Access to Health Care
Understanding and effectively addressing racial disparities in health care is important to the well-being of our society. Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the United States and is ranked the lowest in health outcomes. It also has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the U.S—the disparity between white and non-white babies is almost two-to-one. In addition, Mississippi has not adopted the Medicaid expansion offered by the federal health reform law. Given its myriad challenges, Mississippi provided an excellent setting for students to examine health disparities. Students enrolled in Professor Larry Singer’s Access to Health Care Seminar met over spring break with public health researchers, medical providers, health advocates, and government officials to learn about the state of health care in Mississippi, the impact that disparities have on the overall health status of state residents, impediments to change, and opportunities for improvement.