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East Point, Morehouse School of Medicine partner to tackle racial health inequalities

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

Author: Joe Ripley

Published: 6:27 PM EST February 9, 2022

Updated: 6:27 PM EST February 9, 2022

EAST POINT, Ga. — Robyn Bussey has lived in East Point for 13 years, and while she likes the city, she thinks it could adapt better to recent growth and offer more amenities.

"People feel like they have to leave the city to access other services," Bussey said. "That can be an issue for people who don’t have adequate transportation or the flexibility to be able to go to the doctor on a lunch break. Houses are definitely becoming more expensive too. There’s a fear that people who have been there for a while have been displaced.”

Bussey said access to healthy food was also an issue, noting East Point only had one grocery store within city limits and a farmer's market with limited reach. A new partnership between Morehouse School of Medicine and the City of East Point is aiming to address these health inequalities.

Morehouse School of Medicine is one of six recipients nationwide getting up to $1.1 million in funding over a time period of up to three years. The school applied for the program last summer. Megan Douglas, a professor at the school, said the project will look at a number of social determinants of health disparities and work to change systemic laws that contribute to them.

“We have the opportunity through this project to look at the City of East Point's laws and ordinances related to housing, food access and land usage and environmental justice, and try to make changes to those policies or implement policies in a way that we can improve the health outcomes and reduce health inequities," Douglas said. "Black Georgians specifically have higher rates of chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, cancer rates. The social determinants of health like housing and having access to quality, affordable housing has effects on health."


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