09-23-2021  1:43 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Cascadia Names New Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Bukhosi Dube will lead innovative “integrative health” model

How to Tell DEQ to Step Up Its Emissions Caps – And Go Further

Two activists created a website to inform the most climate-vulnerable on how to take action.

Washington Governor Inslee Asks Feds for Medical Staffing Help

Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee has asked the federal government for assistance staffing hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Oregon Dems Void Power-Sharing Redistricting Deal With GOP

The Democratic speaker of the Oregon House on Monday rescinded a deal she made with Republicans to share power as lawmakers redraw political boundaries and add an additional U.S. House seat for the state.

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Mayor Extends COVID Eviction Moratoriums

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Tuesday the city's eviction moratoriums will remain in place through Jan. 15, 2022, rather than...

Oregon House and Senate Democrats Condemn Newberg School Staff Member's Racist Conduct and Use of Blackface

A staff member at Mabel Rush Elementary School in the Newberg School District attended work on Friday in blackface ...

New Plaque Honors Black Pioneer Merchant A.H. Francis

Throughout the mid-1800s, Francis was an active abolitionist, using his position to fight for Black people from western New York to...

IPAC Announces September 21 Kickoff of the Portland Peace Initiative

A new coalition intends to show how peace is possible in Portland ...

OHSU Offers Free COVID-19 Testing by Appointment at Portland Expo Center

This newest drive through testing site is open Monday through Friday. ...

Man refusing to wear mask disrupts school board meeting

WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) — Police were called to a Walla Walla School Board meeting on Tuesday when a man refused to wear a mask and disrupted the proceedings, officials said. The meeting Tuesday was halted and will resume in a virtual format next week, The Union-Bulletin...

Man fatally shot outside Bend nightclub, man arrested

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon, and prosecutors are working to determine whether race played a role in the incident, authorities said. Barry Washington Jr., 22, was shot early Sunday in downtown Bend, Oregon...

College Football Picks: Neutral sites for 2 ranked matchups

Last week, college football gave fans one of its tastiest, and unfortunately rare, treats when Auburn visited Penn State. Good teams. Great setting. Entertaining game. What college football is all about. This week, not so much. The...

Bazelak, Missouri make quick work of SE Missouri, 59-28

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Bazelak squeezed a full day of production into one half Saturday as he led Missouri to a 59-28 victory over Southeast Missouri. Bazelak completed 21 of 30 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (2-1). “You...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Carolina's Confederate monument protection law upheld

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a state law preventing anyone from moving a Confederate monument or changing the historical name of a street or building without the Legislature's permission is legal. But in the same ruling, the...

Diversity study: APSE's gender-hiring scores continue to lag

A diversity study found the Associated Press Sports Editors has improved in racial hiring but the independent national organization continues to lag when it comes to hiring women. The report card Wednesday from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in...

Melvin Van Peebles, godfather of Black cinema, dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — Melvin Van Peebles, the groundbreaking filmmaker, playwright and musician whose work ushered in the “blaxploitation” wave of the 1970s and influenced filmmakers long after, has died. He was 89. In statement, his family said that Van Peebles, father of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Done with delays, Academy movie museum rolls out red carpet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The projectors are rolling. The ruby slippers are on. Many an Oscar sits glistening. The shark has been hanging, and waiting, for nearly a year. Nine years after it was announced, four years after its first projected open date, and five months since its...

Review: Jake Gyllenhaal carries claustrophobic ‘The Guilty’

An emergency dispatch center doesn’t exactly sound like the most visually exciting place to set an entire film. But the technical limitation of being imprisoned in a soulless office while high stakes action takes place off screen can be an inspired storytelling gimmick in the right hands, as it...

R. Kelly's rules protected him, prosecutors in sex trial say

NEW YORK (AP) — R. Kelly got away with sexually abusing underage victims for more than two decades by ruling his inner circle enablers with an iron fist, a prosecutor told jurors on Wednesday at the R&B singer’s sex-trafficking trial. “The defendant set rules, lots of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Wildfire victims left with nothing get hope from donated RVs

QUINCY, Calif. (AP) — Clutching a bag full of duct tape and snacks, Woody Faircloth climbs aboard a motorhome...

Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids?

Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids? No, experts say there's no strong...

In German election, hunger strikers seek climate promises

BERLIN (AP) — After three-and-a-half weeks on a hunger strike, Henning Jeschke is frail and gaunt, but...

US-French spat seems to simmer down after Biden-Macron call

PARIS (AP) — The most significant rift in decades between the United States and France seemed on the mend...

UN: In war, 16 million Yemenis 'marching' toward starvation

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the U.N. food agency is warning that 16 million people in Yemen “are...

Climate change tops agenda as Iceland heads to elections

REYKJAVIK , Iceland (AP) — Climate change is top of the agenda when voters in Iceland head to the polls for...

By Kenneth J. Cooper of America\'s Wire for The Skanner News

While most Americans are unaware of the nation's health disparities, those who are may well think that racial and ethnic minorities become sicker and die more often because they lack medical insurance, tend to be poorer or have unhealthy lifestyles. Or, as a few sophisticates may know, because minorities receive unequal treatment from the medical system, regardless of economic status and insurance coverage.
A growing number of researchers cite a different cause, one that some say actually reflects the others. It is a social fact that has faded from public concern, despite its obvious persistence in every major city: residential segregation.
These researchers say segregation's negative impact on health is true particularly for African-Americans, who studies consistently show are most likely to live apart from other racial-ethnic groups. Blacks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have the highest overall death rate in the country. The rate of high blood pressure among African-Americans is highest not just in the nation, but also in the world, the American Heart Association reports, as is the percentage of black men who contract prostate cancer.
"I argue that residential segregation by race is the fundamental cause of racial disparities in health in the United States," said David R. Williams, a professor of public health at Harvard University. "It is not my position—I don't think the data are consistent—that segregation is the only cause of disparities in health. It's a major cause. It's a big one."
Williams has been an early and leading voice for this perspective. In 1999, while at the University of Michigan, he helped to conduct a study concluding that the concentration of poverty and disadvantage in segregated neighborhoods contributed to the disparities.
"Segregation determines your economic status," Williams said recently, summing up the finding of that and subsequent studies. "Segregation determines, on average, the quality of schools you go to, your access to employment opportunities, the quality of housing and neighborhoods, whether your environment promotes health or discourages health. And segregation dramatically affects access to medical care."
Segregated black neighborhoods tend to be poor—poorer, in fact, than impoverished white neighborhoods. Recent research, however, has begun to show that race, not class, adversely affects the health of African-Americans in racially isolated communities.
Hope Landrine, a researcher for the American Cancer Society, reviewed the latest studies on residential segregation and black health, and compiled the findings last year in the journal "Ethnicity & Health." Among them:

• Two to three times as many fast food outlets are located in segregated black neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods of comparable socioeconomic status, contributing to higher black consumption of fatty, salty meals and in turn widening racial disparities in obesity and diabetes.

• Black neighborhoods contain two to three times fewer supermarkets than comparable white neighborhoods, creating the kind of "food deserts" that make it difficult for residents who depend on public transportation to purchase the fresh fruits and vegetables that make for a healthy diet.

• Fewer African-Americans have ready access to places to work off excess weight that can gradually cause death. A study limited to New York, Maryland and North Carolina found that black neighborhoods were three times more likely to lack recreational facilities where residents could exercise and relieve stress.

• Because of "the deliberate placement of polluting factories and toxic waste dumps in minority neighborhoods," exposure to air pollutants and toxins is five to 20 times higher than in white neighborhoods with the same income levels.

• Regardless of their socioeconomic status, African-Americans who live in segregated communities receive unequal medical care because hospitals serving them have less technology, such as imaging equipment, and fewer specialists, like those in heart surgery and cancer. The predominantly white doctors in those communities are also less likely to have certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties, an accepted standard of professional competence.

Not all researchers see residential segregation as a major cause of health disparities, or see it in the same way as do Williams, Landrine and others.
In 2003, researchers at Case Western Reserve University presented a paper at a National Institutes of Health meeting that concluded residential segregation was "statistically unassociated with health status," after taking into account other community factors such as unemployment and medical care and individual attributes like age and education levels.
The American Heart Association, while acknowledging the impact of socioeconomic factors, also cites individual factors such as knowledge and practice of healthy choices in diets and lifestyles.
In a 2003 study, Thomas A. LaVeist, director of the Center for Health Disparities Solutions at Johns Hopkins University, study that found that living in segregation shortens the life span of African-Americans.
"However, I argue it is not segregation in itself that is predictive of health outcomes," LaVeist added. "Rather, segregation is reflective of race differences in the social infrastructure, material living conditions and life chances of whites and African-Americans. A consequence of these 'different Americas' is that different race groups have different levels of exposure to health risks."
Whether residential segregation or individual behavior is seen as the main driver of health disparities can make a difference in how government officials and health advocates approach the problem—whether they focus on treating individuals or neighborhoods.
Landrine of the American Cancer Society argued for the neighborhood approach, which might include encouraging farmers markets and supermarkets to operate in segregated black communities or, more controversially, changing local regulations to limit the number of fast-food outlets in those areas.
"Black-White health disparities might be better understood and eliminated by focusing, not on Black people and cultures," Landrine concluded, "but on Black places and contexts."

Kenneth J. Cooper, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is a freelance journalist based in Boston. In 2007, he was a Fair Health Journalism Fellow with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

PHOTO: Award winning research professor David R. Williams

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events