A Stable, Affordable Home is a Prescription for Good Health

Originally posted on Opportunity Starts at Home As a doctor, I know that a stable, affordable home is a prescription for good health. This was recently instilled by my work at the GROW Clinic at Boston Medical Center, which takes care of kids underweight for their age. One of my patients at age 2 was […]

,

These are the key actions that successful anti-hunger and health care partnerships all share

Over the past several years, Health care systems and individual providers have increasingly recognized their role in identifying and addressing their patients’ food security needs. Efforts to screen for food insecurity in health care settings and facilitate successful connections to anti-hunger organizations and emergency food providers have increasingly become squarely positioned within systems of health […]

The Case for Increasing the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit

Pause for a moment. Now picture yourself as part of a family of four. You have two young kids, you and your spouse work full-time jobs. You and your spouse work hard to provide for your children and have provided everything they need, ensuring they have a fulfilling childhood. Possibly a better childhood than your own. Up until now, you managed to get by, but rent has crept up and […]

New evidence sheds light on the impact of civil unrest on mothers’ daily routines and emotional well-being

On April 12, 2015, in Baltimore, Maryland, police officers arrested Freddie Gray, a 25 year-old African American man, who subsequently sustained neck and spinal injuries while in a police vehicle. His death led to protests across the city and erupted in civil unrest: fires, property destruction, and violence. A state of emergency was declared from […]

How we can help families move from hardship to health

One of the most remarkable things about pediatric medicine is the simple fact that most of the time, sick kids get better. I’ll admit – few things are as terrifying as being a new parent and having your toddler admitted to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit for an acute asthma attack. But it’s true, […]

Bring us your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free: Caring for children of immigrants

Recently, Alex, a 10 year-old boy in my pediatric practice, was in the office complaining of a stomachache. I asked the usual questions: When did it start? Did it happen at certain times or in response to particular foods? Were there any other gastrointestinal changes? What made it better or worse? Many questions later, I […]

Hidden Food Stress in the United States

A family sits around a table enjoying dinner. There is enough food tonight so that everyone in the household will go to bed well-fed, but the mother lies awake wondering how she will afford next week’s groceries. This experience of stress is hidden to those around her. She knows that her children need nutritious foods […]

What if… the United States decided to proactively alleviate food insecurity?

What if… the Unites States decided to proactively alleviate food insecurity? Finally, after years of sluggish, uncertain growth following the Great Recession, the United States economy appears to have surged in 2015. Two recently released annual reports from the USDA on household food security and the Census Bureau on income, poverty and health insurance tell […]

20 Years of TANF: Innovations Needed to Improve Health

Twenty years ago Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law an act to “end welfare as we know it”. This act replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the current program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), thereby converting the program to a block grant and implementing stringent work requirements and […]

What If… addressing food insecurity two generations at a time

For many of us, summer conjures images of time spent with family and friends, barbeques, and picnics in the park. Unfortunately, in nearly 20% of households with children under the age of 6, food is not something taken for granted. Food insecurity or the inability of households to afford enough food for all members is […]