By Jill Riepenhoff, Daniela Molina, Jamie Grey and Lee Zurik
In nearly every Appalachian and Delta community, residents die on average before their 78th birthday, which is the average life expectancy in the United States. Health care providers are working on innovative ways to combat the unique disparities in the regions.
Data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a disparity among minority groups getting the COVID vaccine in the U.S. They looked at the demographics for nearly 12.5 million Americans who got at least one dose between Dec. 14 and Jan. 14.
The Health Resources and Services Administration classifies geographic areas as medically underserved based on them having too few primary care doctors, a high infant mortality rate, high poverty or a high elderly population.
The Mississippi Delta and Appalachia both fare far worse than the national average in health indicators and outcomes. The project will explore why health disparities exist, with a focus on long term and sustainable solutions.