April is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as National Minority Health Month, an observance that builds awareness about health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minorities including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). In this month’s blog the Weitzman Policy Team highlights four current issues that are impacting minority health and health policy.

Community violence is strongly associated with adverse health outcomes, and recent studies highlight (1) the association between gun violence exposure and increased suicidality among Black Americans; (2) the association between police killings and insufficient sleep among Black Americans, and (3) the increased risk of dying by homicide for Black vs. white women. In this blog, we examine these studies, explore relevant issues, and examine policy solutions for future improvements.

Each February, nationwide awareness about teen dating violence is commemorated through Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). With this in mind, this month’s blog highlights the importance of increasing healthy relationship education and interventions in countering the growing influence of online misogyny and the role schools and school-based health centers (SBHCs) can play in promoting healthy relationships among adolescents.

Although January is the start of a new year, expenses during the holiday season, coupled with lower temperatures and increased utility bills, place additional stress on families. January is also Poverty Awareness Month, a month-long initiative to raise awareness and call attention to the growth of poverty in America. For this blog, the policy team wants to highlight how poverty impacts at-risk communities and make policy recommendations that can help alleviate financial stress to them.

World AIDS Day is recognized each year on December 1st as a way to remember the millions of lives lost to the disease and continue to raise awareness. This year’s theme emphasis of remembering and committing resonates differently when we consider the proposed funding cuts to domestic HIV funding.  In this blog, we highlight important reasons as to why we advocate for advancing health equity and ending disparities experienced by people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the United States (U.S.).

The Policy team was invited by AcademyHealth to write a blog in honor of National Homeless Youth Awareness month. This blog explores youth homelessness and mental health, funding to address youth homelessness and next steps to further address this issue.

The Policy team is delighted to have a guest feature for this month’s blog. Our colleague, Lynsey Grzejszczak, MHA, discusses the shortage of ADHD medication and how it has affected her day-to-day life as well as coping strategies and policy solutions to address this issue.

This month, the Weitzman Institute policy team provides a follow-up to last year’s policy brief: Addressing Food Insecurity in School-Based Settings: Keeping Youth Fed as Costs Rise. In this blog, we highlight states that have passed universal free school meal policies, its benefits, and challenges/lessons learned while implementing universal free school meals in schools.

This summer, the Weitzman Institute was pleased to welcome our inaugural cohort of Health Policy Summer Interns. As part of their internship, our interns had the opportunity to write a blog highlighting a health policy topic that aligned with their interests and is relevant to the challenges underserved communities face in our healthcare system. Read our 2023 Summer Intern Blog Series each Tuesday throughout August.

 In observance of National Minority Mental Health Awareness month, the Weitzman Institute policy team highlights the intersection of climate change, specifically extreme heat, and its adverse effect on minority mental health.

With the growing number of LGBTQ youth in the U.S, it is vital that school-based health centers (SBHCs) are equipped to appropriately care for them and support positive short and long-term health, educational, and social outcomes. This blog discusses the unique needs of LGBTQ youth and why SBHC staff and providers should create inclusive and positive environments to provide high-quality and culturally appropriate care to all who enter their doors.

For Mental Health Awareness Month, we highlight the need for mental health support after a mass shooting. With mass shootings becoming more frequent and knowing their traumatic impact on families and communities, immediate and sustainable, long-term mental health support must be ensured for families and communities.

Experts agree that climate change is the defining issue of our generation, with education holding the key to addressing it. For Earth Day, we would like to highlight the importance of incorporating climate change education into school curriculums.

Sixty years ago, the Women’s Health Movement (WHM) began, leading to significant policy and cultural changes in healthcare, biomedicine, and research. This Women’s History Month, we want to highlight the key milestones of the WHM and discuss how it was key to moving us closer to gender equality in the health and biomedical research fields.

This Black History Month, we are highlighting the midwives of the Deep South who were instrumental in Black maternal health and recognizing their role in today’s current efforts for birth equity. 

Numerous studies have established a connection between cancer populations and the increased likelihood to experience mental health disorders and symptoms. This blog post discusses why primary healthcare settings, including FQHCs, should implement and screen cancer and cancer remission patients to identify those who are experiencing negative mental health impacts from their cancer experience.

The United States’ departure from Afghanistan in August 2021 resulted in over 76,000 Afghan nationals coming into the country, including to Connecticut. Federally Qualified Health Centers like the Community Health Center, Inc. (CHCI) have a longstanding history of working with underserved populations, and thus, are uniquely positioned to address the health and social needs of refugees. This blog post describes CHCI’s implementation of a Saturday health clinic that launched in November 2021 for refugees in New Britain, Connecticut.

In observance of National Minority Mental Health Awareness month, the Weitzman Institute policy team highlights the intersection of climate change, specifically extreme heat, and its adverse effect on minority mental health.