Tuesday, October 18, 2011

and the one in the middle drives a..... bus?

So I thought I would play the tree falling in the forest and ask the questions I would pose to the candidates for Allegheny County Executive. Not that I expect these questions to be asked, nor any reply given... but we will fire them off into the ether. It's not that there aren't enough forums where the public can hear from each of the two major candidates.  I hear that at one county executive forum in the Hill District only ONE person showed up to watch. That is a sad commentary unto itself, but far worse when you look at what we have been in the news for lately. 

Maybe we will make this a series, so we will call this question #1:

Last Sunday, the New York Times reported from Pittsburgh on the disparity in infant mortality locally:
In Pittsburgh, where the unemployment rate is well below the national average, the infant mortality rate for black residents of Allegheny County was 20.7 in 2009, a slight decrease from 21 in 2000 but still worse than the rates in China or Mexico. In the same period the rate among whites in the county decreased to 4 from 5.6 — well below the national average, according to state statistics.
Further it reported that:
While Pittsburgh’s struggles are illustrative of problems in other cities, it also faces its own particular issues, including the county’s privatization of many of its health care services over the years.
The question for each of the candidates is:

What is the county's role in addressing the disparity in infant mortality here in Allegheny County and what, if anything, will change in your administration with regards to the role of the Allegheny County Health Department?


Anonymous BrianTH said...

Great question. In general, there are lots of questions related to income disparity and outcomes that I would love to see addressed by our local officials (not that I am holding my breath either).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 1:00:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Seems strange that we are so high in the rate of insurance for kids and so low on this.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 1:15:00 PM  
Anonymous MN said...

Chris, Maybe you should take a look at the health insurance data by race? Anyways, I once heard a theory that infant mortality rates are high among African-Americans because there is a lack of cribs and many infants sleep in their parents' beds. Not sure if there's any truth to that, but if true, the solution may be as simple as providing cribs to those who cannot afford them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 4:06:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

The problem is that no one knows the cause of the problem. From the post, I am also assuming that other possible factors like drug use, physical abuse, and teenage pregnancy rates have also been discounted.

If that is the case the only logical answer would be to support more research until a cause is found. Partner up with local universities, medical centers, and government agencies to do more research until a cause is found then attack it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many factors contribute to the disparity:

CDC fact sheet on disparities in infant mortality

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some other good (more recent) info from the City of Milwaukee, of all places: Infant Mortality

That page shows up 6th on Google when searching on "disparities in infant mortality rates." When one adds "Pittsburgh" to the search, this post on Nullspace shows up 4th.

Some other info: study done by Carson in Pitt History department

Allegheny County Health Department info on safe sleep practices.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or this question: why are middle class black families leaving the City for the burbs at a higher rate than any other group?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 8:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a recent book out on Google that asserts that Google search result vary from user to user, returning results that it thinks will be of most interest to a specific user. So if you're Chris Briem from Null Space looking for information about infant mortality in Pittsburgh, hits with a Null Space element are going to show up higher in your search results. At least that's what I've heard.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:09:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I don't presume to out-guess others as to what the Google collective is using for search algorithms... which I am sure change faster than any book gets written on it. but I am sure they have a geography weighting to it.

Though some metrics I've seen on the site say that NS is at least within the top 20 for searches of "Cliff Stoudt".

and I bet I do well on searches for B.K.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:35:00 AM  
Anonymous woodstock insurance said...

This is a good common sense Blog. Very helpful to one who is just finding the resources about this part. It will certainly help educate me.

Monday, November 14, 2011 1:55:00 AM  

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