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UVI Institute Explores Minority Health Disparities

UVI hosts 8th Annual Health Disparities Institute Oct. 14 - Oct. 16 at Marriott Frenchman's Reef Resort

The Caribbean Exploratory Research Center (CERC), a unit within the University of the Virgin Islands School of Nursing, will host its 8th Annual Health Disparities Institute titled “Eliminating Health Disparities in Minority Communities,” Oct. 14-16, at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort.

Health disparities refer to differences in the health status of different groups of people. Minority populations often have higher rates of certain diseases, and more deaths and suffering from them, compared to the mainstream population.

“This year’s Institute brings together experts in health policy and research from across the nation and the Caribbean to address health issues and concerns,” said Dr. Gloria Callwood, director of the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center.  “We are especially pleased to include sessions specifically targeting students, health professionals and the general public that will allow dialog with experts. I encourage everyone interested in improving health outcomes to join us.”

The Institute is a three-day mix of keynote speakers, panels, workshops, poster sessions and networking events with researchers and healthcare policy makers.   

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, there will be two pre-institute workshops. One titled “Health Care Providers,” features remarks by Attorney Deidre Walton, immediate past president of the National Black Nurses Association.

Another workshop, aimed at upper level undergraduate and graduate students, features a presentation from Dr. Kimlin T. Ashing, professor and founding director of the Beckman Research Institute.

Thursday, Oct. 15, the Institute explores health disparities in minority populations from a male perspective.  Another workshop tackles the prevalence of asthma in minority communities.

Attendees will also discuss the latest research around health issues impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands and explore strategies to implement change.   Those workshops include, “From Research to Implementation: Best Practices for Addressing Health Disparities in Minority Populations.”

Another institute highlight is the Donna M. Christensen lecture, named after the Virgin Islands’ former delegate to Congress and physician.  The lecture is titled “Interventions to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities and Increase Health Equity in Minority Populations.”

The Institute wraps up Friday, Oct. 16, with workshops discussing chronic diseases, violence against women, and a clinical breast examination practicum.

Institute Registration is now open at or

Group rates are also available for institute registration. For further information contact CERC office at (340) 693-1178.