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Federal and State Health Policy Experts Discuss Solutions to Health Care Disparities

Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities Brings Community Partners, SUNY Researchers to Campus Oct. 7-8

News Release icon Contact: Media Relations Office (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 01, 2010) -- Inequities in health care affect many different people, including low-income women living in rural areas; Latina family caregivers; urban youths, and Native American people living near polluted waters. Health researchers from the eastern SUNY campuses will meet with community partners at the University at Albany Oct. 7-8 to discuss these issues and many more, as part of a conference on Community-Campus Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities: SUNY Works in Progress. It is sponsored by UAlbany's Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD).

The conference is open to the public and begins at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 7 in the D'Ambra Auditorium, Life Sciences Building, on UAlbany’s main campus.  An R.S.V.P. is required; contact Project Manager Loreen Kaiser at lkaiser@albany.edu.

Dr. Garth N. Graham, from the HHS Office of Minority Health

Dr. Garth N. Graham, M.D., M.P.H, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health at HHS

The keynote speaker on Oct. 7 is Dr. Garth N. Graham, M.D., M.P.H., deputy assistant secretary for minority health in the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. His office coordinates federal health policy that addresses minority health concerns and ensures federal, state, and local health programs take into account the needs of disadvantaged, racial, and ethnic populations. Graham is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has authored scientific articles on cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, and community medicine. Graham earned his M.D. at the Yale School of Medicine, graduating cum laude.

At the Oct. 8 session, Wilma E. Waithe, Ph.D., director of the Office of Minority Health in the New York State Department of Health, will be the keynote speaker. Waithe earned a doctorate in education theory and practice from UAlbany. A respected authority on policies, programs, and practices affecting the health of racial and ethnic minorities, she has more than 30 years of experience in community health. At the NYS Office of Minority Health, her results-oriented approach has helped position the office as a nationally recognized leader in community participatory approaches for improving minority health.

Center Director and anthropologist Lawrence M. Schell said, "Health disparity is a significant problem in New York and affects cities across the state, not only New York City with its large minority population. The Center does research aimed at eliminating health disparities in New York's smaller cities. The Center's researchers partner with community groups to: identify community health concerns and sources of disparities; plan strategies to alleviate those concerns; and test their effectiveness in scientifically valid ways. We are building relationships with other researchers to help communities. One of our projects involves seeking solutions to a lack of access to proper health care for low-income women living in rural areas of upstate New York."

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