Congratulations to our center’s Atheendar Venkataramani, PhD, MD, MPhil, who has been recognized by the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) for co-writing one of the best papers of the year with Kathryn E. W. Himmelstein, MD, MSEd.
Their paper, titled “Economic Vulnerability Among US Female Health Care Workers: Potential Impact of a $15-per-Hour Minimum Wage,” finds that many female health care workers in the United States (and particularly women of color) face financial struggles, and more than 10% do not have health insurance.
“I’m glad they highlighted this paper because there is growing attention around low-wage work in health care, and this study provides quantitative evidence of the challenges faced by many workers – particularly black and Latinx women – in this sector,” Dr. Venkataramani said. “I’m still shocked by our finding that 1 out of every 20 adults in poverty is a health care worker. Health care organizations are increasingly focused on addressing the social determinants of health, which includes poverty. I hope the paper motivates these organizations to perhaps first address the poverty within their own walls.”
AJPH lauded the paper for illuminating “a fundamental, harrowing injustice of the US health care system.”
“This is an injustice that anyone can observe but that no one seems to see: nearly half of Black and Latina female health care workers earn less than $15 per hour, more than 10% lack health insurance, and a total of 1.7 million female health care workers and their children live in poverty,” AJPH wrote.