OU-COM celebrates Minority Health Month  

by Tara Beverly

According to a recent study by former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., more than 80,000 black Americans die every year because of disparities in health care. In 2002, the independent Institute of Medicine reported that racial and ethic minorities received lower quality health care than whites even when they were at the same income level or had the same insurance. Although the government, public and insurance companies know minorities are shortchanged in health care, the inequalities persist, said Satcher and other experts in the field.

Created in April 1989, Minority Health Month is a 30-day campaign of high-visibility health promotion. The month is designed to encourage healthy lifestyles and to provide vital information on disease prevention and cure for minorities. Conducted with and by community based agencies and organizations, this campaign reaches into urban, suburban and rural areas of the Ohio. Goals of the month also include highlighting solutions to the imbalance of health care between Ohio’s minority and majority populations as well as gaining additional support for on-going efforts to improve minority health year round. The Ohio Commission on Minority Health, created in 1987 by the Ohio General Assembly, supports activities throughout the state.

During Minority Health Month, the Center of Excellence for Multicultural Medicine and the Office of Student Affairs have invited several speakers to discuss disparities in minority health care.

Pat Burnett, Ph.D., director of student affairs, has high hopes for the college’s program.

“As a college, we are proud to join the state and national celebrations for Minority Health Month,” says Burnett. “We will highlight the month with a series of speakers addressing both specific population health problems as well as providing a national overview of issues affecting health care for minority populations. It is critical that we become better informed concerning health disparities and cultural competence as we strive to deliver quality health care. This is at the heart of practicing medicine,” she says.

De-Anthony King, academic enrichment administrator, is very excited about OU-COM’s participation in Minority Health Month.

“Understanding issues crucial to improving minority health is important at the College of Osteopathic Medicine,” says King.

“We want to train our students and physicians to be aware and sensitive to non-majority ethnicities and cultures, so that as health-care professionals they will be able deliver the best possible clinical care to those patients.

“The speakers that we chose are physicians from various minority groups and are very active in their communities. They will discuss a variety of topics, from home remedies to pediatric obesity. There will be a great overview of different cultures provided by our speakers,” he says.

The program will begin Tuesday, April 5, with Ronald Myers, M.D., former president of the National Medical Association and head of the Myers Foundation For Indigent Health Care and Community Development, and will continue Thursday, April 7, with Darrell Grace, D.O., OU-COM CORE medical equity teacher. Grace will be followed by Nick Espinoza, D.O. (’90), OU-COM CORE medical equity teacher, Monday, April 11, and Chau Pham, D.O. (’95), assistant professor of geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Friday, April 22. The final speaker will be Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O., former dean of OU-COM and now dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the New York Institute of Technology, Thursday, April 28. All speakers will present from noon to 1 p.m. in Irvine 199.

For more information, please contact De-Anthony King at (740) 593-2465 or e-mail, kingd2@ohio.edu.

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College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Last updated: 03/27/2008