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A roundup of year-end news stories related to health disparities, health care, health issues, direct service, social justice, animal welfare, environmentalism… basically, all things Schweitzer:

  • Change.org delivers a retrospective on homelessness in 2009, highlighting ten of the year’s “most notable” news stories on the subject (Change.org)
  • Affirming the need for approaches to health care that address social disparities, a new Columbia University study finds that “racial and ethnic disparities in cancer survival are greatest for cancers that can be detected early and treated successfully” (ScienceDaily)
  • A Philadelphia Inquirer columnist sounds a similarly urgent call to address health disparities, consulting 2009 Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism recipient (and former U.S. Surgeon General) Dr. David Satcher: “The fact of the matter is that some people live in communities where it’s not safe to walk out on the porch, let alone go jogging, whereas other people have walking trails and parks. We’re not equal when it comes to healthy lifestyles.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Noting that three-quarters of domestic violence victims say their partners have threatened or killed pets, “while between 18% and 48% of battered women delay leaving abusive situations out of fear for their pets’ safety,” a new foster program called CT SafePet provides temporary care for people fleeing domestic abuse. “I figured if I could get these services in place, it would help these women get out of their homes sooner and more safely,” the program’s founder says. (LA Times’ Unleashed Blog)
  • A study recently published in the American Journal of Public Health finds that “poverty appears to trump smoking, obesity and education as a health burden, potentially causing a loss of 8.2 years of perfect health” (Chicago Tribune)