FSOA Social Determinants of Health

In Ferguson, a Picture of Health Disparities

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A recent article in U.S. News & World Report examines the disparities that persist in Ferguson, Missouri more than two years after the death of Michael Brown and one year after the release of the Ferguson Commission report, “Forward through Ferguson.” The disparities are clear and visible, both in Ferguson and across the United States.

The author points to the For the Sake of All 2014 report as having “quantified health disparities in the region along racial lines and offered proposed solutions,” months before Brown was killed. “The report’s findings were staggering: Blacks in the county are 17 times more likely to be injured by firearms and six times more likely to be injured from abuse, neglect or rape,” says Dr. Jason Purnell, assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis who advised the Ferguson Commission and leads the For the Sake of All project.

“We were in the unique position of having done our work before Ferguson,” says Dr. Purnell. “Some have said that it predicted the level of frustration because of the disparities that we laid out in the report.” While Purnell says the changes are not happening “fast enough for anyone’s liking,” he notes some strategies listed in the commission’s report have begun.

Read the full article here.

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