In the Science of Health section of the March issue of Scientific American, Sir Michael Marmot, director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, describes "The Disease of Poverty." He highlights the following important points:
- Poor health outcomes in low income individuals in the US are more prevalent than in low income individuals in other countries
- Even among white-collar workers in the Whitehall Study, the higher an employee's civil service grade, the better their health
- Poor social conditions promote unhealthy lifestyles, starting in childhood
- Brighter Futures, an intervention designed to adopt an evidence-based program to show parents how to read, sing, talk, teach and interact with their children to foster development resulted in improvement in measures of social, cognitive and behavioral development in Birmingham, an English city with socioeconomic disadvantage. This intervention ultimately closed the gap between the city of Birmingham and the rest of England.
Last week, one of our former ASCs, Bennett Clark, published a very elegant "Piece of my Mind" article in JAMA on the role of the hospital as a final "home" for patients with end stage diseases who cannot be discharged to an appropriate level of care. The stories relayed about Bennett's relationship to his patient and his ability to grant his patient dignity at the end of his life is inspirational.
-Sherita Golden, Executive Vice Chair