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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / March 2017 / Diversity Conference Aims to Tackle Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare and Research

Diversity Conference Aims to Tackle Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare and Research

African American and Caucasian women in a hospital waiting roomJoin members of the University of Rochester and local community on Monday, April 24 for an all-day diversity conference titled, “Reflecting Our Community: Tackling Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare and Research”. The conference aims to help clinicians and researchers manage unconscious biases and avoid cultural misunderstandings to provide better patient care and to engage more diverse study populations.

Over the past 50 years, life expectancy in the US has increase by about 9 years topping out at 79 years in 2012. But the benefits of a longer, healthier life are not evenly distributed across our population, according to the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  Race, ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, and geographic location have a large bearing on many health outcomes and life expectancy.

Research shows that implicit or unconscious bias, which refers to involuntary attitudes that affect our behavior without our awareness or control, can lead to healthcare disparities based on gender, race, ethnicity, immigration status, and sexual orientation. At the same time, an historical lack of diversity in the biomedical research workforce and among study participants has led to a failure to identify or address these disparities.  

“While many researchers and healthcare providers recognize that these issues exist, they are not aware of the underlying causes,” said John Cullen, director of Diversity and Inclusion for the CTSI and associate director of the Susan B. Anthony Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “We want to bring these individuals together to have meaningful dialogue.”

The conference, hosted by the CTSI and the Office for Inclusion and Culture Development, will offer a toolkit and ideas that researchers can transfer into their own research. Participants should come away with a broader view of diversity and better understanding of cultural perspectives that may impact patient care, education and research. Through the conference, participants will develop personal goals to improve their teaching, patient care and research relative to diverse populations.

Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Nursing Education (CNE), and Social Work Continuing Education credits are available for conference participants.

You may register for the conference here. Registration is free for students, residents, and fellows and is discounted for all other who register before April 10.

For more information, click here.  

Reflecting Our Community: Tackling Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare and Research
Monday, April 24
7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Flaum Atrium, Medical Center

Susanne Pritchard Pallo | 3/23/2017

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