Can Erie County office close the health equity gap?

By News Editorial Board

Read the full article from Buffalo News, here.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz plans to spend $300,000 in federal stimulus money to attack the racial disparity in health outcomes. It’s a good start. The challenge for Poloncarz: Ensure the spending actually narrows the gap.

In Erie County, African American children are more than twice as likely to die within a year after birth, according to the County Health Rankings report, and twice as likely to die before they turn 18. African American girls are 2 1/2 times more likely than whites to give birth in their late teens.

Underlying all of that is poverty. Nearly half of African American children in Erie County are living in poverty – five times the rate among white children.

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