PSR-LA Co-Convenes the First South Los Angeles Health & Human Rights Conference
There is a fundamental crisis of health and human rights in south Los Angeles. South L.A. has the poorest health outcomes and indicators in the County of Los Angeles‚ mirroring the health status in some developing nations. Homelessness, slum housing, violence, food disparity and lack of resources reflect the underlying epidemic in the social determinants of poor health.
South Los Angeles, formerly known as South Central Los Angeles, encompasses nearly 100 square miles. It includes the communities located south of the Santa Monica Freeway, east of LA Brea, and north of the Century Freeway. With more than one million residents, South Los Angeles is home to many historic neighborhoods, including Leimert Park, the Crenshaw District, Morningside Park, West Adams, Watts, Willowbrook, Compton, Baldwin Hills, Inglewood and Lynwood.
While data fail to fully convey the health and human rights situation in south Los Angeles, the following statistics help illustrate the degree of inequity and burden of disease in the community.
In South Los Angeles:
- There are only 11 pediatricians per 100,000 children, less than one fifth the LA County average. This contrasts with 190 /100,000 in West Los Angeles;
- 30% of adults are uninsured
- 37% of households are overcrowded
- 64% of schools lack adequate staff, resources and do not provide a clean, safe and functional learning environment
- 91% of homeless residents are unsheltered
- Homicide is the leading cause of premature death; 40% of LA County homicides occur in South LA
- Five South LA emergency rooms have closed since 2000. Only one full-scale ER/trauma center remains to serve over one million residents in a nearly 100 square mile area
- There are 0.11 school-based health centers per 1000 uninsured children
This groundbreaking conference will advance the understanding of health and human rights in south Los Angeles and develop a call to action to improve the health of residents at home and beyond. Colleagues from across the world will share their experiences and examples of the international health and human rights movement.
Confirmed speakers include: Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County, 2nd District • Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Chair, Domestic Policy Subcommittee • Dr. Violeta Menjivar, Former Mayor of San Salvador, El Salvador • Robert K. Ross MD, President & CEO, The California Endowment • Carolina Reyes MD, Executive Director, Los Angeles Best Babies Collaborative • Helen Potts JD, PhD, Chief of Health Programs, Physicians for Human Rights • Anja Rudiger, PhD, National Economic Social Rights Initiative/National Health Law Program.
For more information and to register for the conference, http://www.southlahealthandhumanrights.org/ or call 323.541.1600 x 4000. Registration is free.
This conference is sponsored by The California Endowment, LA Care Health Plan, St. John’s Well Child and Family Centers, Los Angeles Best Babies Network and the California School Health Centers Association. It is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics Chapter 2, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Physicians for Human Rights, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers, UCLA Program in Global Health among many others.