Works begins on collapsed building
by Maria Thomson
Feb 21, 2017 | 450 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This past week has been like spring with temperatures as high as 60 degrees. Less than three weeks to Daylight Savings Time and four until spring, so take heart, we'll be lighter and warmer soon for good. Now that you can move around our Jamaica Avenue freely, please go shopping. We have "walkability," which is so important and convenient to those that do not drive. One items on the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and Woodhaven Business Improvement District wish list is the safe repair and reconstruction of the building at 79-18 Jamaica Avenue. The building collapsed more than two years ago, and the WBID wanted it demolished. An agreement was made with the owner that the building would be reconstructed within 18 months. If that agreement had been honored, it would have been completed in January of 2016. That was before a lenient uncaring judge let the demolished building languish without repair, ruining the Woodhaven Richmond Hill Ambulance Corps headquarters next door, which was also home to a senior center. This building still stands as Woodhaven's eyesore. The WBID has cleaned the graffiti off of the fencing and tried to keep it clean and well lit. Now we have noticed work proceeding on this building. The WBID will advise regarding this activity as soon as we are aware. Another problem is the proposed homeless drop-in center at 100-32 Atlantic Avenue. Community board chairman Raj Rampershad has advised that the lease on this property has been signed. This is a shame for he and others have worked so hard against this site. Don't forget to check on the deeds to your home periodically at beenverified.com. This is important to avoid theft of your homeowner deeds. The GWDC is still offering home improvement loans at 2.5 and 5 percent if you qualify. Please call our office for more information. May God bless our armed forces, may God bless our leaders, may God bless our disabled veterans, may God bless our NYPD and police officers everywhere, and may God bless our America.
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Racial bias puts patients at risk
by Brookshield Laurent
Feb 21, 2017 | 91 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Racial Bias Puts Patients at Risk Do blacks have less sensitive nerve endings than whites? It's an outrageously racist question. Yet in a recent survey, 14 percent of white second-year medical students answered yes. In that same survey, about 40 percent of white first- and second-year medical students expressed the belief that black patients have thicker skin than their white counterparts. These findings point to an awful reality: Racial biases and misconceptions remain rampant in our health care system, and medical schools aren't doing enough to address the issue. The prejudice in our health care system is hazardous. Addressing this hazard needs to start with medical educators. Implicit bias - the unconscious negative evaluation of a particular group - can affect medical judgment. Consider a 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association study, which found that black and Latino patients admitted to an emergency room with bone fractures or kidney stones are less likely to receive the recommended levels of painkillers relative to the average white patient. Research from Harvard Medical School professor Joseph Betancourt shows that blacks are less likely than whites to receive kidney transplants. And compared to the general male population, African-American men with prostate cancer are less likely to receive chemotherapy and radiation. America's health care system provides a far different standard of care to minority patients, oftentimes for no discernible reason other than skin color. This form of prejudice isn't just unfair; it's potentially life-threatening. Since many of these attitudes are established long before physicians begin their careers, medical schools have a significant role to play in addressing the problem. The first step is to help students recognize their biases early. Several medical schools are already making progress. First-year medical students at University of California in San Francisco, for instance, participate in a workshop that begins with an implicit bias test to gauge attitudes about various identity groups. Students at my own institution, the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, engage in a variety of simulated interactions with patients of different races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and sexual orientations. Based on these scenarios, students investigate how their unconscious biases affect their behavior. Simulations and classwork can only do so much to change attitudes, of course. Medical schools need to provide students with frequent opportunities to engage with patients of different backgrounds. NYIT's medical students, for instance, participate in a free, monthly clinic in Central Islip, a low-income town on Long Island with a large minority population. Medical educators must also eliminate teaching materials that reinforce implicit biases. Such materials are remarkably common. In fact, a report published earlier this year in Academic Medicine found that, in many medical school lectures, race is routinely discussed as a straightforward medical risk factor for certain conditions, not as a complex social concept. Such a biological view of race not only bolsters destructive prejudices, it obscures the many ways in which social forces and biases can dramatically affect the health of minority patients. What's most important is that medical schools aggressively pursue new strategies for combating implicit bias, and share their lessons with the larger healthcare community. Without a substantial effort to produce culturally competent, impartial medical practitioners, the lives of minority Americans will remain at risk. Brookshield Laurent is vice chair of the Department of Clinical Specialties at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine.
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Low-income tenats get the help they need
by Chris Widelo
Feb 21, 2017 | 91 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Low-income tenants will get lawyers in housing court to help them fight unfair evictions under an agreement Mayor Bill de Blasio has reached with the City Council. This is a huge win for the city’s renters. AARP New York is proud to have fought for this fair and fiscally sensible policy. As part of the Right to Counsel Coalition, we fought for this issue because we know that preventing illegal evictions will help our members and all New Yorkers. The cards have been stacked against tenants, many of whom have lived in danger of eviction, because while 90 percent of landlords have legal representation in housing court, only 30 percent of tenants do. The Right to Counsel Coalition estimated that half of all evictions in New York City could be prevented with the help of a lawyer. The mayor and City Council must still finalize the details of legislation, but when the Right to Counsel law is enacted, it will level the playing field for tenants in housing court, creating a fairer New York and saving millions in taxpayer dollars in the process by keeping people out of the expensive shelter system. Chris Widelo is associate state director for AARP New York.
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