When we talk about health care policy in America, very rarely do we mention the roles that class and race play in determining our access to and the quality of health care that we receive. In New York state (and city), this issue has risen to the forefront of public health debate, as a state-wide commission
has issued recommendations on “right sizing” the health care system by closing a number of hospitals.
To visually illustrate the roles of race and class in our health system, and encourage New Yorkers of conscience to take action to stop dangerous hospital closures in NYC, The Opportunity Agenda
, in partnership with a coalition of New York City health care advocates, released Health Care That Works
—a Google Maps mash-up that overlays data on NYC hospital closures between 1985 and 2005 on an interactive city-wide map that can display either the racial or economic demographics of the Five Boroughs during 1985, 1995, or 2005. The result is a highly interactive site designed to teach people about the disproportionate impact that these closures have on the health of communities of color and low-income communities.
As a community of nurses, I’m sure you are all well aware that when hospitals close—particularly in underserved neighborhoods—preventive care (and primary care) becomes increasingly hard to obtain, leading to poorer health outcomes for that community. I hope you’ll visit our site
, and join our campaign to stop these hospital closures. Also, I’d like to invite you to stop by our forums
and share your stories about hospital closures, the benefits of preventive care, or spread the word about your wonderful campaign here at National Nurse.
The Opportunity Agenda
New York City and Washington DC
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Wednesday, January 31, 2007