“Tech For The Public Good” is supported by a grant from Solutions Journalism Network
Technology is a double-edged sword, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite well-publicized threats from bots, hackers, government spooks and huge online firms, tech is often a force for public good.
In this special episode on civic tech, we report on a local effort to promote better healthcare for those who need it most: the residents of America's poorest Congressional District
: New York's 15th CD in The Bronx.
is our guest. She's the founder and CEO of Radical Health
, a minority-owned, Bronx-based health-equity social enterprise that uses technology, an app
powered by artificial intelligence; and community conversations to help (among others) pregnant women and new mothers understand their health care rights.
According to U.S. government statistics, black women are up to six times more likely to die from complications of pregnancy than white women. "The U.S. is ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth if you are a black or brown woman," says Ivelyse.
She compares the healthcare system to a McDonalds. "You're in. You're out."
Ivelyse was born and raised in the Bronx. She began her career in health tech, and trained oncologists on new drugs. Her life took a dramatic turn when her mother was diagnosed with cancer, which forced her to personally confront systematic disparities and failings of the healthcare system.
Our producer, Miranda Shafer, spoke with several local activists including Kaniya Samm who is a community organizer; and Alexis Del Rio, the co-founder of Bronx Móvil, a bilingual mobile harm reduction program.
for privacy and opt-out information.