Cuomo’s threat to sue Trump over vaccine highlights racism in medicine : TheGrio

President Donald Trump’s 139th lawsuit may come at the hands of his arch-nemesis Governor Andrew Cuomo if he keeps the COVID-19 vaccine away from Black and Brown communities. (Photo: Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s 139th lawsuit may come at the hands of his arch-nemesis Governor Andrew Cuomo if he keeps the COVID-19 vaccine away from Black and Brown communities, in what proves to be a fitting end to a tumultuous four-year run. 

As if we needed any more drama in 2020, Cuomo called out the president’s plan to deliver doses of the vaccine from Big Pharma producers like Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer to private pharmacies citing flaws in the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s distribution model. 

Read More: Gov. Cuomo says ‘we spend too much time’ trying to interpret Trump

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a Sept. news conference in New York City, at which he criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in America. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Historically these medication distribution models have not worked in favor of Black and Brown people because they rely too heavily on hospitals and big box store pharmacies rendering it less likely for low-income, uninsured, and marginalized communities to get the vaccine. 

“Any plan that intentionally burdens communities of color to hinder access to the vaccine deprives those communities of equal protection under the law,” said Cuomo during a Sunday service at Riverside Church in New York City. 

Cuomo went on to suggest that the Trump administration meet the people in the middle by including churches and community centers in its distribution plan.

I won’t hold my breath. 

Trump Atlas thegrio.com
U.S. President Donald Trump listens as member of the White House’s coronavirus task force Dr. Scott Atlas speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

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Black people are no strangers to being shut out from medical care. The withholding of the syphilis-curing drug, penicillin, to 300 Black men during the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment serves as a constant reminder of this nation’s disregard for Black life.

While access to quality healthcare has improved for all people since 1932, when the experiment was first started, health disparities still remain. African Americans have the lowest life expectancy of any racial group – 75 years old compared to 79 years old for white people.

The dubious distinction of early death is based on differences in our social determinants of health, the factors that govern our health. These differences are due to structural racism; historical and contemporary policies aimed at disproportionately segregating communities of color from equal access and opportunity to quality education, jobs, housing, healthcare, and equal treatment in the criminal justice system.

Diseases like COVID-19 do not discriminate, but they do spread more rapidly among those discriminated against. 

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


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Sidra Medicine highlights importance of mental health in families

Sidra Medicine has reiterated the importance of mental health in families as part of its ongoing commitment to support the development and advancement of mental health services in Qatar.

Dr Felice Watt, division chief, Adult Psychiatry for Women’s Mental Health at Sidra Medicine said, “Mothers are the key to a family’s mental health and we need our mothers to be physically and emotionally well. It is important that pregnant women and mothers feel supported and empowered. We can ask them “How are you feeling?” and “What can I do to help you?” and offer support and company. It is also important to listen without judgment. If you feel that you are unable to support, then help her get professional assistance.”
Mental health not only affects the woman but also impacts the pregnancy, the child and the family. This highlights the importance of fathers’ and infants’ mental health and wellbeing.
Infant Mental Health describes the capacity of a baby to form close relationships; to recognise and express emotions and to explore and learn about their environment. Every interaction contributes to the child’s brain development and lays the foundation for later learning.
To reach their full potential, children need support of their physical and mental health and an environment of nurturing care. This includes responsive caregiving whereby their caregivers notice, understand and respond to the child’s signals in a timely and appropriate manner. Opportunity for early learning is also encouraged.
Fathers also play a unique and important role in their children’s development and in supporting their wife.     
Dr Zainab Imam, psychiatrist from Sidra Medicine said, “According to research featured in the Wiley Online Library, about 10% of new fathers experience depression, especially if their wives are depressed; while up to 18% of fathers suffer from anxiety. Since most new mothers look to their husbands as the main source of support, poor paternal support can worsen a mother’s mental health.”
“We advocate that there needs to be stronger support systems for fathers, encouraging them to be involved, and giving them an opportunity to talk about their experiences as fathers and to learn how to support their children’s development And most importantly, fathers need support to access professional help when needed, without the stigma that sometimes stops many new fathers from seeking help,” continued Dr Imam.
Qatar has set up a helpline (16000) to support people of all ages and nationalities who are looking for advice on coping with stress, anxiety and depression and other mental health disorders. The helpline is available from 8 am to 7pm Sundays to Thursdays, and 8am to 3pm on Saturdays.

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Black Resident Dies After Childbirth, Highlights Tragic Trend

Chaniece Wallace, MD, a chief pediatric resident at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, died on October 24 after complications from preeclampsia 4 days after giving birth prematurely by cesarean delivery, according to her husband, Anthony Wallace.

Their daughter, Charlotte Wallace, was born on October 20 weighing 4.5 pounds. She entered care in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Anthony Wallace told Chaniece’s story on a GoFundMe page, writing: “On October 20th, 2020 [Chaniece’s] doctors informed us that she was developing symptoms of preeclampsia.” He added that she had a ruptured liver and high blood pressure and that her kidney function was declining.

“Chaniece fought with every piece of strength, courage, and faith she had available,” he continued.

In announcing Wallace’s death, Riley Hospital for Children wrote that “it is with grievous and broken hearts that we announce the loss of one of our beloved friends, colleagues, and co-chiefs.” Chaniece “suffered postpartum complications after delivering a healthy 35wk baby girl. [S]he received excellent care at her delivery hospital by a complete and equally devastated healthcare team.”

Fellow co–chief resident Eric Raynal, MD, told Medscape Medical News that Chaniece’s preeclampsia “developed unusually rapidly. It was captured immediately and was especially severe,” he said.

“I think everyone in our community and the medical community that took care of her while hospitalized is at a loss for why her case of preeclampsia was so severe and did not improve after she delivered her baby, Charlotte,” he said.

“As physicians, we try to find answers and reason for everything we do in our practice of medicine, and it is so immensely frustrating when families ask us to explain things that are unexplainable,” Raynal said.

The statement from Riley Hospital said Wallace had completed her pediatrics residency in June and was beginning to explore career options as a general outpatient pediatrician.

“[H]er future impact, sure to be expansive, was taken away from her all too suddenly,” the announcement said.

Black Women at Triple the Risk for Maternal Death

Clinicians commented on social media that Wallace’s death highlights a grim statistic in healthcare in the United States: Black, Native American, and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women, according to recent Centers for Disease Control data.

Newborn hospitalist Shawnté James, MD, mourned Wallace’s death on Twitter, saying, “Childbirth isn’t safe for Black Women in America. This is crushing.”

Rachel Vreeman, MD, added: “Heart-broken over a new loss: a female pediatrician at a great academic medical center, with the same terrible pregnancy complication that I had. Except she is Black and she died.”

Raynal said, “What we know and can verify is that preeclampsia is more common in Black women. We would not say Chaniece’s preeclampsia and preeclampsia in women in general is ‘preventable.’ “

Raynal said Wallace was well aware of her risk and that they had talked privately about it routinely. She had also discussed the risks with her medical team.

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Conroe ISD board highlights dyslexia’s impact on learning

For hundreds of students and parents in the Conroe Independent School District, dyslexia and other reading and learning disabilities have had a significant impact on their education. As part of Dyslexia Awareness Month, the CISD Board of Trustees included a special recognition of dyslexia at its Tuesday meeting.

A group of parents with students with reading disorders has been in conversation with the district for a while now about how dyslexia services are conducted, which programs are being used, what they want the district to put more resources into, and the funding that the district dyslexia services receive.

“The Texas Education Agency and the American Institutes of Research identify dyslexia as “the most commonly diagnosed learning disability” affecting the education of children. Students experiencing dyslexia may also struggle with related disorders such as dysgraphia, dyscalculia, developmental auditory imperceptions, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability,” according to the special recognition that the board included. “The most recent data available from the Texas Education Agency indicates that only 3.5% to 4.0% of Texas students are identified as dyslexic. Peer-reviewed research indicates that up to 20% of the student population may suffer from the difficulties associated with dyslexia.”

Board member Scott Moore, who recommended the recognition, read a special proclamation to be included in the official meeting minutes.

Nicole May is a district parent with two sons, both diagnosed with dyslexia, and a member of the parent group. She has addressed the board several times to talk about dyslexia services and what the parent group thinks the district could be doing better. At Tuesday’s meeting, she brought her younger son to say hello to the board, and thank them for the special recognition. But she also took the opportunity to continue her advocacy.

“My goal tonight is to continue keeping dyslexic students in our district a focus and to continue addressing the need for more for our population,” May said. “The questions I ponder often are ‘Do the decision-makers in our district see the need for more for our population? And do you see the potential of our population in society?’”

While looking over STAAR data for the district from the 2019-20 May said she found the dyslexia population identified in some of the scores for writing and reading tests that did not meet the state average. She questioned why the district started a new dyslexia program last year, asking directly if it was because there were students in the district that were no thriving under the old program.

“My insight, it was not the previous program that failed these students,” May said. “Rather, it was the lack of commitment to execute the program to the level required to gain success.”

In her previous addresses to the board, May encouraged the district to use the maximum time allowable for dyslexia services instead of the minimum and to keep dyslexia services classes to the smallest number of students each to allow for more personal instruction.

May was not the only

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Sidra Medicine highlights mental health services for children, young people and perinatal women

Sidra Medicine, has partnered with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in its national mental health and wellness campaign “Are you ok” to highlight the support services available for women, children and young people in Qatar.

Professor. Muhammed Waqar Azeem, the Chair of Psychiatry at Sidra Medicine said, “The pandemic has changed the landscape regarding the critical need for robust mental health support systems.  It is very assuring and speaks to the caliber of the healthcare services in Qatar, to see how the Ministry of Public Health and Sidra Medicine have rapidly mobilized to keep mental health on top of the country’s service agenda. At Sidra Medicine, we remain committed to supporting the people of Qatar, particularly children, young people and perinatal women in meeting their mental health care needs. In addition to world class mental health services, our Department of Psychiatry has started a number of educational and training programs and is also involved in various leading-edge mental health related research projects.”

Sidra Medicine, a QF entity, offers Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Adolescent Medicine and Perinatal Mental Health services in Qatar. The services are either referral based (in the case of children) or self-referral/ direct (perinatal mental health services).

Sidra Medicine’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is available for children ages five to eighteen (5-18) years and includes outpatient, inpatient, consultation liaison and emergency care.  The service can be accessed via referral from Primary Health Care Centers, private clinics, schools and other sources.

Dr. Ahsan Nazeer, Division Chief of CAHMS at Sidra Medicine said: “As part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen mental health support services, we have focused on patient care, education to build local human resources, research and building community models of care in Qatar.  The success of our program is based on the collaboration of patients, their relatives and our staff, who all work to help achieve patient goals to live their lives as fully possible. I am also proud of our team’s achieving accreditation for the world’s first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International (ACGMEI).”

“Our advice to parents dealing with children with anxiety, especially during this time, is to encourage their children to share their concerns and have frank and open discussions about their fears and concerns.  It is also important that children obtain accurate information from reliable sources.

We also encourage parents to focus on instilling a sense of hope and optimism in their children by role modelling appropriate positive behaviours,” continued Dr. Nazeer.

Dr. Alanoud Al Ansari, Division Chief of Adolescent Medicine whose clinic provides developmentally appropriate mental health and medical care for adolescents aged 12 to 18 years old, has seen a rise in anxiety in teenagers.

“Teenagers are manifesting their anxiety around loss of control and unpredictability through eating disorders, depression and cutting. Many of them have not been able to cope being back at school. Despite families being in lock down and opting to stay home during the

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