“Ending Health Disparities: Health, Environment and Social Justice in the Caribbean and Beyond” is the theme of the 5th Annual Health Disparities Institute to be held at the Sugar Bay Resort & Spa on St. Thomas, on Oct. 18 and 19. The Institute is sponsored by the Caribbean Exploratory NIMHD Research Center for Excellence (CERC) at the University of the Virgin Islands School of Nursing. It is held in collaboration with the U.S. Congressional Tri-Caucus, which represents Congresses’ three minority caucuses.
CERC Director and Principal Investigator Dr. Gloria Callwood invited persons interested in the effort to end health disparities in the Caribbean and beyond to attend the conference. Researchers and policy makers from across the country will join local administrators, health care providers, environmentalists and policy makers who will share their insights on health, the environment and social justice as panelist and presenters.
“The annual institute is one avenue for CERC to showcase the work of our center, as well as to promote effective methods, share results from our studies, and learn from best practices in the field,” Dr. Callwood said. Attendees, more than 100 are expected, will also have the opportunity to interact with researchers who display their work during poster sessions.
The conference begins with a welcome reception and poster and networking session from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. In addition to the featured speakers, panel sessions are planned on the following topics: Progress and Value of CERC to the Virgin Islands, Environment and Health Issues, Health and Social Justice, and Legislative and Policy Initiatives that Impact Health, Environment and Social Justice.
Interested persons can register for the institute on line at the CERC website – http://cercuvi.com – or in-person at the conference. Full conference and daily passes are available. Special rates are available for UVI students, faculty and staff, as well as local residents. General registration fees are good through Friday, Oct. 12. After that, late and on-site rates will apply.
Dr. Terry Mills, Dean of Humanities and Social Science at Morehouse College, will present the keynote speech during the first morning session on Thursday, Oct. 18. His address is titled “The Environment, Social Justice and Health Disparities: Implications for Minority Populations.” Dr. Mills’ research focuses on social, environmental and physical health factors associated with late-life depression and intergenerational relationships. He is widely published, and has edited a two-volume edition of the Journal of Family Issues. Dr. Mills is the recipient of the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Gerontological Society of America’s Taskforce on Minority Issues in Aging, and the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award.
Daniel Dawes, J.D., Executive Director of Government Relations, Policy and External Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine, will provide the luncheon lecture on Oct. 19. His topic will be “The Affordable Care Act: Impact of the Supreme Court Decision on Health Equity and Social Justice.” Atty. Dawes worked on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee under the leadership of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, where he advised the senator and members of the committee on an array of issues related to health care, public health, employment, education, and disability law and policy.
Donna M. Christensen Lecture
Shavon Arline-Bradley, Director of Health Programs for the NAACP, will present the annual Delegate Donna M. Christensen Lecture, which was inaugurated at the 2011 Health Disparities Institute. She will lecture at noon, on Oct. 19, on the topic “Health Equity and Economics: A Social Justice Issue.” Arline-Bradley has more than 11 years of public health experience in the areas of health disparities, federal and state government health program management, and community and stakeholder collaborative relationship building. The New Jersey native is a public health advocate and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Masters of Public Health degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, La.
Funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH-NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health, CERC is into Phase II of its funding.
For more information about the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center and the Fifth Health Disparities Institute, visit the CERC website at – http://cercuvi.com – or call (340) 693-1178/1291.