“Public health indicators demonstrate very clearly what happens when we allow racism to persist. We lose people we love, jeopardize our livelihoods, and cut-short our promise for the future,” Candace Moore, Chicago’s chief equity officer, was quoted as saying in the news release. The American Public Health Association already has declared racism a public health crisis that needs immediate attention. Other institutions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, American Association of Pediatrics, and American College of Emergency Physicians also have recognized racism as an urgent threat to public health. “When one community is allowed to suffer, we are harmed as an entire city. As Chicagoans, when we declare racism a public health crisis, we must put action behind our words. We must make a collective commitment to act toward building systems of inclusion that reflect on our past, reclaim our present, and reimagine our future.”
“Without formally acknowledging this detrimental impact, we will never be able to move forward as a city and fully provide our communities with the resources they need to live happy and healthy lives.” “At almost every single point in our city’s history, racism has taken a devastating toll on the health and wellbeing of our residents of color — especially those who are Black,” Lightfoot said in news release issued by her office before the North Lawndale news conference.
In that news release, the mayor also highlighted life expectancy gap between Black and non-Black Chicagoans — 9.2 years, a difference which has increased in the past 10 years. She was joined there by Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health and other city and community leaders.
• Near South: Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation • North/Central: Swedish Covenant Hospital • Far South: Phalanx Family Services
The groups leading that effort will be: The city health department also announced it is allocating $9.6 million in COVID-19 relief funding from the CDC to set up “Healthy Chicago Equity Zones” to “develop targeted strategies to improve community and individual wellness.”
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- Racism is a public health crisis in Chicago, Lightfoot declares
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