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Episode 258 - Dr. Sandra Lane: Community Health and Community Violence: The Relationship and Impacts

Monday, February 25, 2019, 9:35:46 AM

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In this episode, our guest Dr. Sandra Lane employs an anthropologist’s eye to the intersection of community health and community violence. Weaving a path of research, professional and personal experience, and a keen appreciation for the dynamic relationships among populations and environments, Dr. Lane connects the dots to a thorough application of an ecological perspective to address health, mental health, and economic problems. Specifically, Dr. Lane addresses issues of infant mortality, reproductive health, gun violence, street addiction, and describes the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on the biological, neurological, and educational functioning of affected community residents.

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Average Rating: 4stars  exceptional research, Monday, February 17, 2020

By Barbara Deitz :

This podcast reveals profound connections between mental health and trauma effects among families and individuals residing in high-gunshot neighborhoods in Syracuse, NY. The interview can also be mined for career information regarding the process by which an academic (in this case a medical anthropologist and MPH) transitioned from working overseas with the World Health Organization to administering the Head Start program for Onondaga County, NY. Continuing her research at the Upstate Medical Center with Robert Keefe from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, Lane bridged her early work on infant mortality into the new field of social determinants of mental health.
The bridge to this process came into being when results of research into infant health revealed that one of the key determinants of child mortality during the second to 12th months of life was the father's involvement in the child's life. Involvement was measured by the a father's signing/failure to sign a Declaration of Paternity postpartum. Lane discovered that incarceration was the top reason why these fathers were unable to sign Declarations of Paternity, and this was associated with a quadrupled rate of first year infant mortality when compared to involved fathers. Lane went on to study the effects on young mothers of general mortality rates among African-American families in nearby Rochester, NY and the social effects across the lifespan for individuals and families living in high gunshot areas in Syracuse. Among many aspects of the research that bear replication is Lane’s process of working with informants from the community as partners. Two of these partners helped develop further hypotheses that helped to pinpoint research questions, and they suggested interventions to address the results of the research.

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Average Rating: 5stars  community health and violence, Monday, February 03, 2020

By Kofi :

Dr. Sandra listed a number of issues in communities affected by increased violence, infant mortality and an unfair criminal justice system that favors one group over the other. It is evident that African Americans continue to suffer from systematic racism which may be the cause of their social exclusion in America. Poor health, unemployment, mass incarceration of blacks leads to community disengagement. It is therefore not surprising that infant mortality is higher among these groups. While stopping the flow of guns into communities as suggested by Dr. Sandra will undoubtedly reduce violence, eliminating violence will entail more than restricting gun accessibility; It may require drastic changes in the criminal justice system
It is also true that leaving in a violent neighborhood can affect a person’s mental health due to the level of post-traumatic stress disorder related to repeated exposure to crime. One thing that I believe contributes to unstable mental health within the African American population is racism. Racism has everything to do with the challenges African Americans are facing in health, socioeconomic status, and single-parenthood. We cannot address community and community violence without confronting racism.

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