Wyandotte Daily Reports on Health Disparities

Mary Rupert of Wyandotte Daily published an article on December 6th, 2016: “Study finds significant differences in the health care in Wyandotte County neighborhood” 

In this article, Jerry Jones, the executive director of the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County discusses the results of the multi-year collaborative study of Wyandotte County. He explains that the study was originally intended to find out why people from different neighborhoods in Kansas City, KS were relying on the emergency department for their primary care.

To answer this, Jones’s team began looking at the social and economic factors that highlight where health disparities exist in Wyandotte County. He also identifies the ‘series of red flags’ that demonstrate the challenges and efforts being made to improve health.

Highlights from Article, Quotes from Jerry Jones:

  • “Health outcomes don’t just happen by accident, they are the product of design, whether of policy design, or design of the built environment,” -Jerry Jones
  • “Policies have long-term, residual and sometimes unforeseen impacts. Consideration of past policy choices can inform thoughtful design of present-day solutions.” – Jerry Jones
    • Past policies discriminated in housing in certain neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods were redlined according to race through federal loan programs
    • Most of the homes in eastern Kansas City, KS were built before 1978, which puts them at risk for lead-based paint. Areas like this have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “environmental justice” zones.
  • “There is also a need for access to employment opportunities, and they are interested in having conversations with employers about a multi-generational approach to training adults for new jobs coming here, and preparing school-age youth for potential employment opportunities.”
  • There is a ‘concern that gains that have been made in enrolling people in Wyandotte County for health insurance could be reversed under a new administration. Right now, Wyandotte County leads the state in reducing the number of uninsured.’ –Jerry Jones
    • ‘The Unified Government placed KanCare expansion as its top state legislative priority this year’
    • ‘When the Robert Wood Johnson findings first came out ranking Wyandotte County at the bottom in the state, the Unified Government Commission decided to funnel a half-million dollars in casino charitable contributions each year to health programs originated by local agencies and groups. That effort gets local groups and residents to initiate health programs.’

Facts from the study:

  • Life expectancy was 20 years less in some eastern Kansas City, Kan., neighborhoods
  • The infant mortality rate in predominantly black neighborhoods is about twice that of other neighborhoods (11.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births)
  • Neighborhoods with limited incomes also had poor health outcomes – the poorer the neighborhood, the worse the health outcomes

-To download the original study, the “H.E.A.T” report, go to www.WeAreWyandotte.com 

-To learn more about health disparities in Wyandotte County, visit our T-SCORE page, Health Disparities in Wyandotte County, KS

-To learn more about health disparities in general and access resources, visit our T-SCORE page, Health Disparities Resources

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