Few Know How to Get Help
The Opioid Crisis continues to surge in the United States, as fentanyl-related overdoses are on the rise nationwide and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an already fragile healthcare system. A new report by Bicycle Health, an online addiction treatment provider, surveyed over 1,000 Americans nationwide on opioid use disorder (OUD) and what they thought would help; it also analyzed data from Kaiser Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to find opioid addiction rates by state as well as potential opioid treatment deserts across the nation.
Continue reading 1 in 2 Americans Knows Someone with an Opioid Addiction
In July, 2020, the two of us met for the first time as inaugural co-directors of the University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine’s new Health Equity, Social Justice, and Anti-Racism (HESJAR) curricular initiative. Beginning with our initial conversations it became clear that addressing speech — physician speech, patient speech, medical school speech — would be central to our journey.
For an entire year (2020-2021) we planned. This involved reading, particularly about efforts at other medical schools. It also involved listening: to students; to other faculty and staff; and particularly through a series of community conversations in which medical students interviewed local residents about their experiences with the health care system. Those conversations deeply informed our curriculum development.
Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 31: Health Equity – by Carlos Cortés and Adwoa Osei
This picture is a replica of the one from a remote spot in a parking lot across from a local Walmart. Until recently, that spot was occupied by a blue pickup truck with watermelons for sale on the back. I’ll get to the story behind that photo momentarily.
But first, let’s go to Marriam-Webster for a definition of the word “regret,” the crux of this narrative and for my fair-minded readers, something to think long and hard about when reexamining your life.
“Regret is a feeling of sadness or disappointment about something said or wrong about a mistake you made and wish you could have done differently or better.”
Aha, “done differently!”
Continue reading The lifelong regret – by Terry Howard
Apparently my recent, “The Lifelong Regret,” touched (and torched?) a few raw nerves. Proof positives are the many lengthy phone conversations on the topic of “regret” that made me cringe at the thought of the size of my next phone bill.
You see, some conversations were longer than I anticipated since I’m not skillful at effectively hinting, “hey, gotta go.” And others were of the brief “sorry but I don’t want to talk about that stuff,” category.
Now the common thread in all those recollections were the immediacy of the responses to my query and the length of time transpired that caused those regrets; a few more than five decades ago.
Continue reading The Lifelong Regret: Part 2 – Terry Howard
NOAH Seeks to Professionalize Arts Programs in Healthcare Settings
No person looks forward to a visit to the hospital or other similar healthcare settings. Oftentimes, being in the hospital is a process that is scary, uncertain, and full of anticipation for answers and recovery. Research has shown that healing is made better by the arts, which bring humanity to institutions such as hospitals, elder and hospice care, as well as those living at home with chronic diseases like cancer or Parkinson’s.
Despite research that supports arts in health, many health institutions do not have programs incorporating the arts. This is why the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) has remained committed to expanding awareness and acceptance of the arts as a vital component for healing, public health, and wellbeing.
Continue reading Integrating the Arts in Health – by Patricia Lambert
When I was seven years old, I had my first MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging – a medical imaging machine that generates internal images of the body. The tubular machine was quite large in comparison to my petite body. I can still remember how scared I was as they placed headphones twice the size of my head over my ears and pushed me back into the small cylinder. Or how the nurse called the IV that shot cold, contrast dye throughout my bloodstream a “butterfly clip” to ease the nerves. The MRI was ordered to examine my neck and upper spine because I was experiencing a lot of unusual pain there for a child that young. What my family and I didn’t expect was to be in that room for two more hours as they caught a glimpse of something concerning in my lower back.
Continue reading Afflictions of American Health Care – by Eliana Teel
During the COVID-19 pandemic, employee diversity and wellness came under the spotlight like never before. Corporations sought to support workers both in the office and at home, and a major pre-pandemic cultural shift completed its arc. In addition, employers have been making significant strides in diversifying their workforces.
Focusing on diversity and offering innovative benefits that enhance work-life balance don’t just boost employee satisfaction. These efforts help attract new talent in a competitive market, and improve productivity no matter the size of your organization.
Continue reading Supporting Employee Diversity and Wellness – by Julia Morris
A Difficult Conversation about Difficult Conversations forDeveloping Medical Educators of the 21st Century:
New Ideas and Skills
for Adaptable and Inclusive
Learning Environments Conference
February 4, 2022 (Revised, February 6, 2022)
Let’s start with today’s ground rules. None. No rules; no powerpoints.
But three hopes. That you speak honestly without obsessing about maybe saying the wrong thing, a bane to diversity discussions. That you contemplate divergent ideas. And that you reflect openly on your own perspectives by posting comments and questions in the chatbox as we go along.
So let’s turn to our theme, difficult conversations about diversity and health equity. Health equity conversations necessarily involve discomfort because they address the idea of group diversity, not just random individual differences.
Continue reading Challenges of Teaching about Diversity and Health Equity – by Carlos E. Cortés
Years of research has shown that spending time in nature reduces cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, asthma and mental illness. The last 18 months have underscored the immense benefits that our parks and public greenspaces provide. As the nation struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, parks were outdoor oases that allowed millions of Americans a safe place to escape the confines of their homes. And parks in 98 of the nation’s 100 most populous cities doubled as venues for meal distribution, COVID testing and outdoor classrooms.
But parks and the benefits they provide are not evenly distributed in those cities. New research is demonstrating that the absence of these green spaces is disproportionately and negatively affecting our nation’s communities of color.
Continue reading Ending the park equity divide – By Diane Regas
Not all Americans have the same experience when they try to access public services like healthcare, security, or even justice. That’s historically true, but when you take a closer look at the issues within the healthcare system, it’s clear that there’s more beneath the surface.
There are factors like socioeconomic status, education level, geographical location, racial and gender bias that can affect one’s experience with the healthcare system. In this article, we’ll look at those factors and briefly analyze what can be done to make healthcare more accessible and inclusive for all Americans.
Continue reading Culturally Competent Healthcare in America – by Pearl Kasirye