By JULIE MINDA
When zip codes predict life spans, addressing disparity should be a central concern
NEW ORLEANS — To illustrate how profoundly disparity can impact people's lives — and how important it is for communities to address disparities — a speaker at a recent Ascension community health conference drew from his own experiences growing up in two different zip codes, both in metropolitan Washington, D.C.
As a child, Dwayne Proctor lived in the Anacostia neighborhood of the capital before moving with his mother about 25 miles away, to Fairfax, Va. In Anacostia, he said, jobs were scarce, violence and crime were prevalent, schools were failing and healthy food was hard to come by because there were no full-line grocery stores. In Fairfax, incomes were higher than in Anacostia, jobs more available, schools stronger and nutritious food plentiful at nearby grocery stores.