Re-creating Hope through Community Participation

Renowned Physician to Offer Advice on How to Create Healthy Communities

October 08, 2003

"...they must believe that they can make a difference, that they can influence change in their lives and the lives of others."

America Bracho, M.D., one of the nation’s foremost authorities in marshalling community support to improve the health of communities affected by poverty and racism, will be in Rochester to present this year’s Ben Sischy M.D. Visiting Scholar in Humane Medicine Lecture. Entitled “Recreating Hope through Community Participation,” Bracho will outline her proven philosophy on how to effectively involve local residents to address health concerns in their impoverished neighborhoods.

“The people with whom we work have often been deprived of opportunities for hope. Over and over again we have found that in order to have hope, they must believe that they can make a difference, that they can influence change in their lives and the lives of others,” Bracho says. “It is our role to create opportunities in communities where there are so few, for people to gain a sense of their own talents, knowledges and skills and to put these to use to improve the wellbeing of their own community.”

The free lecture will occur on Wednesday, October 29 at 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Class of ’62 Auditorium in the Kornberg Research Building, University of Rochester Medical Center.  For more information, call 273-3179.   

Bracho is the executive director of Latino Health Access, a center for health promotion and disease prevention located in Santa Ana, California.  Bracho worked as a physician in her native Venezuela for several years before coming to the U.S. to obtain a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan, specializing in Health Education and Health Behavior.  An inspiring speaker, Bracho is recognized at the local, regional and national levels as an expert in the area of Latino health issues, health education, minority women, cultural competency, community organizing, diabetes education and HIV.  She has received several awards for her contributions to the Latino community. 

The Ben Sischy, M.D. Lecture in Humane Medicine was established in 1991 as a tribute to the former chief of radiation oncology at Highland Hospital.  Sischy’s career was based on his beliefs in the importance of quality patient care, innovative research and dedicated treatment.  He pioneered many new approaches to cancer treatment in a community hospital setting. 

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Germaine Reinhardt
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