06-18-2018  12:27 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Black Pioneers Host ‘Celebrate History and Make a Difference Now!’ Event June 9

Representatives from local organizations will talk about how individuals can get involved in promoting social change ...

Grants Pass man, 39, drowns in Rogue River

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The Josephine County sheriff says a Grants Pass man drowned in the Rogue River.Sheriff Dave Daniel says it happened Saturday afternoon when 39-year-old James Dawson tried to swim to shore after his watercraft quit working. He was not wearing a life jacket.Crews...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDAHHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed due to damage from a wildfire that ripped through the area last year.The Register-Guard reports the Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall...

UW to pay 7K to settle Republicans' free-speech lawsuit

SEATTLE (AP) — The University of Washington will pay 7,000 to settle a lawsuit filed after the college billed a Republican club security fees for a rally.The UW College Republicans sued, saying the bill for ,000 to cover security costs for the campus event violated free-speech and...

Old farm warehouse may be saved as part of Hanford history

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — One of Washington state's most endangered historic places is located on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland. That's according to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.The long warehouse along the Columbia River was once owned by farmers Paul and Mary...


What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...


Greece: 2 face racism charges over beatings of immigrants

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek police say they have arrested one suspected extreme nationalist and are seeking a second as suspects in a pair of attacks on immigrants in Athens.A police statement issued Monday said the suspects allegedly attacked two Pakistanis on Friday, stole a mobile phone...

Redistricting changes headed to the ballot in several states

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday on redistricting lawsuits in Wisconsin and Maryland comes as several states already are considering changes to the criteria and processes that will be used to draw legislative districts after the 2020 Census.In most places, the state legislature and governor are...

States' redistricting plans facing challenges in court

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to block the use of legislative districts in Wisconsin and Maryland in separate cases that had alleged unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. Instead, the high court allowed lower courts to continue considering the claims.The cases are among several that...


Review: 'Jurassic World 2' leans on nostalgia, contrivances

Here's the good news: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom " is more fun than "Jurassic World." It's not exactly a high bar, but still a welcome surprise. In the hands of a new director, J.A. Bayona, with Chris Pratt's high-wattage charisma on full blast and a fair amount of self-aware humor intact,...

'Incredibles 2' crushes animation record with 0 million

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The combined powers of superheroes, the Pixar brand and a drought of family-friendly films helped "Incredibles 2" become the best animated opening of all time, the biggest PG-rated launch ever and the 8th highest film launch overall.Disney estimated Sunday that the film...

AFI highlights Clooney's life of acting, activism and pranks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Clooney's Hollywood career spans more than three decades, with memorable roles including fighting vampires, playing Batman and drifting through space in "Gravity." But Clooney's other accomplishments, including directing, screenwriting and activism, led to him...


Puerto Rico struggles with jump in asthma cases post-Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shortly after he turned 2, Yadriel Hernandez started struggling to breathe....

Apple sets up iPhones to relay location for 911 calls

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is trying to drag the U.S.'s antiquated system for handling 911 calls into the...

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA (AP) — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health...

Israel PM, Jordan king meet after months of strained ties

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's King Abdullah II and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have met after...

Geraldine McCaughrean wins Carnegie children's book prize

LONDON (AP) — British writer Geraldine McCaughrean has won the prestigious Carnegie Medal for children's...

Greek far-right lawmaker arrested on treason-linked charges

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek anti-terrorism police arrested an extreme far-right lawmaker on treason-linked...

african american baby
Patricia Maryland, Dr.PH

In my years working in healthcare, I have been blessed to see patients celebrate happy moments, but I have also witnessed times of profound grief. The loss of a baby is one such example that deals a devastating blow to our families, healthcare providers, communities and nation as a whole.

Most newborns grow and thrive, but in the United States, almost six out of every 1,000 babies die during their first year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these deaths occur in the neonatal phase of development — the critical period from birth to 28 days of life in which babies are more vulnerable to disease, infection and other complications.

No mother, family or community in our country should have to endure the pain of losing a child. It’s all the more shocking to learn that African-American mothers lose a child before their first month of life at more than twice the rate of white women — the highest rate of any racial group, according to the CDC. In some states, the equity gaps are even wider.

These figures should sound the alarm for all Americans, especially African-Americans, policy makers, healthcare providers and community leaders. This cannot be our quiet crisis any longer. There are real lives at stake.

It will take all of us, working together, to ensure African-American babies born in America have every opportunity to thrive. Here are five steps we can take to get there:


Increasing access to quality, timely and affordable healthcare is critical to our mission. African-American mothers who lost an infant were 2.3 times more likely than White mothers to not begin prenatal care until the third trimester, or not receive prenatal care at all, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Culturally Competent Care

The factors that influence neonatal health are myriad and complex, but we must continue our efforts to build a culture of health in the Black community — one that competently serves the unique needs of mothers on their pregnancy journey and ensures they are at her healthiest even before they conceive. This work requires healthcare providers enhance our outreach to communities of color to forge bridges of understanding among medical professionals and the patients they serve — relationships we know lead to better health outcomes across the board.

Early Intervention

Caring for healthy Black babies begins before conception and continues throughout a mother’s prenatal and post-partum experience. Early care interventions are critical if we are to address and prevent neonatal and infant mortality, because they allow us to address conditions that could lead to poor birth outcomes. Hypertension — a disease that disproportionately affects African-Americans and can cause serious birth complications — is one such disease that can be managed through a mother’s ongoing relationship with her healthcare provider.


Importantly, African-American mothers must take full ownership of their healthcare experience. That means taking advantages of every opportunity to access proactive preconception, prenatal and post-partum care, and feeling empowered to ask questions. Understanding what’s normal, when to be concerned and when to call a doctor is the No. 1 thing African-American women can do to ensure their babies are born and stay healthy.

Healthy Communities

More cities and neighborhoods are waking up to the notion that where you live has a significant impact on your health. Addressing environmental and social factors of health — such as nutrition, stress, substance abuse and domestic safety — will do more than improve the lives of mothers and babies. Its impacts will be felt throughout the community. Healthy Neighborhoods Detroit, an Ascension Michigan program, provides a powerful example of a community building its capacity to address holistic health needs. By integrating healthcare, education, grocery access and affordable housing in some of the city’s most blighted areas, the effort is creating nerve centers where all residents can access the services they need.

The health of our youngest citizens is the yardstick by which we measure the prosperity of our country and communities. Fortunately, we have made great gains in reducing high rates of neonatal mortality. But there is still more work to do to address equity gaps for African-Americans. It will take a comprehensive, coordinated effort to eliminate this quiet crisis. By working together, we have reasons to hope for a future in which African-American babies survive, thrive and lead our communities into the future.

Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH, is the President of Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer for Ascension Health, the healthcare delivery subsidiary of Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit and largest Catholic health system.

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