Older African Americans Experience Discrimination From Healthcare Providers

By: Jennifer Magdalene

One in four older Black Americans have felt discriminated against by doctors and healthcare professionals who’ve either treated them unfairly or ignored their concerns, a new Commonwealth Fund report reveals. Moreover, people who’ve experienced healthcare-related discrimination are also more likely to be in poor health and/or experience financial difficulty. “The consequences of health care discrimination against older adults of color are serious”, said Michelle M. Doty, lead study author. “People are not getting the care they need, their concerns are being ignored, and their health is suffering as a result”.

Main findings

25% of Black adults aged 60+ say they’ve been treated unfairly or their health concerns were dismissed because of their racial or ethnic background. In comparison, just 3% of older white adults report feeling the same. Almost 50% of those who’ve experienced such discrimination say they’re in either fair or poor health — double the rate of those who haven’t experienced discrimination (75% of adults who’ve been discriminated against have three or more chronic conditions). Moreover, over 4 in 10 people who’ve experienced discrimination are either somewhat or not satisfied with the quality of their healthcare (around double the rate of those who didn’t report discrimination). 49% of Black women and 40% of Black men also believe the healthcare system discriminates based on race and ethnicity (more than any other demographic).

Racial disparities in oral health

Racial disparities also exist in oral health. Black Americans are more likely than whites to have untreated tooth decay, while older Black adults are also more likely to be unable to afford preventative oral healthcare. In turn, untreated tooth decay commonly leads to oral health issues like cavities or soft teeth. Soft teeth, in particular, are caused by weakened enamel and only usually affects a small number of people. A healthy low-sugar diet and regular teeth brushing is essential for preventing soft teeth and cavities.

Working to end discrimination

The report’s authors encourage healthcare organizations to act to eliminate widespread discrimination and improve health equity for all patients. “Biases against older people of color are experienced throughout the health care system, and they need to be intentionally rooted out. Health care organizations must be accountable for treating all patients equitably. Policies and practices can help ensure this accountability,” Zephyrin explains. In particular, the report recommends: promoting racial and ethnic diversity throughout the health system’s workforce, teaching medical students the history of racism in the healthcare system, and providing translation services and medical forms in multiple languages.

“As a society, we can work to end discrimination in the health system, first by recognizing discrimination and then actively working to dismantle it”, said Doty. To this end, the report also recommends actively identifying discrimination and publicly reporting discrimination data. “Older adults of color, particularly those with health concerns, have many interactions with health personnel. Allowing them opportunities to reflect on how they were treated and to report their experiences with discrimination are important steps”


October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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