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Elizabeth Simpson's Blog

Now that I've finished the last of the three fellowship stories I proposed six months ago, I'll... more »
posted 01/13/11
I'm in the most recent round of national health fellows, which means I just returned from a... more »
posted 07/31/10

Elizabeth Simpson's Work

Two communities, one urban, one rural, trying to improve the health of residents

Racial disparity in baby death rates is not a new subject. It's a complex, insiduous, and, at times, inflammatory, issue. In my corner of the world, there are communities where the baby death rate is nearly three times the national norm.

Victims of traumatic brain injuries often fall through the cracks of the system of care in Virginia, particularly those with behavior problems. Injuries often cause problems like impulse control and anger issues. These victims often ping-pong from one facility to another because their behavior gets them thrown out. They need structured treatment but few long-term residential facilities that specialize in brain injury rehab take government insurance like Medicaid. This is a population that is growing because improvements in emergency medical care have saved more people who suffer brain injuries in accidents. Also, more military personnel are surviving traumatic brain injuries sustained in battle. People with severe mental problems, dementias and disabilities such as autism also sometimes have these behavior issues that make them difficult to place.