LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health Center for Research, Health & Social Justice will present the Community Health Impact conference September 28-29 at 9 a.m. daily.
“This free virtual event will help organizations across Arkansas collaborate and create ways to improve prevention methods for different cancers and cardiovascular diseases that have a significant impact on African American and rural residents of the state. . Additionally, health-related social justice efforts in Arkansas will receive attention,” a press release reads.
“This will be an interactive working conference,” Latonya Rucker, the center’s co-director of community outreach and engagement, said in the release. “Our target audience includes community leaders, researchers, healthcare providers and students. However, anyone can attend the conference. We are focused on creating solutions.”
Rucker said the conference will also teach organizations how to use joint efforts to solve problems that typically lead to cancer and different heart diseases for too many Arkansans.
“A major goal for us is to show attendees why it’s important to be proactive, work together, and create preventative solutions that can reduce – and eventually – eliminate diseases and conditions that disproportionately affect African-Americans. Americans and people who live in rural areas of the state,” Rucker said.
In addition to team activities, Natalie S. Burke, President and CEO of CommonHealth Action, will deliver the keynote, “Making Health Equity Real in a Time that Feels Surreal: Let’s Get Uncomfortable.”
Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman of UAMS and Al Richmond, Executive Director of the Community-Campus Partnership for Health, will speak about the dangers of health disparities. The conference will also include presentations by health policy makers, cancer patients and healthcare providers.
Rucker said the organizing committee scheduled the conference over two days to allow every speaker, presentation and project to get ample attention.
“We want to increase researcher-community partnerships to support prevention efforts aimed at cancer and cardiovascular disease, both of which haunt African-American and rural communities at an alarming rate,” she said. “Above all, we want to create an action plan. We will focus on community development for social justice reform by assessing and responding to the needs of our rural communities. It is relevant that we put things in motion.
Preventing cancer and cardiovascular issues for affected communities is a business on deck, Rucker added.
“Our stakeholders, including community members, community organizations and researchers, need to understand that now is the time to come together and get the job done,” Rucker said. “There is ample data to show that preventable measures are needed across the state.
“We are excited to help develop a plan for the changes that are needed.”
To register for the conference, visit CHIC-2022.eventbrite.com. Organizations can also register by emailing [email protected]