Rx FOR THE Bx: Special Week-Long Series on Health and Healthcare Reform in the Bronx

WNYC presents

Rx FOR THE Bx

Special Week-Long Series on Health and Healthcare Reform in the Bronx

Monday, June 2 – Friday, June 6


“There’s this enormous population in the Bronx that’s just not connected to healthcare except through emergency rooms.”
– Dr. Bruce Soloway, Vice Chair, Family & Social Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine

“The main determinants of health in the community are not necessarily the hospitals; they are not things the hospitals can solve.”
–Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, President of The New York Academy of Medicine


(New York, NY—June 2, 2014)
The Bronx is the sickest county in New York State.  Despite business growth and economic development, the South Bronx remains the poorest congressional district in the country.  Because poverty and poor health go hand in hand, the borough stands out nationally for major healthcare challenges and health epidemics such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

In the latest display of WNYC’s growing commitment to in-depth reporting and community engagement on health issues, Rx FOR THE Bx will look at the many faces of healthcare reform in the Bronx. In this special week-long series, WNYC reporter Amanda Aronczyk examines the effectiveness of permanent supportive housing, Montefiore Medical Center’s efforts to save Medicare money, access to healthy foods and a high school that strives to turn future patients into future nurses. The series begins by establishing the historical context, looking back at the day in July 1970 when the Young Lords occupied Lincoln Hospital.

Rx FOR THE Bx will air on WNYC’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as at http://www.wnyc.org/rxforthebx/ from Monday, June 2 to Friday, June 6.

 

 

Rx FOR THE Bx SCHEDULE

 

Monday, June 2

THE REVOLUTIONARIES WHO RESCUED A HOSPITAL

In the 1960s Lincoln Hospital was notorious. Known as “the Butcher Shop,” it served 400,000 people in the South Bronx with just 346 beds and a shortage of everything from bandages to doctors. Children were known to get lead poisoning while hospitalized in the dilapidated wards. WNYC looks back at the dramatic day when the Young Lords, a group of Puerto Rican activists, took over the hospital and the events that lead up to it.

 

Tuesday, June 3

NEW BRONX HOSPITAL MODEL: YOU CALL US, WE’LL CALL YOU

Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx struck a deal with the government: if it can save Medicare money by better-managing its patients’ care – keeping them out of the hospital, keeping them healthier, longer – the hospital will receive a percentage of that savings back. WNYC takes a close look at Montefiore’s Pioneer Accountable Care Organization and the economic incentives that are driving changes in the way healthcare is delivered.

 

Wednesday, June 4

TAKE THIS APARTMENT AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING

Lissette Encarnacion once lived under a bridge beside the Gowanus Canal.  Today she lives at The Brook, a “permanent supportive housing” complex in the South Bronx that includes social workers, security, a doctor and even an event planner.  The goal of permanent supportive housing is to provide safe, secure housing for people who were once homeless, while also reducing the overall costs of expensive emergency room visits and other services utilized by people who are chronically homeless.  Advocates argue that “housing is healthcare” and that paying for new construction with state Medicaid dollars saves money.  WNYC explores whether financing housing initiatives with healthcare dollars makes sense.

 

Thursday, June 5

FOOD PARADOX IN THE BRONX

When it comes to nutrition in the Bronx, the numbers are bleak. Borough residents suffer from high rates of both obesity and diabetes, and the Bronx has an alarming number of overweight children.  Three  initiatives—the South Bronx Mobile Market, Shop Healthy and  the South Bronx Food Co-op—all have attempted  to bring healthy, affordable food to people who need it. WNYC examines the social, cultural and economic issues that make this a difficult goal.

 

Friday, June 6

WILL THESE NINTH GRADERS MAKE THE BRONX HEALTHIER?

Earlier this year, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio singled out HERO High in his State of the City speech. This new high school in the South Bronx offers students a chance to graduate in six years with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in nursing or community health.  Aronczyk speaks to students and faculty about a program that aims to turn potential patients into future nurses, in a neighborhood with some of the worst health outcomes in the state.

 

Bonus Video:  WENDY’S STORY

Bronx resident Wendy Fernandez is an unemployed woman living with severe diabetes as well as the medical repercussions from an injury at birth. Part of the “Lifelines” series, a collaboration between WNYC and the Bronx Documentary Center, “Wendy’s Story” is an intimate portrait of her daily struggles to stay healthy, despite expensive medications and the limitations of poor health.

 

 

Rx for the Bx is supported by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Public Understanding of Science, Technology and Economics Program

 

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