Racial inequality impacts every aspect of life in this country for youth of color. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the inequalities and injustices youth of color endure. As a black physician, I have asked myself, “What can I do to help?” It is fundamental to understand their perspective; simply ask what they are experiencing during this crisis. This article highlights how COVID-19 has impacted youth of color and social injustice and some of the ways health care professionals can provide support. I asked my daughter, who is a junior at a public high school in the city, to pose this question to the social justice group she leads, “How have you been impacted by social injustice and the pandemic”? The responses she received are as follows: people feeling it is their right to wear a mask or not; people not being able to access the internet for school; families and friendships disrupted due to social distancing; and unequal access to health care, including the vaccine.
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Spring is here, kids have returned to the classroom two days a week, some family visits have resumed, and we’re welcoming volunteers back on our campuses for outdoor projects. We are counting our blessings but know that there is still much work to be done.
Kentucky Integrated Care was established in September 2017. Embedded within Seven Counties Services, it serves the following counties in Kentucky, which surround the Louisville metropolitan area: Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Trimble counties. The program was launched as a five-year project to synchronize primary care with behavioral healthcare. This mission was implemented by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services after the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identified a substantial need to improve adults' physical health status with mental illness and those with co-occurring substance use disorders. We provide co-located and combined services that foster an all-inclusive healthy home through the coordination of care and collaboration within clinical practice.
Are you as happy as I am that spring is in the air? Being able to enjoy the great outdoors has done wonders for a lot of people these last few weeks. Things are also heading in the right direction with COVID cases declining, vaccines becoming widely available, and schools starting to reopen, which is bringing hope to many that new beginnings are possible.