Magazine article The Nation's Health

Disparities Film to Be Screened at APHA Annual Meeting

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Disparities Film to Be Screened at APHA Annual Meeting

Article excerpt

Attendees at APHA's 135th Annual Meeting in the fall will have a chance to get a sneak peek at a new film series that is raising awareness of the dire consequences that racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities have on the health of Americans.

Produced by California Newsreel and presented by the National Minority Consortia of Public Television, "Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?" is a four-hour film series that examines factors that are linked to disparities, such as insurance status, economic inequality and race and ethnicity. The series is scheduled to air nationwide on PBS television stations in winter 2008 and to be released on DVD this fall. However, partners such as APHA, the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Health Policy Institute are working on a campaign to spread the word about the series now and get more people talking about health disparities.

"For too long in this country, health disparities have shortened the lives and negatively affected the well-being of millions of Americans," said Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, APHA's executive director. "We must work not just to reduce disparities, but to eliminate them completely."

Health researchers have long documented the negative effect that disparities have on health status, including higher rates of infant mortality, chronic and infectious diseases and premature deaths. Race and ethnicity are closely linked with disparities, especially among minority Americans. Where people live, how much they earn and how much education they have can also play a role in how much or what kind of care they or their families receive, and ultimately affect their health. …

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