Forum addresses healthcare gap

05/12/08 Jamie Kidder
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Last week in St. Petersburg, a community forum was held to discuss strategies for eliminating the healthcare gap between blacks and whites. Author and lawyer Vernellia Randall was the keynote speaker.

Randall is a law professor at the Dayton School of Law in Ohio and the author of Dying While Black, a book that examines the healthcare crisis among minorities in America. She spoke on Friday at a community forum at the James P. Sanderlin community center in St. Petersburg about what she calls the “healthcare gap,” a discrepancy between the overall health of blacks and whites in the United States.

Randall talked about issues that she feels are commonly misconstrued as causes for the healthcare gap, such as class or poverty.According to Randall, one of the primary factors contributing to the healthcare gap is the lingering stress that Black Americans have had to endure throughout history.

Randall also notes that oftentimes fresh vegetables and other foods that are part of a healthy diet are unavailable in minority communities.

According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention survey from 2004, the average lifespan of a Black American is 5.2 years less than that of White Americans.

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