SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Public Health Institute of western Massachusetts released its 2019 Springfield Health Equity Report on Monday.
The report broke down health outcomes by race, and it found that people of color in Springfield were lagging behind compared to white residents.
“We do believe that the very beginning of our country with regards to slavery, and practices and policies that set up certain populations more so than others, we feel play out in health outcomes today,” explained Jessica Collins, the executive director of The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts.
The report found that although teen pregnancy has dropped significantly in the city, Latino teenagers are still six times more likely to become pregnant as compared to white teenagers. Latino and black residents are hospitalized for diabetes and asthma complications at much higher rates, according to the report.
But, there are ways that the public health institute of western Massachusetts is helping people in Springfield get healthier, no matter their race or economic situation.
“People have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables so the Mobile Market goes throughout the city and has fresh fruit and vegetables for people,” said Dr. Kathleen Szegda.
The Asthma Coalition is also working with Baystate Health to help people manage their asthma by improving air quality inside their homes.