Minority Health Care
In this health video learn about some special people who are helping minority women overcome huge hurdles and get the care they need.
Female Speaker: America, a true melting pot. Researchers estimate nearly 30% of people living in the United States are considered an ethnic or racial minority. Often, it's low-income minorities who face barriers to proper healthcare. Twenty-one year old Antonia Gonzalez moved to America from Mexico less than a year ago.
Antonia Gonzalez: It is very difficult because I come here from a place where I know everything and I know how to do things. But I come here and I have to depend on someone to do almost everything.
Female Speaker: That's where a woman's place comes in. Jamie Babbits is the Director of this division of St. Mary's Hospital located in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Jamie Babbitts: I think there is always a need for outreach, education, access, and support for women and families, especially those that are not a cultured that has been here for a while and understand how our healthcare system works.
Female Speaker: Part of that understanding includes the idea of preventive care. Antonia was recently married and interested in starting a family.
Antonia Gonzalez: I found a brochure about A Woman's Place. They were offering reproductive cancer screening free for low-income women. So I called Carol and I made an appointment with her.
Female Speaker: Carol Ponce helps Spanish-speaking patients get information on healthcare and social services available to them. She arranged for Antonia to have her first ever Pap test. After getting a clean bill of health she got worried that she is two months pregnant.
Female Speaker: Many communities have resources similar to those of a woman's place stocked with books, pamphlets and videos on various medical and everyday life topics. Hispanic women are twice as likely as white women to be uninsured.
Jamie Babbitts: The idea of paying upfront for something, so that they can have services done later just, you know is something that doesn't make sense, at first for people.
Female Speaker: Antonia says she is grateful for all of the help she has received from a woman's place. She's learning a lot about her pregnancy, making new friends and adjusting to her community. With motherhood looming, Antonia has a lot to smile about.
Antonia Gonzalez: What I'm looking forward to in the future is to have a good labor and delivery and to have a healthy child. Then I want to learn English and have a job to be able to help my family.
Female Speaker: Atlanta, Georgia, it's a large city known for its diverse population. Navigating the streets by car can be a challenge, but for Shannon Starr getting around presents a whole different problem.
Shannon Starr: I don't have a car, so I have to take public transportation ways I have to actually be on their schedule.
Female Speaker: Moving around is difficult in general, right now because Shannon's in the final weeks of her pregnancy. But because she has diabetes, her pregnancy is considered high-risk and she has to see her doctor more often than other women.
Shannon Starr: The normal pregnancies, which I think around like last six to eight weeks, you go every week, but for me, from start to finish, I have to go every week.
Dr. Michael Lindsay: She's forcing me to set 36 weeks.
Female Speaker: Shannon's doctor is Michael Lindsay, a professor of maternal fetal medicine at Emory University. At Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, he sees high-risk patients on a regular basis. Diabetics, such as Shannon have to monitor their blood sugar level even more carefully when they're pregnant. Diabetes can lead to overly large babies, birth defects and pre-term delivery.
Dr. Michael Lindsay: One of the risk is that these babies lungs are not developed, so even if they're born at the appropriate time, they're at high risk of having lung disease.
Female Speaker: For Shannon, being African American increases her risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Minority populations, regardless of income, may be two or three times more likely to deliver their babies early.
Dr. Michael Lindsay: If you deliver pre-term, then the baby is at risk of having certain complications. In fact, they're at risk of potentially dying after their delivery.
Female Speaker: Ready access to prenatal care and Medicaid has helped Shannon cope with pre-term labor. She's a model patient now, but it hasn't always been that way. She got pregnant with her first son when she was just 14 years old.
Shannon Starr: I think I was almost four months, before I started getting prenatal care because I was scared. I didn't know what to say, how to tell.
Dr. Michael Lindsay: Sometimes you wonder what you're saying is registering to the patient, but she's a good example as you get a chance to see them as they mature.
Female Speaker: Shannon has grown to be a responsible 24-year-old. She is living with her husband and three children in the McDaniel Glenn apartments, a government housing area in Southeast Atlanta. If you ask her, she'll tell you it's not an ideal situation. There's paint peeling off the walls. The neighborhood kids are rowdy, but for the time being, its home.
Shannon Starr: I'm planning to get out of here. Now I have to find me a house somewhere where my kids will have a yard, a fence staying yard where they can play and run and they are able to leave their stuff in the yard and when they come back out, it's still there.
Female Speaker: For now, Shannon has had a lot of time to reflect. Thanks to the hospital visits for her pre-term labor. From the stark walls of this room, she's formulated a plan for her life, after her baby is born and healthy.
Shannon Starr: First of all, I want to get finish school and get my GED and is either a surgical technician or either physical therapist. When she come I'll be happy, my kids they're looking forward to it. Everybody's looking forward to it.
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