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United Ways across Texas fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community.
Upbring’s Health for Friends Clinic is a nurse-managed clinic in Lubbock that provides quality services for people who might not be able to otherwise have access to health care because they cannot afford health insurance. Approximately 75% of the 1,751 patients seen in their clinic lack medical coverage to access health care. Often, this means their illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, poor nutrition, high cholesterol, and obesity are left untreated. Upbring’s nurse-managed clinics provide quality services to help address these issues.
Lubbock County had 28.6 deaths per 100,000 people from diabetes versus 20.3 for the State. Diabetes care can be compromised by untreated mental illness and there is a significant link between diabetes and depression as well, with depression occurring in 25% of people with diabetes. (Meadows Report)
*all rates are per 100,000 women
The physical and mental health outcomes among women vary across racial and ethnical groups in Lubbock County.
- The mortality rate overall for Black women (273.5) is nearly double that of White women (145.7); Hispanic women have a rate of 159.4.
- The mortality rate from diabetes is 82.7 which is 68.1% higher than the rate for Hispanic women and over three times higher than the rate for White women (18).
- White women have the highest suicide mortality rate, more than double or even triple any other race.
- In Texas, about 20 in every 100,000 women die from breast cancer with mortality rates ranging from 9.6 (Asian/Pacific Islander) to 28.4 (Black).
The YWCA’s Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) is the sole Breast Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS) provider for women age 50-64 (breast) and 18-64 (cervical) in the South Plains. 544 women received services through this program in 2019.
In addition, it is estimated 1 in 8 women experiences postpartum depression after having a baby. And women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
“Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a mental illness. Substance use disorder changes normal desires and priorities. It changes normal behaviors and interferes with the ability to work, go to school, and to have good relationships with friends and family. In 2014, 20.2 million adults in the U.S. had a substance use disorder and 7.9 million had both a substance use disorder and another mental illness.
More than half of the people with both a substance use disorder and another mental illness were men (4.1 million).” (National Institute of Mental Health)
Lubbock has approximately one primary care physician for every 1,200 residents, compared to a Texas average of one for every 1,660 residents. (Meadows Report)
Although some of this data is still up for debate, recent mental health findings show that vaping has negative side effects on a user’s mental health. “E-cigarette aerosol generally contains fewer toxic chemicals than the deadly mix of 7,000 chemicals in smoke from regular cigarettes. However, e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents.” (CDC) In addition, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Starting in 2020, a total of 2,711 hospitalized e-cigarette or vaping, product use-associated lung injury cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories. Sixty of these cases resulted in death.
E-cigarettes have become very popular very quickly. This means there has not been time to get results from long-term studies on the safety or health effects of e-cigarettes.
Vaping and Teens
In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. One of the primary concerns is that “each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed.” (CDC)
Specifically, “Vaping with or without nicotine has been shown to impact impulse control, especially in young adults whose brains have not fully developed yet. Some of these risks include mood disorders and permanent damage to parts of the brain responsible for memory, emotion and critical thinking.” (Change to Chill)
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Lubbock County ranked in the top 10 of Texas counties for cases of sexually transmitted diseases and in the top 20 for prevalence of HIV and AIDS cases. People suffering from these (often youth) have high rates of depression. (Meadows Report)
The Lubbock Children’s Health Clinic has two medical clinics providing health care to children in two medically underserved areas of Lubbock County. Their goal is to ensure patients are receiving annual
well-exams and needed immunizations despite their financial ability to pay. Their ability to provide children with a medical home and consistent patient care ensures medical conditions are diagnosed and treated correctly. In 2019, they provided 3,771 children with a medical home.