by Jonathan Mulenga and Fatima Zavala
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed racial health disparities, specifically impacting African American and Latino communities. Coronavirus hit at disproportionate rates for communities of color. On May 9, 2021 the rate of cases for COVID-19, for instance, in white communities was 2,754 per 100,000, while Latino communities had a rate of 9,992 per 100,000 people. In King County, 62% of white communities are vaccinated while only 46% of the Latino population have been vaccinated. Latino Americans are four times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than their white counterparts. Though jarring, this is not surprising.
Continue reading OPINION: Communities Forgotten — Latinos During the Pandemic
by Ashley Archibald
If you ask her family, Kaloni Bolton, 12, was a bubbly, peaceful person who kept everybody upbeat and uplifted. She was tough, always had an opinion and a personality that balanced the family out.
Bolton died on Jan. 1 after suffering an asthma attack on Dec. 29. Her family alleges that Bolton received substandard care from Valley Medical Center (VMC), a nonprofit health care provider that oversees two urgent care facilities in Renton that Bolton and her sister visited before Bolton was transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“The entire system failed her, failed her family,” Lylia Nichols told a crowd of protesters on Saturday, May 8, outside of the first urgent care facility that Bolton accessed. “We hold Kaloni up because the system failed our whole community.”
Continue reading Black Nurses Matter March Highlights Need to Address Medical Racism
by Sally James
The State of Washington released a report on Feb. 10 showing that white people are getting a higher proportion of the limited amount of COVID-19 vaccines than other races and ethnicities in the state.
For Trang Tu, a community activist who cares for her elderly mother — who has dementia and needs 24-hour care — getting a vaccine presented numerous hurdles. Tu eventually got a last-minute tip from a mass vaccination site in Snohomish county, a long drive from her home south of Rainier Beach, and her mother is now vaccinated. “It’s not just limited supply of vaccines itself,” Tu said. “Access is not equal. It favors people who have time, an internet connection, transportation, and a certain language.”
Tu’s mother was able to overcome systemic barriers because, Tu says, “I have some privilege: I have a computer, I have a car, I can do advocacy.” Many other BIPOC people aren’t as fortunate.
Continue reading Community Health Centers Work to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Inequity
by Ben Adlin
A statewide partnership of public officials and private groups on Monday, Feb. 15, announced plans to put $30 million toward a new equity initiative intended to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates among Black, Brown, Indigeneous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and other groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“The goal on this initiative is to raise $15 million to match government dollars around vaccine outreach and education,” said Lilliane Ballesteros, executive director of the Latino Community Fund of Washington. “Now is the time to mobilize our collective resources quickly to those in need.”
Continue reading Statewide Pandemic Relief Fund Sets $30M Goal for Vaccine Equity
by Jasmine M. Pulido
On the afternoon of Thursday, January 28, two dozen doctors, nurses, and support staff walked out of Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center in protest of the announcement that the clinic’s white male executive director, Raleigh Watts, would be reinstated on February 1 after being on paid administrative leave since October 2020. Dating back to October 2020, Watts was under an ongoing internal investigation into allegations of microaggressions, workplace abuse, and preferential treatment based on race.
Continue reading Healthcare Workers at Carolyn Downs Protest Executive Director Reinstatement Despite Allegations of Racism
by Ronnie Estoque
Clea Patriarca Alverio-Hume, 57, served as the medical records director at Queen Anne Healthcare, a skilled nursing facility, and she also worked for Swedish Medical Center where she was the lead admission coordinating assistant at the Transfer and Operations Center.
On May 21, 2020, Alverio-Hume developed a harsh cough. Initially, it was attributed to her allergies due to the cottonwood trees that were shedding at the time. Her allergy medicines and inhalers were filled, but they didn’t seem to help much according to her husband, David Hume. Four days later, Alverio-Hume went to a clinic to get tested as she had a minor fever and was vomiting. Her cough had gotten severely worse.
“I ended up calling the paramedics that Tuesday evening because she was having difficulty breathing,” her husband said.
Continue reading Filipino Health Care Workers and Their Battle Against COVID-19