters, less likely to be able to install radon remediation systems where they live.
In reaction, the report is suggesting extensive reforms, including raising the state minimum wage — because health is linked to poverty — and changes in state education, housing, and transit policies.
“It’s an issue that cannot be resolved just by the medical care system.”
In addition to presenting their findings to legislators, health officials plan to establish a Health Department center focusing on “health equity” and to meet with concerned parties across the state. The Health Department will even evaluate itself for structural racism and work to recruit and hire more people of color.
The findings show major race-based differences in nearly every major disease condition in Minnesota the department tracks:
• African-American men are more likely to die from prostate cancer than White men.
• American Indians have much higher rates of diabetes than Whites; Latinos are much more likely than Whites to die from diabetes.
• Stroke deaths are significantly higher among African-American, American Indian, and Asian populations compared to Whites.
• American-Indian, Latino, and African-American youth have the highest rates of obesity.
• African-American and Latina women are more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage breast cancer.
Whether the findings will lead to action by lawmakers remains unclear. Rep. Jim Abeler, an Anoka Republican who is a leading voice on health policy, told the Tribune that he agrees the state needs to do more to reduce its health disparities but said blaming structural racism is misguided.
“They would rather study a problem than to do anything about it,” he said told the Tribune. “It’s not [about] creating new programs. There’s a lot of programs; you’ve just got to make sure that they’re directed toward the greatest needs.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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