Calling All Hinsons

"…that they should seek God…" Acts 17:26-27

Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

4 Comments

Health-Disparities-and-Social-Work

I sit on the old, fading couch at The Connection. It has been the place for people of all ages to come and take a rest. I sit, typing out a paper that is so taxing. Besides the looming deadline set by my professor, and the pressure I have placed on myself to make the perfect grade, the topic seems to weigh even more on my heart.

As I type away and delete, then type some more, I find myself wondering what the future holds. As I research articles on the library database, I feel tears welling in my eyes only to fall onto the keys and be brushed away. My heart feels so burdened that it physically hurts just a twinge. This is schoolwork, I tell myself. Get. It. Together.

But it’s not just schoolwork. I type to the beat of the dribbling basketball that I can hear through the thin, freezing windows. It would normally be distracting, but today it is driving home the point deep into my heart. The trash-talking and occasional profanity are slightly more distracting, but are hammering that point even deeper.

Basketball-Kid-2

For the capstone project for my master’s degree I have chosen to focus on health disparities in impoverished communities. Socioeconomic inequalities are significant contributors to health disparities in the United States. Evidence shows that vulnerable populations disproportionately experience health inconsistencies. We know this. What do we do about it?

Over three years ago when me and Grant were praying about where The Lord was leading us, we decided it would be time for me to apply to Family Nurse Practitioner programs. I always said if it was too much to handle in this new stage of life, school would be the first to go.

As I sit and type this there are only 77 more days left until I graduate.

77 days.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I didn’t do this on my own. God was my source of endurance, perseverance, and knowledge. He was my source of concentration when I would take tests while begging the kids to go back to their rooms for just a minute more. He was my source of energy when I went to clinicals in Columbia [over an hour away] and I had a 5 week old at home who woke every two hours at night. He was my source of remembrance when I had millions of other things on my mind but still needed to know what drug went with what disease process.

So as I sit here writing about a problem too big and too overwhelming, I am reminded that I serve a God that is bigger than any healthcare issue.

I am finishing up my coursework with clinicals at a local Free Clinic. A place where health care needs are met for free. A place where people who are struggling financially can come to receive quality care, despite what is in their pocketbooks. A place that meets the needs of those who are most needy.

{My preceptor had a homeless patient last week. Along with providing care for him, she also brought him blankets from home so he would be warm in the freezing temperatures.}

So what do I do with all this? My heart is torn as I write about some of the CDC facts:

  • Insurance coverage is strongly related to better health outcomes. Hispanics and blacks had substantially higher uninsured rates.
  • In 2006, the overall U.S. infant mortality rate was 6.68 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, with considerable disparities by race and Hispanic origin. The highest infant mortality rate was for black women with a rate 2.4 times that for white women.
  • A comparison of rates by race reveals that black women and men have much higher heart disease death rates in the 45–74 age group than women and men of any other race (CDC, 2011).

I can’t help but think that God gave me a passion for medicine and a heart for the indigent so that I could pair up what I love with what I do.

I want to pair up what I love with what I do.

stethoscope_adrianclark_flickr

So I sit still, letting all the facts and injustices soak in while I listen to the kids outside argue over a foul. I know them all by name. They all fit the statistics that are negatively affected. They are already set up for negative health outcomes simply because of their upbringing and the color of their skin.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

It’s not fair and it’s a big obstacle, but I want to make some kind of dent in the problem in my lifetime. The next step may bring us closer to bridging the gap of healthcare inequities in Countryside. In the meantime I will act justly, love people, and walk humbly with my God.

img_0348

 

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/chdir/2011/factsheet.pdf

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

  1. I love you girl and I am so proud of you and you amaze me more and more every time I here something new God is doing in your life!

  2. Amber,
    Your post really spoke to me tonight. In healthcare, we see the inequities all the time but nothing ever seems to change. Your passion is inspiring. Thanks for hearing and obeying Gods call.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s