How Redlining, Racism Harm Black Americans' Health

Jun 24, 2020

Systemic racism has a huge impact on the health of Black Americans, and not just in the doctor’s office. In a Facebook Live event, Side Effects Public Media reporter Darian Benson spoke with three experts on topics ranging from generational mistrust to the impact of COVID-19. 

a graph showing decrease in daily coronavirus cases

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, June 24:

Tim Evanson / Wikimedia Commons

High school sports are resuming activities for the first time since March, when seasons were canceled amid the pandemic. But the Senate Athletic League for Cleveland schools has been slow to get students back on the field. 

Sports commentator Terry Pluto says school sports are about much more than competition.

a photo of Charles Modlin with a patient

By the end of this month, a group working to address the disproportionate affect COVID-19 has had on African-Americans in Ohio is expected to issue its final recommendations.

The Minority Health Strike Force was appointed by Governor Mike DeWine in April. Some have criticized how long it’s taken for these recommendations to come to fruition.

But one member of the group says it’s been taking its time to refine recommendations that are actionable. Dr. Charles Modlin is a surgeon and urologist at Cleveland Clinic who heads the Clinic’s Minority Men’s Health Center. He chairs the education and outreach subcommittee of the strike force. 

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says it is imperative for the state to ward off a spike of COVID-19 as the economy begins to reopen, one way of accomplishing that, according to DeWine, is to increase coronavirus testing.

Cleveland State University (CSU) will offer approximately 1,300 classes to students this fall, with more than 50 percent of them being taught in-person at the Downtown campus.

Classes taught on campus will be limited to 30 students and some will be moved to bigger areas to accommodate social distancing. Remaining classes will be taught online.

CSU President Harlan Sands called it an “aggressive” re-opening plan.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America, one of the leading organizations in the U.S. for infectious disease management, released new guidelines for COVID-19 treatment and drugs being tested to treat the coronavirus.

Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Adarsh Bhimraj, who led the panel that issued the revisions, said there is moderate evidence remdesivir, an antiviral medication, may be an effective treatment.

A photo of Cleveland Clinic in Strongsville.

The coronavirus crisis has upended much of the economy, including the health care system.

Local hospitals saw a double financial hit from both the expense of ramping up the response along with the loss of revenue from elective surgery and other cancellations.

Thomas Campanella teaches the business of health care at Baldwin Wallace University.

A bill that would have allowed an extension of benefits to unemployed Ohioans who are at risk or have medical conditions that could be deadly if they contract COVID-19 has been in the works at the Statehouse. But the sponsor of that legislation says it is not necessary now that Gov. Mike DeWine has issued an executive order.

photo of Lordstown Motors

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 23:

Yellow Springs is the first community in Ohio to require people to wear facemasks in public during the pandemic.

On Friday morning, Village Councilman Brian Housh was walking through downtown Yellow Springs, wearing a mask and putting up signs asking others to do the same.

“Our residents have made it really clear that they wanted more action taken,” Housh said. “And in light of spikes [in coronavirus cases] in Greene County and Montgomery County, this is something that’s not going away.”

Salvation Army Logo
Salvation Army Summit County

The Salvation Army in Summit County has set up a fund to help families avoid losing their homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s setting aside a pool of $50,000 to draw on to cover a monthly mortgage payment.

Spokesman Major Steven Stoops says while there are federal programs to provide rent assistance, there’s nothing comparable to help with mortgages.

“There wasn’t anything for that home owner that is lower-middle class or just struggling, but loving that they have their own home," Stoops said. 

The fund that the state uses to pay jobless benefits is now broke – which was predicted even before the pandemic. And now state leaders are struggling with how to pay back the money being borrowed to keep those unemployment checks coming.

Most schools say they plan to restart learning in two months but a coalition of school administrators and teachers from the state's largest city school districts say they're waiting on a slew of decisions from Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Education ranging from funding to operations.

Summertime is prime time for amusement parks, zoos and other venues. But the months of shutdown and the limits on operations – plus safety concerns from consumers – are all having a big impact on communities that rely on tourism dollars.

a photo of Na'kia Crawford.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, June 22:

The FDA has revoked permission for hydroxychloroquine to be used as a treatment for COVID-19, after the drug had been publicly touted by President Donald Trump. That leaves the state of Ohio with a stockpile of the drug amounting to millions of pills.


Testing for coronavirus has become widespread in Ohio with pop-up stations and drive-through sampling sites.

Those labs use a nasal swab to test for an active case of COVID-19.

Another type of test is also becoming available.

It uses a blood sample to see if you may have already had the disease.

A Cleveland Clinic researcher says this antibody test is not something we should put much faith in.

The Ohio Senate is being asked to consider a bill passed along party lines in the House that requires new reporting standards for COVID19. 

a photo of Mike DeWine

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, June 19:

Changes in daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted people’s sleep routines, experts say. Dr. Carolyn Ievers-Landis, a clinical pediatric psychologist at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, said irregular sleep schedules can negatively affect health.

“People are having more delayed sleep,” she said. “Most people are able to sleep in a little bit later, and naturally, many people’s sleep is now later, which means they’re staying up later also.”

If your allergies are worse this season, you might blame it on the coronavirus pandemic.

University Hospitals allergist Dr. Sam Friedlander said it’s possible that allergies are worse now because people stayed home all spring to avoid the virus.

Friedlander said when people have new exposures to allergies, they have a dramatic increase in symptoms.

That means less time outside during the spring while people stayed home could have an impact.

A photo of Caitlyn Lenhoff, a masters student in computer science at Kent State University, demonstrating how to use the team's helmet based augmented reality system.

A team of Kent State University students is working on an idea that could become part of NASA’s future missions to the moon and Mars.

Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health Lance Himes has issued a new order allowing for the reopening of county fairs, with exceptions to protect the health of participants. The order is effective immediately and will remain in place until 11:59 on October 21, 2020. 

Reports of child abuse in Ohio are down dramatically, but those working in the field say they’re concerned that the real incidents of child abuse are actually on the rise. Advocates are preparing for a surge of new reports that could come from child care providers, camps and eventually schools as those facilities all open up.