News

Potential Impacts of COVID-19 on Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disability: A Call for Accurate Cause of Death Reporting

Dalton Stevens & Scott Landes
DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF [PDF]
View our other research briefs.

KEY FINDINGS

  • COVID-19 deaths will likely be more prevalent among those with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).
  • Death rates from pneumonia are between 2.2 times and 5.8 times higher among individuals with an IDD than among those without IDD, giving us a clear warning of the severity of COVID-19 among people with IDD.
  • Underestimation of COVID-19 deaths is potentially more severe for those with IDD.
  • Cause of death certifiers must be attentive to accurately recording IDD on the death certificate.
Continue Reading

Pendergrast and Helander interviewed about COVID-19 and implications for older adults on WAER

Two Lerner Graduate Fellows, Claire Pendergrast and Mary (Emmy) Helander, were interviewed on WAER (Syracuse’s NPR affiliate station) on April 9 as part of the Syracuse Speaks series. The interviewed covered how COVID-19 has impacted health and social well being among older adults and some tips for how to keep older adults safe and healthy during this challenging and uncertain time.

Continue Reading

Lerner Undergraduate Research Affiliate Ashley Van Slyke forms a club to decrease stigma and increase education about mental illness

Ashley VanSlyke, a junior nursing major at University of Pittsburgh and a summer research affiliate with the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion co-formed the Oakland Outreach club in Pittsburg in Fall 2019. The club is geared towards learning and helping under-served populations in the Oakland-Pittsburg area The majority of their volunteering is focused on people with substance use and/or mental health diagnoses. Read more about Ashley and the club in this Pitt News article.

Geographic Disparities in COVID-19 Testing: An Urgent Call to Action

Shannon M Monnat and Kent Jason G Cheng
DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF[PDF]
View our other research briefs.

KEY FINDINGS

  • COVID-19 testing rates are lowest in the least healthy states. Rates are lower in states with lower life expectancy, higher percentages of adults reporting fair/poor health, higher rates of obesity, and higher diabetes prevalence.
  • COVID-19 testing rates are lowest in states with the least health care access. Testing rates are lower in states with fewer primary care physicians per capita and in states with higher percentages of uninsured adults.
  • Several states with the lowest testing rates are among those who elected not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Disparities in testing rates are troubling because delays in testing increase the risk of a surge in silent spread and severe COVID-19 cases in these states.
  • This epidemic not only reveals, but is also exacerbating, large health disparities across U.S. states.
Continue Reading

The Gig is Up: Supporting Non-Standard Workers Now and After Coronavirus

Tyra Jean
DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF [PDF]
View our other research briefs.

A recent Gallup study found that 36% of the U.S. labor force (which equates to 57 million people) are gig workers.1 From Lyft drivers to sex workers, gig-work (also known as non-standard work) involves a formal or informal contract between a company or person who compensates the laborer in a (typically) monetary form.2 Gig-workers include freelancers, independent contractors, on-call workers, and temporary workers.

Continue Reading

Tips for Communicating with Older Adults about COVID-19

Claire Pendergrast
DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF [PDF]
View our other research briefs.

Older adults (individuals aged 60 or older), and especially those with severe chronic medical conditions, are at higher risk for more serious coronavirus illness and death.1 Given the severe health risks coronavirus presents for this age group, effective risk communication is critical for informing older adults about how coronavirus threatens their health, how they can protect themselves, and where they can go for support. There is no “one size fits all” approach for health communication,2 and it is essential for friends, family, health professionals, and public officials to be thoughtful about their approach to communicating with older adults during coronavirus. 

Continue Reading

COVID-19 Testing Rates are Lower in States with More Black and Poor Residents

Shannon M. Monnat and Kent Jason G. Cheng
DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF [PDF]
View our other research briefs.

COVID-19 testing is essential to help reduce spread, strategically deliver treatment resources, and devise appropriate policy responses. There is already evidence that U.S. states with more confirmed infections (which can only be determined with testing) are more likely than their peer states with fewer confirmed cases to enact physical distancing protocols, thereby dramatically reducing travel and other mechanisms for virus spread. Resource constraints and different reactions by state governors have resulted in widespread testing variation across states.

Continue Reading

Truly Promoting Diversity on College Campuses Means Supporting Persons in Recovery from Substance Use Disorders

Austin McNeill Brown
DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF [PDF]
View our other research briefs.

Given high rates of alcohol use and the heavy drinking culture on most college campuses, students living in long-term recovery from substance use disorder are often an invisible population on college campuses nationwide. They are also an institutionally under-served population.

Continue Reading

COVID-19 is a Major Risk to New York State’s Older Veterans

Mariah Brennan Nanni and Mary Helander
DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF [PDF]
View our other research briefs.

The older adult veteran population is at high risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 mirror the population density of older veterans in New York State. Communities with large veterans populations, such as Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, and NYC, have seen rapid increases confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Continue Reading

New York State’s Older Adults in Assisted Living Facilities Need All of Us to Help Them Avoid the Coronavirus

Mary E. Helander and Claire Pendergrast
DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF [PDF]
View our other research briefs.

There are 50,308 beds in licensed assisted living facilities1 and 114,988 certified nursing home beds (with 90% average occupancy) in New York State.2  Yet, assisted living facilities receive disproportionately less media coverage and policy attention than nursing homes with respect to coronavirus risks and consequences for older adults. Recent deaths in a Florida assisted living facility demonstrate that we need to be paying much more attention to coronavirus risks in these facilities.3 

Continue Reading