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More than 1,200 attended the conference this year that was designed for health providers, community organizations, local businesses and the general public to address the alarming issue of health disparities among minorities in the Florida area.
The goal of the Closing the Health Gap Conference was to increase awareness and understanding of the major health problems confronting the region. Experts informed participants about effective programs and strategies utilized to address health disparities at the local, state and federal levels. Participants also learned how to mobilize resources and build partnerships with diverse communities to help them in solving health problems.
“We are confident that this year’s conference was equally as informative and stimulating as last year’s conference,” says D.T., President and CEO of the Center for Closing the Health Gap. “It was our hope that even the attendees would leave the conference realizing that they, too have a responsibility for their health and that they can do something about the quality of health care.”
A total of 20 workshop sessions were offered. Conference sessions covered topics such as the clinicians role in the prevention of STDS/AIDS, community unity: a key to addressing infant mortality, defining medical cultural competency: importance and practical approaches for the primary care physician and issues facing immigrants arriving in the area.
The Health Alliance, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the College of Medicine and over 80 community partners joined together to offer this conference. The conference enabled people to join the national campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Minority Health in their efforts to eliminate health disparities among the nation’s minorities. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, many people belonging to racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to have poor health or die prematurely than the majority of the population. The local health statistics for African- Americans, Hispanics and Appalachians are similar to the national statistics.