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Seventh Annual CERC Health Disparities Institute Set for Oct. 8

University of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Exploratory Research Center students at a poster presentation.

The University of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Exploratory Research Center (CERC) will hold the 7th Annual Health Disparities Institute from Oct. 8 to 10, at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort on St. Thomas. The theme is “A 20/20 Vision for Addressing and Eliminating Health Disparities in Special and Vulnerable Populations in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Beyond.”

Health Disparities are particular types of health differences that are closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion. “The annual Health Disparities Institute is an important opportunity to keep the community informed about research on health disparities occurring in the territory and also to share with the community research by other scholars that is germane to health disparities issues here in the territory,” said CERC Director and Principal Investigator Dr. Gloria Callwood. “We acknowledge and value all who participate in our research efforts to improve the overall health of our community.”

Callwood invited researchers, program directors, healthcare providers and practitioners, policy makers and the wider community to attend. “We hope to motivate healthcare providers and all residents to take actions that will lead to a reduction and the eventual elimination of health disparities in our territory,” she said.

This year’s institute will feature four major keynote presentations. Dr. Dereck Griffith, of Vanderbilt University, will discuss the topic of “Addressing Health Disparities for Males in the USVI and Wider Caribbean” on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

As part of the Institute’s Christensen Lecture Series, keynote speaker Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott, of the University of Pennsylvania, will address “Linguistically and Culturally Appropriate Communication of Health Information.” This topic will focus on cultural competence issues related to health disparities during a lunch presentation on Thursday, Oct. 9.

Dr. J Taylor Harden, of the Gerontological Society of America, will address “Health Equity for the Elderly” on Friday, Oct. 10. In the final keynote address on Friday, Dr. Willa Doswell, of the University of Pittsburgh, will take on the issue of “Addressing Health Disparities in Women of Color.”

There will also be concurrent sessions each day when scholars from across the nation will share their work addressing the institute’s theme. Additionally, there will be panels with local experts focusing on health disparities and males; health disparities and children; and policy impacts and priorities on health disparities.

“We have worked diligently to assure a quality institute that addresses the challenges of achieving health equity for the most vulnerable among us,” said Dr. Callwood.

The registration fee is $299 for general admission and $199 for Virgin Islands residents.  More information, online registration and details on hotel conference rates are available from the UVI Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning website Click the upcoming courses link. You can also register from this direct link CERC Health Disparities Institute