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COVID-19 In Underserved Communities Prompts Doctors To Tell Patients To Look For Racial Health Disparities

According to a WTVF report, a Nashville doctor is shining a light on the health disparities in underserved communities – and coronavirus is just the tip of the iceberg.

"COVID-19 is just one disparity," said Dr. Connie Graves, of Tennessee Maternal and Fetal Medicine. "There are health disparities in maternal health care, infant care, heart disease and diabetes. There are disparities in surgical care. It is across the board and a reflection of our health care system."

Dr. Graves urges her female patients, especially those of color, to ask questions and never settle. Patients, she says, should come prepared to their doctor visits with a list of questions and concerns, their medication, allergies and family history.

She also believes that more should be done at the federal level to recognize that racial health disparities exist.

"I think one of the places we could be better involved is on the insurance and federal level in terms of how women's health is delivered to patients. In this supporting example, in the state of Tennessee if you're pregnant you have insurance. Six to eight weeks after your pregnancy you have no insurance. If we identify patients who need long-term health care there is no way to get them long-term healthcare," she said.

Read more about how Medicaid expansion would help protect the groups most susceptible to the coronavirus, provide improved access to testing and treatment, and lead to better health outcomes for communities of color.

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