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Tackling Health Disparities in Connecticut

PHOTO: Heang Tan is project director and editor for the website Health Justice CT, sponsor of a Wed. night forum in New Haven about improving the health of Connecticut's lower-income populations. Photo courtesy Health Justice CT.
PHOTO: Heang Tan is project director and editor for the website Health Justice CT, sponsor of a Wed. night forum in New Haven about improving the health of Connecticut's lower-income populations. Photo courtesy Health Justice CT.
December 4, 2013

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - People at a forum in New Haven tonight will explore both access to health care and the underlying issues that still get in the way of some low-income Connecticut residents achieving better health.

Societal problems - from gun violence to poor neighborhood air quality and lack of access to nutritious food - all must be taken into account, said Heang Tan, project director and editor of the Health Justice CT website, which is sponsoring the forum.

"We see a lot of Medicaid patients with insurance, but the outcomes are still kind of poor, and there's a lot of issues related to that," she said. "That's what the debate is going to be about on Wednesday."

While some health experts focus on access to care and others focus on the underlying causes of poor health, she said, solutions for both will be needed.

Tan said Connecticut residents of color continue to suffer higher rates of disease than whites.

"Health equity means that regardless of race, ethnicity, economic status, education - everyone has an equal and fair opportunity to be healthy," she said.

Both access and equity will play critical roles in improving health care in the state, she said.

The forum is to begin at 5:30 p.m. at The Grove, 760 Chapel St., New Haven.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT