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Minority Health Matters

By: Aizya Ali, RDN, LD

Imagine if all the restaurants in your town had extensive menus with lots of exciting options, but they refused to cater to allergies and would not modify any of their items. Now imagine you also have a severe peanut allergy. There are only two peanut-free options, and they both are desserts. You also see that the peanut-free desserts are triple the price of the desserts with peanuts. The restaurant owners insist that you still have options to order, and that it’s not other’s fault that they can enjoy any item on the menu. You appreciate having those options but insist that it would be nice to enjoy the entrees for a more satiating experience. The owners apologize but explain that creating peanut-free options would be special treatment.

Having the option to choose from the same dishes as the other diners is an example of equality. Having accessibility to dishes that reflect your individual needs is an example of equity.

Health equity refers to the appropriate distribution of resources among all individuals making it possible to achieve the highest level of overall wellness. Those resources can include:

  • income
  • education
  • housing
  • transportation
  • social support
  • healthcare
  • food

An imbalance in resource distribution can cause health disparities, which are significant differences between the health outcomes of various groups. Health disparities are often a result of systemic oppression.

In 2002, April was chosen as National Minority Health Month to highlight the disproportionate health outcomes of racial and ethnic minorities in America. Each annual observation is coupled with a theme, and this year has been dedicated to health literacy. Health literacy measures how well an individual understands information related to their health care and decision-making. Improving health literacy for all can yield patient autonomy and self-efficacy.

Support this initiative by volunteering to do at least one of the following activities:

  1. Help build perinatal care packages for post-partum mothers.

Did you know that Georgia has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country? Within, Georgia the maternal mortality rate of Black women is six times more than White women. This disparity may be significantly linked with implicit bias of providers when administering assessments. Volunteer with Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia to help distribute thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and breast milk storage bags.

  1. Become a remote Spanish medical interpreter.

Research demonstrates that Americans that primarily speak Spanish receive one-third less care when compared to those who primarily speak English. Volunteer with Community Health to support communication in the exam room.

  1. Spend Saturday mornings helping to maintain Atlanta’s first urban food forest.

The Urban Food Forest at Brown Mills is also the largest in the country! Brown Mills cultivates berries, nuts, vegetables, and herbs for those facing food insecurity in their community. To expand their reach, they also offer education so that individuals can utilize these techniques to start their own small gardens at home.

  1. Donate to help support health assessments, medical co-pay financial assistance, medical equipment, and health education for vulnerable populations.

Help for Hattie is a nonprofit organization based in McDonough, Georgia. They currently provide resources for seven counties in Georgia. Donations of household, clothing, and food are also encouraged.

  1. Help prepare and deliver medically tailored meals across metro-Atlanta.

Here at Good Measure Meals, health equity is our passion! 100% of our net proceeds support our local non-profit organization, Open Hand Atlanta. Open Hand provides services to seniors, individuals who are transitioning from the hospital to home, and those managing chronic conditions including diabetes, kidney disease, and HIV/AIDS. Give a gift from the heart by purchasing from Good Measure Meals or volunteering your time in our local kitchen.

Want to do more? Continue to make a difference by supporting the following organizations:

Until next time, In Good Health.

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