Madison, Wis—The Wisconsin Medical Journal (WMJ) has published a special issue on the impact of race and racism on health in Wisconsin. The issue, which features original research, editorial content and artwork from more than 60 Wisconsin health professionals, researchers, students and community members, was developed in response to last summer’s high-profile racial incidents and subsequent protests.
“Racism is a public health crisis, a fact that was amplified by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and, in Wisconsin, the shooting of Jacob Blake,” said WMJ Editor-in-Chief Sarina Schrager, MD, MS.
For example, Dr. Schrager points out that while nearly 9 percent of non-Hispanic white children in Wisconsin live in poverty, that rate is much higher among Black children (42%) and Latinx children (21%). In addition, Wisconsin has the highest Black infant mortality in the country.
“Health professionals in Wisconsin are committed to decreasing these disparities and to continuing to discuss and evaluate causes and potential solutions,” Dr. Schrager said. “The WMJ editorial team and publishing board recognize that health professionals in Wisconsin are interested in and working on issues of race and racial disparities, and this issue was developed as a forum to share and advance these efforts.”
A special advisory group comprised of physicians, epidemiologists, social workers, psychologists, and learners from the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW-Milwaukee was assembled to help recruit authors, review papers, and advise the editorial staff about topics to highlight in the issue.
Topics addressed include the effect of race on prenatal care, postpartum depression, vaccination rates, lead poisoning, incarceration and more, as well as educational efforts targeting some of these issues.
The issue also features renderings of paintings, photography, sculpture, print and graphic created by 10 artists in response to the issue’s theme.
Articles and artwork appear in WMJ, Volume 120, Supplement 1 (March 2021), published by The Medical College of Wisconsin and The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The entire issue is available at www.wmjonline.org.