An Indian woman, a Japanese woman, and a Syrian woman, all training to be doctors at Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia, 1880s. (Image courtesy Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives, Philadelphia, PA. Image #p0103) (x)
The Indian woman, Dr. Anandi Gopal Joshi, was the first Indian woman to earn a degree in Western medicine, and also believed to be the first Hindu woman to set foot on American soil.
The Japanese woman, Dr. Kei Okami, was the first Japanese woman to obtain a degree in Western Medicine.
The Syrian woman is Dr. Sabat Islambooly. Her name is spelled incorrectly on that photograph.
For those interested, here’s more information on other women of color who attended and graduated from Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia in the past, with a focus on the Japanese-American women they accepted during the US WW2 internment of Japanese-Americans.
Food Deserts Across America
A food desert is a low-income area that lacks access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and other foods that make up a heathy diet (limited or no access to supermarkets and grocery stores, sometimes coupled with limited to no transportation); instead, these areas are riddled with convenience stores and fast food restaurants.
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 required the USDA to study food deserts for one year. In the study’s findings, some key points were:
- About 2.3 million households (~2.2% of the population) live more than a mile from a supermarket and have no access to a vehicle. Another 3.4 million households live between 1/2-1 mile from a supermarket and have no access to a vehicle.
- Roughly 23.5 million people live in low-income areas that are more than 1 mile from a supermarket. However, only 11.5 million (4.1% of the population) of these people are low-income.
- Urban areas are more likely to suffer from limited food access due to racial segregation and income inequality. In rural areas, it’s because of a lack of transportation infrastructure.
- Shopping at small stores and convenience stores more likely to be found in food deserts is significantly more expensive than shopping at a large grocery store or supermarket.
- While some researchers and their studies point towards lack of availability to nutritious foods as the reason for a lack of intake (and instead relying on the convenience stores and fast food restaurants), other researchers/studies prove otherwise. Either way, more research is needed in this area.
The link between inequitable access to healthy, affordable food and chronic diseases is evident in every region of the country. Low-income and being African-American, Latino, or American Indian increases the likelihood of poor access to good food and the prevalence of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes. From deep in the heart of Texas to the center of Midwest farm country, to President Obama’s hometown of Chicago, healthy food is not easily accessible to millions of Americans and people are sicker as a result.
Access to healthy, affordable food is a major public health problem and should be considered as important as affordable healthcare.
While Alan Hunt, senior policy associate at the Wallace Center at Winrock International had this to say:
We thank the USDA for undertaking this thorough study. Much of it verifies what we already knew - that for millions of people in low-income communities, access to fresh and healthy food is limited.
Now it’s time for action. What is needed is a set of coordinated, community based activities across the country, including outreach to existing corner stores, incentives for locating new retail stores, public transportation improvements, farmers’ markets development, nutrition education, and other activities to improve food access.
Supporting successful programs that address inequitable food access - from the development of a network of farmers’ markets that serves the nearly 80,000 mostly low-income residents of Camden, New Jersey, to the remarkable work in Black Hawk County, Iowa, where local producers work together to make fresh, healthy and local food available to restaurants, retirement homes, and universities while generating millions of dollars of sales - is the beginning. Continuing efforts like these requires national support and leadership to ensure healthy food choices are accessible in all communities.
For enslaved and newly freed African Americans, attaining freedom and citizenship without health for themselves and their families would have been an empty victory. Even before emancipation, African Americans recognized that control of their bodies was a critical battleground in their struggle for autonomy, and they devised strategies to retain at least some of that control. In Doctoring Freedom, Gretchen Long tells the stories of African Americans who fought for access to both medical care and medical education, showing the important relationship between medical practice and political identity.
Working closely with antebellum medical journals, planters’ diaries, agricultural publications, letters from wounded African American soldiers, WPA narratives, and military and Freedmen’s Bureau reports, Long traces African Americans’ political acts to secure medical care: their organizing mutual-aid societies, their petitions to the federal government, and, as a last resort, their founding of their own medical schools, hospitals, and professional organizations. She also illuminates work of the earliest generation of black physicians, whose adult lives spanned both slavery and freedom. For African Americans, Long argues, claiming rights as both patients and practitioners was a political and highly charged act in both slavery and emancipation.
Sports authorities argue that screening for high T levels is needed to keep women’s athletics fair, reasoning that testosterone improves performance. Elite male athletes generally outperform women, and this difference has been attributed to men’s higher testosterone levels. Ergo, women with naturally high testosterone are thought to have an unfair advantage over other women.
But these assumptions do not match the science. A new study in Clinical Endocrinology fits with other emerging research on the relationship between natural testosterone and performance, especially in elite athletes, which shows that T levels can’t predict who will run faster, lift more weight or fight harder to win. The study, of a sample of 693 elite athletes, revealed a significant overlap in testosterone levels among men and women: 16.5 percent of the elite male athletes had testosterone in the so-called female range; nearly 14 percent of the women were above the “female” range.
More than 100 faculty members from across the University signed an open letter on Thursday urging University President Drew G. Faust and members of the Harvard Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, to divest the University’s endowment from fossil fuel companies.
Citing evidence of global climate change and its destructive potential, the letter reads, “Our sense of urgency in signing this Letter cannot be overstated.”
“Divestment is an act of ethical responsibility, a protest against current practices that cannot be altered as quickly or effectively by other means,” the faculty members wrote. It continues, “If the Corporation regards divestment as ‘political,’ then its continued investment is a similarly political act, one that finances present corporate activities and calculates profit from them.”
The letter, which gained more signatories as the day progressed, comes on the heels of a campus-wide email from Faust on Monday announcing that the University had signed on to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, a framework for investing with environmental, social, and governance issues in mind that also focuses on influencing the behavior of portfolio companies.
Despite offering a number of new climate change initiatives in addition to the PRI standards, Faust’s email reaffirmed the decision, first announced in Oct. 2013, that the University would not divest.
Thursday’s letter from members of the faculty takes aim at that stance, and in particular what those members call the University’s vague strategy of focusing on influencing corporate behavior rather than divesting.
A new CDC report finds significant progress in reducing teen pregnancy, but finds sexual education seriously lacking.
Sex education doesn’t start at 6th, 9th or 11th grade. Comprehensive sexuality education is a life long process. Teen are not being shielded from sexual messages from their peers, their media or society; so why shield them in schools? Age appropriate sex ed K-12 would ensure that 100% of teens get the information they need to make the best sexual decisions for THEMSELVES.
Sex Education in American Public Schools
this is genuinely terrifying
Why is there even an “education doesn’t have to be medically accurate” option?
This is why we have the highest std and teen pregnancy rates of any industrialized nation
We should be horrified
Last term, I confided in a professor that I was struggling with anxiety attacks and depression. She seemed understanding.
A few weeks after the class ended, I learned that she had brought the issue up at an informal departmental gathering, telling grad students and professors that anxiety is often an “excuse” used by students who want an easy ride.
The stress of growing up in a poor and unstable household affects children as young as 9 years old on a genetic level, shortening a portion of their chromosomes that scientists say is a key indicator of aging and illness, according to a study released Monday. The researchers say their findings are the first that document this type of genetic change among minority children, and make a strong case for the importance of early-childhood intervention in vulnerable communities.
Researchers examined the DNA of a small group of 9-year-old African-American boys who had experienced chronic stress as a result of growing up in families with poor socioeconomic status. They found that the boys’ telomeres were shorter than those of boys the same age and ethnicity who came from advantaged families.
a spring thaw in the north atlantic combined with winds, ocean currents and the coastal landscape result in intricate swirling sea ice pattens. though seemingly wispy, these white swirls are created as the icepack is ground up into finer flows of ice chunks a few metres across — large enough to make maritime navigation difficult.
the photos (click pics for sources and location) were captured by the m.o.d.i.s. instruments aboard nasa’s terra and aqua satellites, save third and eight pictures, which were taken by astronauts aboard the international space station.
as phil plait put it, “i am awed and moved when i see images like the one above. its beauty is transcendent, and was made possible by our curiosity, our desire to learn more about the world we live in — an urge so strong we invented science, and engineering, and then built satellites that can look back at us from space and show us how surpassingly beautiful our world is, and how we need to take care of it.”
the past several years have seen sea ice in the arctic below the 1979-2000 average, with this past september displaying the lowest volumes yet recorded. these photos speak to the effects of climate change, as warmer winter temperatures result in thinner ice, which creates more free drifting sea ice in the spring and summer.