6th Annual Health Disparities Community Conference Series: Emory Conference
Aimed at Disparities in Cancer Rates in Georgia's African American
Barnes, Commissioner Russ Toal, DeKalb County Health Director Dr. Paul
Wiesner and Fulton County Health Director Dr. Adewalé Troutman
are among the dignitaries scheduled to address participants at Emory
Healthcare's 6th Annual Health Disparities Community Conference. This
year's topic, "Cancer ... It Can Happen to You," will examine the disparities
in cancer rates in Georgia's African-American communities and discuss
strategies with provider and community-based partners with the intent
to close the disparity gap.
The May 18 event will be
held at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel in downtown Decatur from 8:30 a.m.
to 3 p.m.
Conference coordinators collaborated
with Emory Healthcare, the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University
and Governor Barnes' new initiative, the Georgia Cancer Coalition, to
create the Cancers Disparities Committee. Don Speaks, Director of Community
Affairs for Emory Healthcare and conference facilitator, invited healthcare
professionals and other key leaders in communities of color to develop
the conference agenda and to ensure that a commitment to addressing
cancer disparity issues extended beyond the May 2002 conference.
"It's important that the
conference agenda reflects a sound commitment to changing access to
cancer treatment in disproportionately affected areas, that it fosters
the development of community prevention and intervention programs and
that we understand the barriers to improve health outcomes," Speaks
Specific issues to be discussed
include prostate, colorectal and lung cancers in men, and breast, uterine
and cervical cancers in women.
The upcoming Brothers Health
Issues Conference has four main goals, Speaks outlined. The conference
speakers will provoke dialogue about people's fears about cancer, attempt
to eliminate myths about the disease, educate the participants about
preventive methods for particular cancers, and discuss ways to make
cancer treatment accessible for all who need it.
Workshops at the conference
will focus on research, clinical trials, the vision of the Georgia Cancer
Coalition, cancer screening and testing, and cancer's impact on youth.
"This is one of the most
important conferences that the Winship Cancer Institute and Emory University
will be involved in all year," said Jonathan Simons, MD, director of
the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory. "Our ability to educate and inform
people about cancer is as important as the research we conduct in our
laboratories. This is what we mean when we talk about 'translational
research.' It's our ability to take groundbreaking research from the
laboratories and apply it to patients and their families through compassionate
care and education."
Cancer is the second leading
cause of death in Georgia and Georgia ranks among the top five states
in the number of new cancer cases each year. Each year, the Health Disparities
Community Conference focuses on health issues that are pervasive in
African-American communities. Past conferences have addressed HIV/AIDS,
heart disease, prostate, youth violence and organ and tissue donation.
The event is co-sponsored
by Emory Healthcare; The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University;
The Georgia Cancer Coalition; Grady Health Systems; Fulton County Department
of Health and Wellness; The D & E Group; DeKalb Preventive Alliance,
Inc.; DeKalb County Health Department; and the Department of Community
Health, State of Georgia.
The "Cancer ... It Can Happen
to You," will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.. at the Holiday Inn Select
Hotel in downtown Decatur. For more information about the conference,
interested persons can call 404-778-3303. Registration can be completed
via phone at (404) 778-7777 or on the conference Web site at www.minority-health.org.