winter '08–spring '09 issue 11

winter '08–spring '09 issue 11


The nation's economy has taken a deep dive into a recession. It is becoming increasingly more vital to reevaluate every aspect of our lives. Afterall, what does your socioeconomic status offer? Can you afford a decent education? Can you afford to buy healthy, vitamin enriched food? Can you keep your electricity bill paid? Can you afford a healthcare plan? The last question normally draws a shudder. The dismal truth is that many citizens cannot financiallly invest in the future of their health. Yet, many citizens have never been able to managably pay for a healthcare plan. Trouble on Wallstreet will hopefully make us reevaluate our spending habits. However, the recession cannot take complete responsibility for the failures of the nation's healthcare system. In this issue of The Indypendent Reader, we take a closer look at public health. Now, more than ever, it is critical to ultimately focus our eyes on population heath. We look to productively analyze the social determinants of health in Baltimore City.

If you are reading this paper,chances are that you reside in Baltimore. This is your population group. Population health is chiefly concerned with the health of individual groups. To go further, population health studies the determinants of a group's health.What we must do is focus our attention on each determinant. What does this determinant mean considering the outcomes rendered to inequality in health across populations? For instance, Baltimore is home to a number of world-renowned medical institutions. Nevertheless, in the shadow of these mega-medical centers, an HIV/AIDS epidemic plagues Baltimore’s poorest communities. In order to define the systematic differences in population heath, we take a look at the absence of these institutions in the fight against HIV/AIDS here at home.

Health Care is a concern for all of us. For supporters of universal health care policy, the long uphill battle has often been plagued by politician supported reform policies that only maintain the nation's exclusory and privatized healthcare structure. Two of our articles explore the possibility of a nonexclusory, full-coverage, single payer healthcare system.While acquiring universal healthcare is doubtlessly at the forefront of the population health battle, there are still many other factors that make a healthy population. Afterall, what are we feeding our children at school? Baltimore is also a city deep in the throes of the influences and consequences of drugs. What does all of this mean? We, The Indypendent Reader, aim to explore all of these issues.

Take a look at our table of contents. It will lead you to your article of choice. Don't hesitate to read the issue from cover-to-cover. Cover-to-cover readings will fill you with excellent news articles, a cheeky cartoon, terrific images and particular pieces that, underneath all the statistics, assess the ethical basis for discussions on population health. Commuity leaders, activists, and journalists put their pens to paper (or rather their fingers to a keyboard) and give us the following discourses. Consider your health, turn the page....

--Nicholas Petr and Corey Reidy for the editors

cover: Teddy Johnson