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Barriers to Health in New York State

The Inaugural President's Forum on Health Disparities will be held Tuesday, April 24 in the D'Ambra Auditorium. Wayne J. Riley, President of SUNY Downstate Medical Center will present the keynote address and Howard A. Zucker, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health will also speak.

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 17, 2018) – As part of its ongoing efforts to tackle minority health disparities, the University at Albany is convening a forum of nationally recognized experts to discuss barriers to health and healthcare.

The Inaugural President’s Forum on Health Disparities, titled “Health in NY State: Addressing Barriers to Health Across Populations” will be held Tuesday, April 24 from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. in the D’Ambra Auditorium of the Life Sciences Research Building.

President Havidán Rodríguez will open the forum, which will feature remarks from Howard A. Zucker, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. Wayne J. Riley, president of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, will present the keynote speech.

The event will also feature an interactive panel discussion exploring the challenges of health disparities across New York State, which will include presidential doctoral fellows in health disparities, faculty scholars, and leaders from community-based partners. There will be a series of faculty presentations on the results of ongoing research and scholarly work, as well as opportunities for attendees to offer questions and comments.

Hosted by the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD) and the Office of the Vice President for Research in conjunction with the president, the forum is a centerpiece of the University’s $10 million National Institute of Health funded initiative to address the future of minority health disparities in the Northeastern United States.

“Addressing health disparities is a critical public health priority for New York State and our entire nation,” said Lawrence Schell, director of CEMHD. “New York has an exceptionally diverse population with people living in very rural to very urban places and coming from very wealthy to very poor socioeconomic conditions, but equally good health is not experienced by all New Yorkers. This forum will address these very issues and spark meaningful dialogue.”

The $10 million, five-year grant UAlbany received in 2016, which the President’s Forum on Health Disparities is centered around, allows UAlbany, spearheaded by the CEMHD, to:

  • Build a pipeline and new cohort of doctoral students from diverse populations by creating a Health Disparities Student Program.
  • Recruit an Endowed Health Disparities Chair with nationally recognized expertise to anchor and lead the University’s research, training and community outreach endeavors in health disparities.
  • Develop innovative transdisciplinary health disparities education and training including the creation of new curricula to strengthen academic programs related to health disparities, a new master’s degree-level program focused on health disparities, and the establishment of an epigenetics lecture and laboratory course at the graduate level;
  • Strengthen community outreach, engagement and action plans related to the development of health disparities education, research, practice and policy.
  • Establish the annual Presidents Forum on Health Disparities, designed with community input, and train the doctoral Health Disparities students to establish, support and preserve a community task force.

The forum is open to the public and free of charge, but registration is required and space is limited.

For more information on the $10 million grant received in 2016, view the announcement.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
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