CHEER at UTHSC Hosts Conference to Advance Minority Health Equity

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On June 20 through 22, the Consortium for Health Education, Economic Empowerment and Research (CHEER) will host a regional conference to promote health equity among minority communities.

On June 20 through 22, the Consortium for Health Education, Economic Empowerment and Research (CHEER) will host a regional conference to promote health equity among minority communities. The conference will be held at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis (an agenda is below). CHEER, an initiative aimed at health equity research and housed at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is a partnership of seven organizations working to develop, share and implement research that impacts minority health and reduces health inequities. Led by UTHSC, the consortium also includes LeMoyne-Owen College, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, Memphis Housing Authority, First Baptist Church Lauderdale, and Mustard Seed, Inc. Organizations co-sponsoring this year’s CHEER conference include the Healthy Memphis Common Table, the Assisi Foundation and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

The conference theme, Empowering Communities to Create a Healthy Village, celebrates CHEER’s mission to build community collaborations that promote healthy lifestyles and economic efficacy for disadvantaged persons in urban, suburban or rural areas. The conference is designed for local, state, regional and national health practitioners and officials, members of community-based and faith-based organizations, academic experts at colleges and universities, and community residents.

Empowering Communities speakers include: Brian Smedley, PhD, vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute, a division of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.; Alvin Poussaint, MD, psychiatrist, media consultant, author, and co-author with Bill Cosby, PhD, of “Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors,” and Bishop William Young, pastor of The Healing Center in Memphis and founder of the annual Suicide and the Black Church Conference. Panelists include experts from notable academic institutions such as Meharry Medical College, Johns Hopkins University and UTHSC.

The goals of the conference are to examine the overall health and well-being of minority communities; address economic empowerment as a vehicle for creating healthier citizens; ignite new partnerships focused on health in the Delta region; showcase successful community intervention efforts that have improved minority health, and provide attendees with tools for implementing community-based participatory research in their local areas.

In addition, during an award ceremony at the conference, CHEER will recognize researcher Leon Caldwell, PhD, for his progress in community-based participatory research in Memphis and other cities in our nation. Dr. Caldwell, who is currently transitioning to a role as a senior research associate for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, MD, founded several national and local initiatives aimed at community building and addressing the needs of vulnerable populations. Among his contributions in Memphis, he facilitated the Think Tank for African-American Progress, founded the Center for the Advancement of Youth Development (www.advancingyouth.org) housed at Rhodes College, and served as lead evaluator of the Just Care Family Network, a counseling system for youth with emotional or behavioral challenges.

For further conference details and registration information, contact the CHEER project manager, Brandi Franklin, PhD, MBA, at 901-448-1982 or visit: http://www.uthsc.edu/CHEER/healthy_village_2011/.

Empowering Communities to Create a Healthy Village

Agenda At-a-Glance

Monday, June 20
08:00 AM-12:00 PM – Pre-Conference Workshop: Grant Writing for Non-Profits
03:00 PM-05:30 PM – Registration Opens, Exhibit Installation Begins

Tuesday, June 21
08:00 AM-09:00 AM – Networking/Exhibit Session
09:00 AM-10:20 AM – General Session I: Connecting Social Conditions and Health
10:35 AM-11:55 AM – Break Out Session A
12:00 PM-01:15 PM – General Session II/Luncheon: Excellence in
01:15 PM-02:00 PM – Networking/Exhibit Session
02:00 PM-03:30 PM – General Session III: Mental Health in the African American Community
03:45 PM-05:20 PM – Break Out Session B
05:30 PM-07:00 PM – Networking/Exhibit Session, Evening Reception

Wednesday, June 22
07:00 AM-08:00 AM – Networking/Exhibit Session
08:00 AM-09:30 AM – General Session IV: Cardiovascular Disease and Economic Empowerment
09:45 AM-11:30 AM – General Session V: Advocacy/Public Policy