Chicago News Roundup: Black healthcare providers seek to end unequal treatment

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Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is an approximately 5 minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with isolated showers and highs near 85 degrees. Tonight will also be mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely and a low near 63. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high around 66.

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Black healthcare providers seek to end inequity in treatment

When Chantina Wilson was six months pregnant, she started having abdominal pain. She made an appointment with her doctor, a white man, who told her she was having Braxton-Hicks contractions.

But this wasn’t Wilson’s first pregnancy. She knew what the contractions felt like. Yet her doctor ignored her protests and sent her home with prescription Tylenol.

“He didn’t even touch me,” Wilson said. “He just assumed I was having contractions.”

But she wasn’t. It was appendicitis, which Wilson only discovered after going to Stroger Hospital, where she was treated by another OB-GYN – a black woman.

“I will never forget this lady,” Wilson said. “She came in and she was like, ‘The pain you’re describing is not twitching. You’re showing your appendix. I ended up having emergency surgery at that time because’ she told me that I could die if I didn’t.

Black patients across the country can tell similar stories. Many report that the symptoms and pain are ignored or misdiagnosed. For pregnant black women, abuse dramatically increases the risk of death.

In Illinois, black mothers died of pregnancy-related issues six times more than white mothers in 2020, according to a report from the Illinois Department of Public Health. And a 2021 CDPH report found that black infants are almost three times more likely to die in their first year than non-black infants.

Wilson is battling those statistics as a patient care navigator with MyOwnDoctor, a black-owned holistic telehealth service.

While telehealth services have grown in recent years to provide everything from advice to prescription deliveries, MyOwnDoctor focuses on “culturally relevant” care.

The service connects patients of color with black and Latino doctors, who often have a better understanding of their patients’ lives and experiences. These physicians work in primary care, specialty care, and mental health care.

Cheyanne M. Daniels says more about the effort to support patients of color here.

More news you need

  1. DNA taken from a cigarette butt led to charges in a fatal shooting that occurred during an attempted carjacking more than three years ago in Englewood, county prosecutors said. A 20-year-old man faces a first-degree murder charge after the FBI matched his DNA to the cigarette and a witness identified him as one of the two gunmen who killed Kenjuan Scott, a prosecutors said.
  2. Early voting for the June 28 primary began this morning in the city, with about a dozen people lining up outside the Chicago Board of Elections supersite downtown. Early in-person voting in the rest of the city begins June 13.
  3. Warning that Chicago is becoming “almost unresponsive” to the “relentless drumbeat” of repeated violence over Memorial Day weekend, mayoral challenger Kam Buckner today unveiled his plan to stop the bloodshed. Our Fran Spielman has the details of Buckner’s plan here.
  4. A 27-year-old man cut his head after jumping off a Blue Line “L” train this morning on the West Side, Chicago police said. Authorities say he climbed on top of the moving train and then jumped off when the train stopped.
  5. Family, friends and colleagues mourn the loss of longtime Sun-Times library assistant Zigis “Ziggy” Ulmanis, who died May 21 at the age of 83. “He had a respect for journalists,” his 60-year-old wife, Charlotte Ulmanis, whom he met when they were both “copycats,” told the Sun-Times in 1960.
  6. Pollution from diesel trucks will kill more than 400 people statewide and sicken thousands of residents next year, making it crucial that Governor JB Pritzker accelerate Illinois’ transition to electric vehicles , according to a new report. The Respiratory Health Association of Chicago is urging Pritzker to take steps to phase out diesel engines, including setting goals as early as 2030.
  7. The six Republican gubernatorial primary candidates will appear on stage together for the first time Thursday in a high-stakes debate on live primetime television. The debate will be voters’ first chance to see apparent favorites Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, face off.
  8. Taste of Chicago’s full lineup of food vendors and musical entertainment was announced this morning by the city. Returning as a multi-date, multi-location free event, the festival boasts over 30 food vendors and music from headliners like Nelly, Aterciopelados, Drive-By Truckers and more. See the full list of vendors and artists here.

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A bright

Chicago’s Charles Parnell rises through the acting ranks for a major role alongside Tom Cruise

When business slowed at Guadalaharry, a Mexican restaurant on Rush Street, Charles Parnell and a colleague would make up skits in the kitchen.

They were writing the characters’ names on a nearby blackboard, Parnell said. They would decide on a backstory and then they would start playing. One day, Parnell said, his colleague stopped, in the middle of the stage.

“You’re pretty good at it,” she told him. She encouraged him to try his luck.

“All she had to do was say that, and then I kind of took off,” said Parnell, now appearing in summer blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Charles Parnell attends the World Premiere of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ on May 4, 2022 in San Diego, California.

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Parnell started taking local acting classes, he said, before heading to the Piven Theater Workshop in Evanston. It was there that his teachers began to make him feel like he had something to offer as an actor, Parnell said, and after about a year he began doing small stage productions in Chicago.

Parnell had no plans to leave Chicago, he said. He was born and raised in Hyde Park. After many years, Parnell still calls it “the best neighborhood in the world.” In 1994 he traveled to New York, and he has since moved to Los Angeles. When people ask him where he lives, “LA, but I’m from Chicago,” Parnell always says. “I never let that pass.”

His Chicago friends hosted a screening at AMC River East. They originally planned to reserve 150 seats, but that number increased to around 250 as more people wanted to come.

“That’s what it means to come from Chicago,” he said, “to have your friends come over and don’t care how much you’re in a movie, they come because you’re there. ‘screen.”

Parnell’s family and friends returned to AMC River East last week, this time for “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Cadence Quaranta has more with Parnell and his career here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

Who has the best tacos in Chicago?

Email us at [email protected] and we might feature your response in the next afternoon edition.

On Friday, we asked you: what’s the best part about summer in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Neighborhood parties.” —Debbie VoglerThompson

“Festivals, neighborhood carnivals, the Lakefront, the Riverwalk, etc. Such a beautiful city in the summer.” —Brice Notardonato Ellett

“The Buckingham Fountain is on, the Cubs games and the beaches.” —Jim Buttner

“Chicago Pride, market days and morning runs by the waterfront.” – Roger Sanchez

“Open water swimming, kayaking, dining on the deck with my wife.” —Erika Hoffman

“Getting a free tan walking around but cooling off with Italian ice cream, having a BBQ and being able to sit outside all evening!” —Niki Brown

“The scenery, the people watching, a cool adult drink.” —Jackie Waldhier

“Be one with nature. You can go say hello to all the animals in Lincoln Park Zoo’s only free zoo and stroll the beach and swim or fish or just lay in the sand and feel the breeze and warm sun caress your body. —Barb Massey

“It’s literally the best two weeks of the year.” —Nadine Ellis

Thanks for reading the Chicago afternoon edition. Think we missed a story? Email us here.

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