Study on health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis releases first policy brief

August 28, 2013 by Leslie Gibson Mccarthy, Washington University in St. Louis
Study on health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis releases first policy brief

The first of five policy briefs—the hallmark of an ongoing, multi-disciplinary study titled "For the Sake of All: A Report on the Health and Well-Being of African Americans in St. Louis"—has been released to coincide with the Aug. 28 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Titled "How Can We Save Lives—and Save Money—in St. Louis? Invest in Economic and Educational Opportunity," the brief focuses on the need for a to improve by focusing on education and economic opportunities for African Americans in St. Louis. The brief notes that educational and are closely related to but many do not think of them as linked.
Using local data and a formula derived from decades of studies on social factors and mortality, it estimates that one in six deaths among African-American adults in 2011 was due to poverty or low levels of education. The cost to the region of this loss of life is estimated at $3.3 billion.

"On a day when we stop to reflect on the great progress we have made as a nation since Dr. King first articulated his dream and the considerable work yet to be done, it seemed appropriate to add this information to the conversation here in St. Louis," said Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and lead researcher on the project.

"Access to is essential to improving the health and well-being of African Americans," the brief notes, "but the health sector cannot do it alone."

The report offers two concrete, evidence-based suggestions for improvement—and examples of what is already working—that were informed by engaging key stakeholders in the community:

  • Invest in quality early childhood development for all children.
  • Help low- to moderate-income families create .

The project team hopes that members of the community will use the opportunity of the brief's release to add their own perspectives through a commenting feature on the project website. They will use comments and input from additional community engagement efforts to craft the final set of recommendations to be included in a final report.

"For the Sake of All" is funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health and includes faculty from Washington University in St. Louis and from Saint Louis University. WUSTL's Institute for Public Health, the Brown School's Policy Forum, the The St. Louis American newspaper and the online news site St. Louis Beacon are partners as well.

"This is incredibly important work for this region," said Donald M. Suggs, DDS, publisher of The St. Louis American. "It is vital that this information about the relationship between health and key is in the hands of policymakers and members of the community so that we can work together to address lingering disparities."

The next brief, scheduled for release this fall, will center on high school dropouts and health. The project's entire research findings will culminate in a community conference in the spring of 2014, the year of the 60th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The project team of African-American scholars cuts across disciplines and institutions.

To read the first full brief, as well as learn more about "For the Sake of All," visit forthesakeofall.org/.

Explore further: Racial discrimination lessens benefits of higher socio-economic status (w/ Video)

Related Stories

Racial discrimination lessens benefits of higher socio-economic status (w/ Video)

June 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Racial discrimination could lessen the mental-health benefits usually associated with better socio-economic position for African-American men, finds a new study by Darrell L. Hudson, PhD, assistant professor ...

African-Americans express keen interest in medical research participation, study finds

April 3, 2013
In interviews with nearly 6,000 residents of five U.S. cities, African-Americans were more likely than other racial and ethnic groups to express an interest in participating in medical research, even if studies involved providing ...

Hospitals seek high-tech help for hand hygiene

June 28, 2013
(AP)—Hospitals have fretted for years over how to make sure doctors, nurses and staff keep their hands clean, but with only limited success. Now, some are turning to technology—buzzers, lights and tracking systems that ...

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.